Who Will Miss You? [The Twelve Days of #QUEST2015 Day 10]


The tenth prompt in Quest 2015 is from Seth Godin.*

Who would miss you if you were gone? If you didn’t show up to work, didn’t send out that newsletter, didn’t make that sales call, didn’t tweet that tweet… who would miss it? How does your answer shape how you’ll live out 2015?

My first response to this prompt was entirely personal: the only people who will miss me when I am gone are the people who have truly seen me, in my full, messy, completeness. Other people may miss the place I fill in their life, but it won’t be ME they miss.

Upon further reflection, this also applies to my work. The people who will miss me will be the people I have seen in their wonderful imperfection and walked beside and the people who have heard or read the words that could have only come from me and been moved by them.

And this very simply turns into a call to let that which is unique about me into the world and to connect with people in their heart of their humanity.


*SETH GODIN is the author of 18 books that have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than 35 languages. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. You might be familiar with his books Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip, Purple Cow, and The Icarus Deception. His latest, What To Do When It’s Your Turn, is an urgent call to do the work we’re hiding from, a manifesto about living with things that might not work, and embracing tension when doing your art. 

Seth Godin Pissed My Friends Off—and He Was Wrong, Too


I am not a Seth Godin fan, never really have been. He says some good things about marketing and life, but I don’t like his style.

However, many people I respect have a lot of time for what he has to say.

On Friday, he pissed them off.

See, he posted one of his little tiny blog posts on the concept of “gifted”. If he intended to be provocative and controversial, he succeeded.

In his post, he said: ”

Wouldn’t it be great to be gifted? In fact…

It turns out that choices lead to habits.

Habits become talents.

Talents are labeled gifts.

You’re not born this way, you get this way.”

He is wrong. Gifted and Talented are two different things.

“Gifted” is a biological reality, a sensitivity to stimulus. “Talented” is having skills.

Skills require habits of practice to be developed.

It is possible to achieve great things without gifted wiring through hard work, good choices, habits turned into talents. It is possible to have the gifted sensitivities and not achieve great things. But, the most impressive accomplishments of our world generally require both: start with an intellectual advantage and apply yourself.

The reason I am an advocate for individualized education is that without sufficient challenge, many gifted youth learn to slack off rather than apply themselves.

People who say things like Godin did make my job harder.

Gifted people are often seen as “weird” when compared to neurotypical people. Many adults suffered hugely for this as children. Godin’s exhortations over the years for people to embrace and display their unique qualities have spoken deeply and soothingly to many who keep my company in the world of gifted advocacy. Friday’s blog post hurt them deeply. And I understand why.

None of these people are people who think there is any value in being gifted for its own sake. In fact, most of them have suffered because of their giftedness. All of them agree that hard work is necessary for achievement.

Either Godin doesn’t understand or he is being deliberatively provocative. Either way, he pissed my friends off and I am mad at him.

I am not the only one. Here are some other responses to Godin’s post. Check them out and then come back and tell me what you think:






Getting The Work Out There

Ship often. Ship lousy stuff, but ship. Ship constantly.
Seth Godin

Today, I am thinking about shipping. Shipping is scary, but must be done.

I don't usually think of myself of a seamstress, but my kids love these "sock monsties" that I made them for Christmas.

When Seth Godin talks about shipping, he means getting your stuff out there into the world.

Shipping has always scared me. I have a tendency to assume that people will judge me by my work and that I will be deemed not up to snuff.

It’s always a little unnerving when people read my work and like it, even more so when it inspires them or they ask for more. There’s still a voice in my head doing the internal equivalent of looking over my shoulder to see if the person is talking to someone else, then looking back, pointing to myself and mouthing “Me?”

I am starting to realize that I how I feel is immaterial. The truth appears to be that I produce some words that some other people get something useful from. I think most of us do. Not always, but often enough that keeping our thoughts to ourselves is actually a disservice to the rest of the world.

If I have an idea that might help you, I do you a disservice by not sharing it with you. But, because I have no idea what of my material might resonate with you, I have to find ways to get most of my stuff out where people can find it.

It is the best way I know to be of service.

I have increased my rate of shipping recently. I am writing more for this blog; my fiction is out in the hands of readers for feedback; I am writing once a month on issues associated with giftedness for An Intense Life; and, I have been publishing improvised poems over at A More Playful Life.

All I can say is that the thrill of having people respond to my writing is intoxicating. The more I do, the more I want to do.

I don’t know where this is all leading, but it looks like it might be a wild ride.

Thanks for being a part of this journey.