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What Matters Now? Review of Seth Godin's Book.

Updated on February 15, 2018
MSantana profile image

She loves to write about science, the natural world and peoples questions about life. She has degrees in Biology, botany and Ecology.

Book Snippets from The book What Matters Now by Seth Godin and others

Seth Godin recommends "Make your Life a Master Piece and Give"

What Matters? What about you? is a book published by Seth Godin and others in 2010 with the idea to guide people's intentions for a new year. Perhaps, we can read it now, and come out with a new assessment for this year that is still fresh. The book answers questions such as: How can you motivate people? How could you keep the focus on things? How can you recognize what is important? We all can benefit from such guidance.

This book in a way allows us to evaluate our lives and build a road map. What have we done? Where are we now? And looking forward, where are we going?

Here are some of the author's collaborators advice, that may allow us to answer those worthy questions about life.

The more you give, the more you get --Seth Godin.

Seth, says that your life is your grand masterpiece of art. Through it you can change other peoples lives. This is why you shall seek to portrait your life in a beautiful way. By doing so you will make a difference in the world around you.

For Seth it also matters that you find a way to get your message and your products across. Perhaps, this is why he invited author's who could bring to focus the relevance of sharing your story. In his many public presentations he also suggests to focus not in targeting the whole world, but the people who care. The people who would care about your product, services or your stories. They are part of smaller segments of the population or smaller niches or areas of interest. Those people may be more interested and even fascinated about the ideas or products you seek to deliver.

Hugh McLeod recommends that you "Write from the heart"

McLeod and the other writers in this book did exactly that and put their words to serve as a guide, inspiration but also to shake us. When you write from your heart you write about things that matter and naturally connect to your reader.

I am giving you some bites about this book and the author's insights, but I invite you to read the whole book. You won't regret it. It is worth. You can find it here: or see slides by Godin at the end of this article.

On writing, he says "do a tiny action." Decide! You don't need to do an impressive amount of marketing for your product, though it really helps. Focus on that first step that is to "decide to do that one thing."

Jeff Jonas pledges for you "to keep information in context."

Jeff Jonas, IBM Chief Scientist, says that Information in context makes smart systems smarter. Many times, when we take only a quote out of context, or when we interpret someone else's ideas, we may lose the meaning. This is why I can not over emphasize that you read the book yourself. Read it more than once, and find out what messages speak to you.

Many people on the web are overloaded with information, others take someone else creativity and do not attribute the credits to the creators. This is happening everyday. It is sad. Jonas says that this principle of keeping information in context prevents fraud in financial system, errors in the medical systems, allows for transportation optimization, and even decreases cities pollution. How else can we use this principle to make our lives better?

Ann Jackson says "The World needs your story."

Ann, says that we allow our fears to stop us in our tracks. If we are courageous and silence fear, at least for a little while, we can make things happen. This is a great advice. The world indeed needs your story, and it needs it written by you with your heart open. Your story, no matter who you are, is relevant. The fact that you are in this planet means there is a reason for that. Who are you? Why are you here for? That is your story. Nobody else owns your story. By writing with the heart about those experiences positive or negative that has shaped who you are, you may be able to quiet your fears. And, going back to that first advice, decide that your story matters. Please know that there are some people out there that care, those are the ones you want to reach. You do not need to reach everybody, but them. Who is you audience, who are they?

Storytelling is powerful says Alisa Miller, CEO of Public Radio International, why so? Because, it is through story telling that we can understand ourselves better. Through achieving a better understanding of ourselves, we are able to make informed insightful decisions that feel right to us. And, story telling can also inspire us to live more wholesome and meaningful lives.

Jaqueline Novograss says "Create your own destiny."

Jaqueline says that "Dignity comes from creating your own destiny and from the respect derived from it." We humans are a social species. We depend of each other. Each one of us has an obligation to contribute to other people's dignity by helping them to find ways to solve their problems. By helping them we also help ourselves to create and shape our own path.

Daniel Pink recommends that you "Be more autonomous"

Daniel Pink says that the world needs less automatons,--and more autonomous people-- less management and more freedom to truly become engaged. Yes, and that comes with painfully realizing, that we are responsible for what we create. We are responsible for what we put out. We are responsible for what we give to others. This advice came right into play today, when I was asked to review and edit this piece. It is Valentine Day, I just returned from a walk. It is cold out there and I just want to be cozy with a cup of hot chocolate, but the review is due. So here we are, I am responsible for any errors. I am responsible for what I give you.

Tony Hisieh suggest "Learn to adapt and also understand failure as part of Business.'

Tony Hisieh, founder of Zappos now own by Amazon, says that is is key to learn to adapt. He says that it is important to adjust how you play according to how the game changes. In doing so, however, he recommends that you stick to your principles.

Another recommendation that I liked from Tony, is to understand that failure or losing in the game is part of the business and part of the learning process, for those who never fail are not the ultimate winners.

Derek Sivers recommends to "do daily what excites you and what scares you."

There are so many messages in this book, but it is for you to read it. My interpretation, may not be what you need. Still you may find just what you need.

Many people are loss looking for someone, a priest, a guru or a friend to tell us what to do? How to find our purpose or our passion, what is the key to happiness, or even how to learn to love? We all have been there somehow...

This is why in this book Derek Sivers recommends that "You grow and thrive by doing what excites you and what scares you everyday," instead of by trying to find your passion. Your passion maybe in front of you and you just don't see it. Sometimes when people tell you that you need to find your purpose or your passion, it scares you. A purpose seems to be something too big. So, when you are at that crossroad, go back to Sivers' recommendation and ask yourself-- What is that excites you? What would you do even if nobody pays you? Could you decide on anything that excites you? In other words, what motivates you. What do you really, really like...what is something you could do or talk about for hours on and on? Ask your family and friends, maybe they can give you a hint.

On Closing what matters: the environment, compassion, learning...but there is more.

Talking about What Matters? I would ask you to remember the environment. Many people these days are focusing on consumption. Thus, it is good to remember Pier Fawkes words, products need to be kept, repaired, loaned and shared. Packaging needs to be reused and returned.That is progress . The best would be if packages are easily recycled by the microbes, so they can truly be returned to the earth. I do love the work of a company that make packing using mushroom so the packing is only a step away from returning to the earth, recyclers included!

What if we go beyond that and be mindful of the pathways or life cycles of the products we consume. Where is it made or where does it end? Doing this we would become more responsible of our choices.

Micah Syfry, cofounder of Personal Democracy Forum, and a co-author of this book reminds us that changes have been consistently brought about by a handful of people who consciously decide to be part of that transformation. Or in Margaret Meadows' words "Never forget that a small group of people can change the world."

I am going to close with the words of Mix Joel, "make compassion a core business value. If we are not compassionate to one another, what is the point in the end?"

There is a certain humbleness that comes with knowing that we only access a portion of the available pool of knowledge. Aaron Walls put it this way, As you learn more, you learn to recognize that you don't know that much. We are here in this planet, learning together. There is no way we can know everything. Some people are ahead in some aspects and behind in other aspects. Humanity needs all of us to be courageous, to step in and contribute, like these authors did. By working together answering the question: What Matters? They have contributed to the the general understanding of what it is. Now it is for us to find out what matters to me or to you? What is our contribution?

© 2011 MSantana


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