24 best Seth Godin quotes of 2019

Eugene Yiga
Jan 3 · 4 min read

I’m a huge fan of writer, podcaster, and entrepreneur Seth Godin. His daily blog is a constant source of inspiration and often acts as a means to share updates on my LinkedIn profile.

But for all of last year, I decided to save some of his most insightful quotes for this post. And so here are my 24 best Seth Godin quotes of 2019, presented in chronological order.

1. To be in the top 1% takes a combination of luck and magical talent. But to be in the top 5%, one in twenty, is mostly about choices. ~ The top 5%

2. Our certainty of rightness is what makes heated arguments heated. Given how unlikely it is that we’re always right and they’re always wrong, the heated part of the conversation is probably worth avoiding. ~ The thing about arguments

3. Managing our leaps is an essential part of innovation. In or out. Go or don’t go. But don’t hand the decision over to the market or to your peers. Professionals know when to leap. ~ Managing the leap reflex

4. Over time, then, as the culture changes, what used to be honorable becomes dishonorable. Sticking with it because it’s always been that way is a truly lousy reason to persist in a behavior that causes harm. ~ How to be honorable

5. Once we can walk away from unsolvable situations that pretend to be problems, we can focus our energy on the real problems in front of us. ~ Problems and boundaries

6. There’s always a chance to contribute and the opportunity to speak up. And if we don’t, who will? ~ Justice is scarce

7. What happens to us matters a great deal, but even more powerful are the stories we repeat about what happened. ~ The repetition of stories

8. You could make the choice to actually work to amplify your fear of the negative outcome instead of working on the real problem. But you can’t do both at the same time. Either you’re amplifying your worry or you’re working on a solution to the problem. ~ The practical de-escalation of worry

9. When we care, it’s amazing how much we can get done. One way to choose to care is to be clear about your priorities, which means being clear in your language. ~ Time and money

10. Plant your tree before you need the shade. ~ The avocado principles

11. Often, the best thing to do with a lost cause is to let it go. Because pursuing it gets in the way of the causes you haven’t lost yet. ~ The second bowl

12. You can dislike the truth, but pretending it isn’t true isn’t an effective way to accomplish your goals or to further our culture. ~ Kinds of truth

13. It might be easier to burn a bridge than it is to build one, but in the long run, bridges are what we need. ~ Connection day

14. Principles that we suspend during difficult times aren’t really principles. Principles really count when they’re difficult to maintain. ~ Principles and being let off the hook

15. Weather, or anything else that’s not in our short-term control, can become an excuse and a distraction. If you can’t do anything about it, it might not be worth your focus and energy. ~ Judging a day by the weather

16. When you live in surplus, you can choose to produce because of generosity and wonder, not because you’re drowning. ~ Living in surplus

17. For some of us, it’s more frightening to do something new than it is to retry something that failed. ~ When will we learn?

18. If your current normal is exactly what you need, then different isn’t worth exploring. For the rest of us, it’s worth figuring out where our discomfort with the new idea is coming from. ~Abnormal

19. If failure is not an option, then, most of the time, neither is success. ~ Innovation is guts plus generosity

20. You can’t make people change. But you can create an environment where they choose to. ~Leadership

21. Just because you won doesn’t mean you did a good job (and vice versa). ~ Confusing effort, preparation and performance with the outcome

22. Everything worth doing has a hard part. If it didn’t, it would have been done already. ~ “What’s the hard part?”

23. When we detach our emotional state from the results of our effort, we maximize the chances that our effort will be focused and effective. We’re not trying to control the outcome, simply putting our best effort into creating the conditions that lead to the desired outcome. The opportunity is: to go all in, and to be okay with what happens after that. ~ The uncomfortable combination of effort and acceptance

24. We get what we pay attention to. Our narration determines what we experience and what we remember. If your narration isn’t helping you, perhaps it pays to focus on something else. ~ Nothing is one thing

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