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The Practice by [Seth Godin]

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The Practice Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,542 ratings

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Product description

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

1. It’s Possible
This is a book for people who want to lead, to write, or to sing.

For people who seek to teach, to innovate, and to solve interesting problems.

For people who want to go on the journey to become a therapist, a painter, or a leader.

For people like us.

It’s possible. The people who came before us have managed to speak up, stand up, and make a difference. While each journey is unique, each follows a pattern—and once you see it, it’s yours.

We simply need to find the courage to be more creative. The forces that are holding us back have long been unseen, but we can see and understand them and begin to do our work.

The practice is there if we’re willing to sign up for it. And the practice will open the door to the change you seek to make.

2. The Pattern and the Practice
Our lives follow a pattern.

For most of us, that pattern was set a long time ago. We chose to embrace a story about compliance and convenience, the search for status in a world constrained by scarcity.

The industrial economy demands it. It prods us to consumption and obedience. We trust the system and the people we work for to give us what we need, as long as we’re willing to continue down the path they’ve set out for us. We were all brainwashed from a very early age to accept this dynamic and to be part of it.

The deal is simple: follow the steps and you’ll get the outcome the system promised you. It might not be easy, but with effort, just about anyone can do it.

So we focus on the outcome, because that’s how we know we followed the steps properly. The industrial system that brainwashed us demands that we focus on outcomes to prove we followed the recipe.

That priority makes sense if the reliable, predictable outcome really matters and the payoff is truly guaranteed. But what happens when your world changes?

Suddenly, you don’t always get what was guaranteed. And the tasks you’re asked to do just aren’t as engaging as you’d like them to be. The emptiness of the bargain is now obvious: you were busy sacrificing your heart and your soul for prizes, but the prizes aren’t coming as regularly as promised.

The important work, the work we really want to do, doesn’t come with a recipe. It follows a different pattern.

This practice is available to us—not as a quick substitute, a recipe that’s guaranteed to return results, but as a practice. It is a persistent, stepwise approach that we pursue for its own sake and not because we want anything guaranteed in return.

The recipe for recipes is straightforward: good ingredients, mise en place
, attention to detail, heat, finish. You do them in order. But when we create something for the first time, it’s not as linear, not easily written down.

This new practice takes leadership, a creative contribution—something that not just anyone can produce, something that might not work but that might be worth pursuing. It’s often called “art.”

The industrial system we all live in is outcome-based. It’s about guaranteed productivity in exchange for soul-numbing, predirected labor. But if we choose to look for it, there’s a different journey available to us. This is the path followed by those who seek change, who want to make things better.

It’s a path defined by resilience and generosity. It’s outward focused, but not dependent on reassurance or applause.

Creativity doesn’t repeat itself; it can’t. But the creative journey still follows a pattern. It’s a practice of growth and connection, of service and daring. It’s also a practice of selflessness and ego in an endless dance. The practice exists for writers and leaders, for teachers and painters. It’s grounded in the real world, a process that takes us where we hope to go.

This practice is a journey without an external boss. Because there’s no one in charge, this path requires us to trust ourselves—and more importantly, our selves—instead.

The Bhagavad-Gita says, “It is better to follow your own path, however imperfectly, than to follow someone else’s perfectly.” Consider the people who have found their voice and made a real impact: their paths always differ, but their practices overlap in many ways.

At the heart of the creative’s practice is trust: the difficult journey to trust in your
self, the often hidden self, the unique human each of us lives with.

See the pattern, find your practice, and you can begin to live the process of making magic. Your magic. The magic that we need right now.

3. Are You Searching for Something?
Most of us are.

If we care enough, we keep looking for that feeling, that impact, that ability to make a difference. And then we look harder.

Followers aren’t searching. They’re simply following in the footsteps of the people before them. Do well on the test, comply with the instructions, move to the next rung.

Leaders seek to make things better, to contribute and to find firm footing. The chance to make a difference and to be seen and respected, all at once.

That search has created our culture and the world we live in. More and more people, engaging and contributing, weaving together something worth building.

