“Poke the Box” by Seth Godin.
Why you must make shit happen.
“Poke the Box: When Was the Last Time You Did Something for the First Time?” by Seth Godin
“There is no risk when you put an ice cube in a hot cup of tea. The heat moves from the water to the ice; there’s flux…movement.
Risk, to some, is a bad thing, because risk brings with it the possibility of failure. It might be only a temporary failure, but that doesn’t matter so much if the very thought of it shuts you down. So, for some, risk comes to equal failure (take enough risks and sooner or later, you will fail). Risk is avoided because we’ve been trained to avoid failure. I define anxiety as experiencing failure in advance…and if you have anxiety about initiating a project, then of course you will associate risk with failure.
Over time, people have begun to confuse flux with risk as well. We have concluded that if things are flowing, if there is movement, then of course there is risk.
Those who fear risk also begin to fear movement of any kind. People act as though flux, the movement of people or ideas or anything else that’s unpredictable, exposes us to risk, and risk exposes us to failure. The fearful try to avoid collisions, so they avoid movement.
These people have made two mistakes. First, they’ve assumed that risk is a bad thing, and second, they’ve confused risk and flux, and come to the conclusion the movement is a bad thing as well.
I’m not surprised to discover that many of these people are stuck.”
Do you believe your body creates each cell for a reason? Or just comes up with random stuff most of the time, stuff that has no particular purpose but to float around aimlessly. Hmm…if this was the truth I wonder where human body would end up in a few days, months, weeks, couple of years, since most of our body cells are being born and die replacing each other constantly? Back to amoeba? Cosmic soup?
Do you believe that the Universe, that is so vastly more complex than our body, evolved creating stuff on random too? With no particular purpose? Stuff like…you? And that’s how this complex ecosystem of our planets and galaxies, star systems and entire Universe evolved with such precision, that most of the things run like the most perfect watch from Switzerland with cataclysmic events being so rare?
Do you really believe you are random and all your desires, intents and feelings of the purpose, that never leave you, are random too?
Is it even possible?
You are here to make that stuff you want to make.
No BUTs. No IFs. No MAYBEs.
No half-assed work.
I’ve just finished this really short book and decided to write a little post about it to inspire you to read it too, because no matter what I say here I can’t put the idea behind the book in words as well as Seth Godin did. And the book is a very short, fast and easy read (less than 90 pages of really enjoyable read). It makes you think a lot about your doings in life, your makings, and hopefully makes you go and start something, makes you make something happen.
Because what else is the purpose of life? What else is important? Or more important?
If not making something happen? Changing something? Being a change agent?
And it doesn’t have to be a physical thing. It might be the mind of another person that you change. Maybe just one person. But even then you got to get out of the comfort of your own mind and be something different, be a message of some sort, living your life to, maybe, help someone see a different picture of the world. And that’s how it all starts. With a different vision. Different perspective.
What does it even mean?
It means, when you want to do something, when you want to make something, to create something, when you have a desire to change anything about the world, people included, you got to do that — make, create, produce, deliver. Any way you can, the best way you can, never stopping till that desire to make it happen, inner drive, inner hunger to make this thing is transformed into physical reality of your life.
Not all of us have that burning desire.
Sometimes it’s a spark that doesn’t let you go completely cold and indifferent to the world.
Isn’t it the same spark that keeps the fire of life burning in you?
Maybe that’s why lots of people die soon after they retire — they allow that spark to die. And if there is nothing you want to make happen in life, if there is no more purpose, no more legacy you wish to work on to live another mark on this world, then you just die, and maybe that’s why people age? They can’t maintain that spark alive?
I don’t know.
But I do know, that when I have no desire to make something happen, to go and poke the box — I don’t feel alive, I don’t feel the river of life flowing through me.
I do know, that if I don’t act in some fashion on that inner desire to make something happen, I feel like I’m dying slowly inside.
I do know, that if I don’t give to that idea, desire my all and don’t deliver, I get really frustrated with myself, I get depressed and resentful. Not because I care about success, or what the world thinks about me, my life and my achievements (Although my mind never forgets to remind me of that too, of course). No. Because I know I could do better, I could make the world around me better, I could have a bigger impact that could produce much bigger ripple effect, and I didn’t, because of some excuse, or some self-limiting self-talk that came into existence because… of my fears? Insecurities? Not being able to manage my state better? Being lazy? Being more comfortable with being failure than with success achieved through hard work and going through lots of uncomfortable situations, growing a bit more each time?
The world never says NO, when we commit our whole being, mind, body and spirit to making something happen.
We rarely do commit fully though.
It’s easier and more comfortable to find and excuse, why we failed, than go all the way through, no matter what challenges we will need to overcome on the way to our vision.
Failure is easy. And that’s why there are so many “failures”.
We avoid success.
We want it.
We reject it, when we are about to reach it.
Success means change.
Change is always uncomfortable.
Success doesn’t fall on anyone’s head out of the blue. Success is made by clear mental vision supported by immediate actions that are 100% aligned with the vision. Not everything, not every idea or action will work, because nobody knows the exact way to any goal, since the environment in which any of us acts changes so fast. But constant feedback, awareness of what’s working and what’s not for you, having the same clear vision in our head will eventually bring us where we want to go, if we stop continuously changing our vision, our destination. If we do change the vision all the time — things might never work out.
It’s about deciding what we want.
It’s about clear focus.
It’s about deciding to act upon our desire to see our vision coming to life and not resting until it does.
It’s about delivering something in the real world.
It’s about making something tangible. Something we can poke, try, taste, squeeze, smell, love or hate.
It’s about making a difference.
It’s about changing the world in your own way. Your part of the world.
It’s about the impact you can make.
It’s about legacy you can leave.
It’s about the decision to make the world different because you were here.
It’s about being active and living your life instead of being a passive observer.
It’s about having an itch and scratching it until it doesn’t itch anymore.
“GO GO GO
If you get in the habit of shipping things, of making a difference and of poking the box, that’s your doing, the rest of us will take pleasure in enjoying the fruits of your bravery.
If you don’t start, if you pull back into your shell, if you recoil in fear at this extraordinary opportunity (and obligation), then blame me. I clearly didn’t do a good enough job of cajoling and daring you into doing the work you’re capable of, the work that matters.
You can’t lose.
“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth.
Not going all the way, and not starting.”