Start Something New
I love reading. I always have. But these days, however, I’m not able to read as much as I’d like. But I have recently started taking notes on what I read to better grasp and remember key concepts and ideas from the books I do read.
This is my book summary of Seth Godin’s Poke the Box.
Seth Godin is one of my favorite authors. Reading his books is like talking to a good friend you know will always give you sound advice.
Poke the Box is perhaps one of Seth Godin’s lesser-known books, but it’s worth its weight in gold.
Here are my key takeaways from this book.
The real challenge in leading a successful life lies in starting something new. Something unexpected. Something that hasn’t been seen or heard of before. But what we lack today is the obsession to “poke” the status quo, to take a risk and start something new, merely to see what happens.
In our quest to lead a more prosperous life (whatever your definition of that may be!), we spend our lives building different types of capital that we hope to exchange for a life we want eventually. But the one form of capital that we think about the least but need the most to lead a prosperous life is the initiation capital or the desire to move forward.
Yes, we all want to move forward in life. But this desire often isn’t strong enough to snap us out of our mundane, complacent lives. We spend most of our time and emotions either raging about things that we feel are broken (like our education system) or raving about stuff we love (like our iPhones). But nobody talks about the in-between: the mediocre. Few people ever wonder why mediocre remains merely mediocre. Few people strive to change or challenge the mediocre to see what happens.
Ever wonder why it’s easier to take action when your choices are limited? Human nature seeks to push against physical and mental boundaries. The firmer the boundary, the harder we push to start something new, something different to break down the barriers.
Finish what you start
Now, as great as it is to start something new, it’s equally important to go all the way to finish. Starting means you have to finish. If you don’t ship, you fail. To merely start without finishing is a waste of time.