Let’s call it art. The human act of doing something that might not work, something generous, something that will make a difference. The emotional act of doing personal, self-directed work to make a change that we can be proud of.

We each have more leverage than ever before. We have access to tools, a myriad of ways forward, and a real chance to contribute.

Your part matters. Your art matters.

It’s worth reminding yourself that the question isn’t “can I make art,” because you already have.
You have already spoken up at least once, contributed something that mattered. You’ve said something funny to a friend or perhaps even sold out Carnegie Hall.

And now we need you to do it again. But more so.

The real question is: “Do I care enough to do it again?”

As John Gardner wrote, “The renewal of societies and organizations can go forward only if someone cares.”

4. Askıda Ekmek
Askıda ekmek: there is bread on the hook. It’s an ancient tradition in Turkey. When buying a loaf at the local bakery, you can choose to pay for an extra loaf and, after bagging your purchase, the owner will hang the second loaf on a hook on the wall.

If a person in need comes by, he or she can ask if there’s anything on the hook. If so, the bread is shared, and the hunger is relieved. Perhaps as important, community is built.

When you choose to produce creative work, you’re solving a problem. Not just for you, but for those who will encounter what you’ve made.

By putting your self on the hook, you’re performing a generous act. You are sharing insight and love and magic. And the more it spreads, the more it’s worth to all of those who are lucky enough to experience your contribution.

Art is something we get to do for other people.

5. Finding a Practice
Do you have a creative hero? Someone who regularly leads, creates, and connects? Perhaps they’re a dancer, a recording artist, or a civil rights lawyer. In every field of endeavor, some people stand out as the makers of what’s next, as the voices of what’s now.

Here are some to get you started: Patricia Barber, Zaha Hadid, Joel Spolsky, Sarah Jones, Yo-Yo Ma, Tom Peters, Frida Kahlo, Banksy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Bryan Stevenson, Nancy Lublin, Simone Giertz, Jonas Salk, Muhammad Yunus, Rosanne Cash, Greta Thunberg, John Wooden, Amanda Coffman—living or dead, famous or not, there are change-makers in every corner of our culture.

With few exceptions, the careers and working processes of every one of these artists are similar.

Their output is different, the circumstances are different, and the timing is different, but the practice remains.

We can adopt a practice as well.

Maybe we don’t need an industrial-strength recipe for what it means to do our jobs. Maybe instead of a series of steps to follow, we’d be better off understanding how the world actually works now.

We can adopt a practice. Here are the surprising truths that have been hidden by our desire for those perfect outcomes, the ones industrial recipes promise but never quite deliver:

·        Skill is not the same as talent.
·        A good process can lead to good outcomes, but it doesn’t guarantee them.
·        Perfectionism has nothing to do with being perfect.
·        Reassurance is futile.
·        Hubris is the opposite of trust.
·        Attitudes are skills.
·        There’s no such thing as writer’s block.
·        Professionals produce with intent.
·        Creativity is an act of leadership.
·        Leaders are imposters.
·        All criticism is not the same.
·        We become creative when we ship the work.
·        Good taste is a skill.
·        Passion is a choice.

Throughout this book, we’ll keep returning to surprising truths like these that fly in the face of what we’ve been taught about productive work in a system based on compliance and recipes. Artists have been shunned or shamed for embracing them, but that’s because these truths work. They subvert the dominant power structure while at the same time they enable us to make things better for the people we seek to serve.

6. Learning to Juggle
I’ve taught hundreds of people how to juggle. Learning requires a simple insight: catching the ball isn’t the point.

People who fail to learn to juggle always fail because they’re lunging to catch the next ball. But once you lunge for a ball, you’re out of position for the next throw, and then the whole thing falls apart.

Instead, we begin with just one ball. And there’s no catching: throw/drop, throw/drop, throw/drop.

Twenty times we throw the ball from our left hands, watching it land each time.

And then we do it again with our right hands.

Practicing how to throw. Getting good at throwing. If you get good enough at throwing, the catching takes care of itself.

