Book Review -Seth Godin- The Icarus Deception

This book has gotten into my head, and although it may not provide answers, it does prompt me to ask better questions. Seth's mantra "To make art" is elegant and practical. This book is definitely worth a longer review, but in short the reader is prompted to do the things that there is no instruction manual for. One simple exercise outlined in the book that portrays the general philosophy of this work is as follows:

Take an index card with "Problem:" written on one side, and "Solution:" written on the other.

  • Take a moment to write down the thing you are missing, that is preventing you from completing your project, problem or work of art. Be it financing, someones help, the right circumstances, etc.
  • Now hand it to some one else, and give them 5 minutes to write down a solution.
  • White waiting you may have the following potentially uncomfortable thoughts:
  1. You have just written down a problem that may have never been verbalized before. How does that feel? Does it clarify the situation?
  2. What if at the end of five minutes a solution to the problem that has been preventing you from achieving your goal lands in your lap. There will be no excuse to not finish your work. How does that make you feel?
  3. Your project may have been impossible all along, and you have been holding yourself back from doing something you could actually accomplish. If you the obvious thing would be to quit this project as soon as possible. What would you pursue then?

This is just a vignette into the work, the book if full of insights, and new ways of thinking about our role in the world. This will definitely be a work that I will return to repeatedly. Seth's mantra keeps repeating in my head:

When your art fails, make better art.
— Godin, Seth. The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?