The Icarus Deception – Everyone is an Artist
…. and you’d better believe it!
When we discovered that Seth Godin had published The Icarus Deception – How High Can You Fly we couldn’t wait to get our hands on it ….. luckily we grabbed ourselves a copy when we were in Austin waiting for our flight back to London.
We are great admirers of Seth Godin and follow his blog – SethGodin.com We have read many of his books and they have had a profound impact on the way that we run our business. For example The Purple Cow was responsible for how we created our make money online video whilst Permission Marketing and All Marketers are Liars has helped us stand out in our marketing and be honest and trustworthy marketers.
We love the story of Icarus and if you have never read it before then you should definitely read the story – here’s a summary for you.
Seth asks “what are you afraid of?” He says that “art is not a gene or a specific talent. It’s an attitude, available to anyone who has a vision that others don’t, and the guts to do something about it.”
Steve Jobs was an artist. So were Henry Ford and Martin Luther King Jr.
In Seth Godin’s most inspiring book yet, he challenges readers to find the courage to treat their work as a form of art. Everyone knows that Icarus’s father made him wings and told him not to fly too close to the sun. But he ignored that warning and plunged to his doom. We’ve retold this myth, and many others like it, to generations of kids.
All these stories have the same lesson: Play it safe. Obey your parents. Listen to the experts. It was the perfect propaganda for the industrial economy. What boss wouldn’t want employees to believe that obedience and conformity are the keys to success?
But there’s another part of the myth that those in power hope you’ll forget. Icarus was also warned not to fly too low, because sea water would ruin the lift in his wings. Flying too low is even more dangerous than flying too high, because it feels deceptively safe. The safety zone has moved. The propaganda has been exposed, and the old promises have been broken: Conformity no longer leads to comfort.
But the good news is that creativity is scarce, and more valuable than ever. So is choosing to do something unpredictable and brave: make art. Being an artist isn’t a genetic disposition or a specific talent. It’s an attitude we can all adopt. It’s a hunger to seize new ground, make connections, and work without a map.
If you do those things you’re an artist, no matter what it says on your business card. Whether you’re a teacher, engineer, doctor, middle manager, or customer service rep, you can fly higher by bringing your best self to work. You can care about what you’re doing today and how you can improve tomorrow. Godin shows us how it’s possible, and convinces us why it’s essential.
Our favourite quotation from the book is this
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live it’s whole life believing that it is stupid ~ Albert Einstein
The Icarus Deception – Review
Started reading this on the flight home from Austin to London and couldn’t put it down. It just says all the right things that we know to be true but are hard to get across to old school thinkers. Love the analogy that we are all artists waiting to paint our talents on the world …. this book should be a study book in schools and will have a profound effect on young people as they venture into the traditional world they have been taught to be a part of. Everyone deserves a chance to shine, everyone has a talent that needs a voice. Loved it
He says that to work like an artist means investing in the things that scale: creativity, emotional labour and grit. The path of the artist isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s your chance to stand up, stand out and make a difference.
The word “art” in The Icarus Deception is a wonderful way to describe what is inside every one of us if we did but know it. The challenge is how we use it to make an impact on those around us and help change their lives for the better.
The Icarus Deception – Your Challenge ….
Seth talks throughout The Icarus Deception about “Art” but not art in the sense we know it as it painting and old masters. This is a different kind of art. Here’s what he says about “art”
- Art is frightening
- Art isn’t pretty
- Art isn’t painting
- Art isn’t something you hang on the wall
- Art is what we do when we’re truly alive
- If you’ve already decided that you’re not an artisit, it’s worth considering why you made that decision and what it might take to unmake it
- If you’ve announced that you have no talent (in anything!), then you’re hiding.
- Art might scare you
- Art might bust you
- But art is who we are and what we do and what we need.
- An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. An artist takes it (all of it, the work, the process, the feedback from those we seek to connect with) personally.
- Art isn’t a result; it’s a journey. The challenge of our time is to find a journey worthy of your heart and your soul.
We know that we have found ours.
The question is have you found yours?
We would love to know what your “art” is and how we can help you to give it a voice and show the world who you are.
Make sure you get your copy of The Icarus Deception and be your own artist in 2013 and beyond.
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