“Curiosity is not allergic to failure” – Seth Godin

“Who is Seth Godin?” Prasna** fired his question before I could finish typing the line.

“Why are you so impatient Prasna? You did not even let me finish typing the line.

“Well, I am just curious!” and we had a good laugh.

In the unlikely event that you have not heard of Seth Godin, here is a quick introduction, doing no justice to his achievements. I like him because he is the originator of Permission Marketing, an entrepreneur with enough failures to his credit, amazing ideas man and a prolific writer.

The headline for this post is a quotation from his latest book ‘Poke the box’. His talk on TED On Standing Out is a powerful one.

“Are you talking about Seth Godin, his book or the TED talk?”

“It is about the book Poke the Box.”

“Are you reviewing the book?”

“Actually not. I have gone through the book twice now and have marked some provocative  thoughts from the book. Just as good as the one in the headline. I am sharing those here. I think it will be better than a review. It will help people to sample the book.”

“It is almost like Seth Godin writing this blog, is it not?”

“I will let that pass. Instead I will just share my top 10 quotations from the book. I highlighted many more but these are my top 10.”

Here are my Top 10 quotations from Seth Godin’s book Poke the Box:

1. “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.”

2. “When was the last time you did something for the first time?”

3. “For many of us resistance (to act) is always chattering away, frequently sabotaging our best opportunities, and ruining our best chance to do great work. Naming it helps you befriend it, and befriending it helps you ignore it.”

4. “Somewhere along the way, ego became a nasty word. It is not.”

5. “The problem: you can’t get blander than bland. You can’t grow by getting even more predictable and ordinary.”

6. “When in doubt look for fear… that is almost always the source of  your doubt.”

7. “How often do our heroes stand still? Just hanging out has nothing to do with boldly going where no one has gone before. ”

8. “What differentiates us from every other creature is that we go places,  places we have not gone before. We do it willingly and often. What makes our work and  life interesting is discovery, surprise and the risk of exploration.”

9. “Most employees can give you a long list of all the things they are not allowed to do. It is interesting that the allowed list is harder to remember and write down.”

10. “If you had a chance to do a TED talk, what would it be about?What have you discovered, what do you know, what can you teach?”

“Do you recommend the book?”

“What is your guess?”

“Stop being clever. Is it 4 on 4? Do you recommend it?”

“Yes. It is 4 on 4. I recommend it 100%.”

**Prasna Rao is an unusual friend. He appears every time I start writing something. He is almost always there when I am writing my blog. He asks questions that are razor sharp and often makes me uncomfortable. He is relentless till I answer his questions in simple, clear terms.  You might find that he is most of the times asking questions that you want to. Therefore he is on your side, while he is putting me in the dock. I call him my Uninvited Coach



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One Response to ““Curiosity is not allergic to failure” – Seth Godin”

  1. Shekhar says:

    Stumbled on to your article when I was googling for ‘Best of Seth Godin’. Both his and your blogs are always an insightful read – constant reads in my rss. How’s your book idea coming along? I had sent you some graphic novel references. Then we lost touch…


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