It turns out that all this dropping is the hardest part for someone who is learning to juggle. It makes them really uncomfortable to throw a ball and then stand there as it drops to the ground.

The desire for outcome is deeply ingrained, and for some, this is the moment where they give up.

They simply can’t bear a process that willingly ignores the outcome.

For those who persist, the process quickly gathers momentum.

Perhaps fifteen minutes later, we try throw/throw/drop/drop. Simply two balls and two throws.

And then, without stress, throw/throw/catch/catch. It’s easy. There’s no problem, because the throws are where they should be, rehearsed and consistent.

The process has gotten us this far.

And then the last step is to add a third ball.

It doesn’t always work, but it always works better than any other approach.

Our work is about throwing. The catching can take care of itself.

--This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Review

"This is the book I need right now. It’s an extraordinary and electrifying call to action for writers, artists and creators in every walk of life. I re-read passages and felt as if my own secret creed was being explained back to me, in words I hadn’t yet found."
--
Rosanne Cash, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter
 
“The Practice is a user’s manual for finding your calling and an alchemist’s handbook for pursuing your dream.”
--
Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art
 
“Seth's book is a skeleton key specially molded to unlock the most creative version of you. Read it, and find yourself free to be who you know you really are.” 
--
Brian Koppelman, co-producer and co-creator of Billions 

"With surgical precision, The Practice attacks our predictable misconceptions about the creative process and replaces them with better ideas, one by one. This book will inspire you to make things, hone your craft, and nudge you to ship things you are proud of. Read it."
--
Tobi Lutke, CEO, Shopify

The Practice explains that what looks like a barrier is often a catalyst in disguise. Magic may not come from what we can see on the stage but from behind it, where the wood chopping happens."
--
Peter Gabriel, Musician --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B086KV3TX5
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin Business (3 November 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 6706 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 237 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 1,542 ratings

About the author

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Seth Godin is the author of nineteen international bestsellers that have been translated into over 35 languages, and have changed the way people think about marketing and work. For a long time, Unleashing the Ideavirus was the most popular ebook ever published, and Purple Cow is the bestselling marketing book of the decade.

He's a recent inductee to the Marketing Hall of Fame, and also a member of the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame and (go figure), the Guerrilla Marketing Hall of Fame.

His book, Tribes, was a nationwide bestseller, appearing on the Amazon, New York Times, BusinessWeek and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. It's about the most powerful form of marketing--leadership--and how anyone can now become a leader, creating movements that matter.

His book Linchpin came out in 2008 and was the fastest selling book of his career. Linchpin challenges you to stand up, do work that matters and race to the top instead of the bottom. More than that, though, the book outlines a massive change in our economy, a fundamental shift in what it means to have a job.

Since Linchpin, Godin has published two more books, Poke the Box and We Are All Weird, through his Domino Project. He followed these with The Icarus Deception via Kickstarter, which reached its goal in less than three hours. Joined by Watcha Gonna Do With That Duck and V is for Vulnerable, those books are now widely available. In late 2014, he announced his latest, What To Do When It's Your Turn, sold directly from his website.

In addition to his writing and speaking, Seth was founder and CEO of Squidoo.com,. His blog (find it by typing "seth" into Google) is the most popular marketing blog in the world. Before his work as a writer and blogger, Godin was Vice President of Direct Marketing at Yahoo!, a job he got after selling them his pioneering 1990s online startup, Yoyodyne.

You can find every single possible detail that anyone could ever want to know at sethgodin.com

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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5.0 out of 5 stars go for it
By Gourab pattnaik on 18 April 2021
the best gor creators
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1.0 out of 5 stars Damaged at its best
By Jayant on 29 September 2021
was excited for this bokk and got this😂
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@Timothy_Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars The Answer to What Is Holding You Back From Being Creative
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 9 November 2020
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bang
5.0 out of 5 stars Do your work, ship it, repeat.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 26 February 2021
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Ian Howlett
2.0 out of 5 stars Same old, same old: nothing new here
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JoGansel
5.0 out of 5 stars Curious about new title from Seth
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JodieCook
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book from Seth
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 29 November 2020
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