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Posts Tagged ‘Seth Godin’

Are You Ready to Do More Than the Status Quo?

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

In an article in the Harvard Business Review, Seth Godin speaks about Redefining Failure. Godin says, “We think failure is the opposite of success and we optimize our organizations to avoid it.” In other words, we treat everything we do as if it ought to be a non-failure. He thinks we have narrowly defined failure. Godin continues, “Failure creates urgency. Failure gets you fired. Failure cannot stand; it demands a response. But the status quo is simply embraced and, incredibly, protected.”

There are so many places in our life when keeping the status quo seems easier than going with something new that may fail and we might learn from that. What if we redefined our definition of failure so we could experience something new, make changes, and create new opportunities?

Stepping up with a new idea and failing and then making changes is far more successful than doing the same thing with little or no result. I think of my friend Joe who will move to the West Coast in January after twenty years in New York to live his dream or my friend Clayton who invests in promoting his LGBT organization by offering gift card incentives to homeowners.

I am looking at how I could redefine failure. I could stay with the status quo and continue doing really good work in New York or I could expand into Provincetown and/or other global parts of the world and see this as an amazing chance of growth—even if there is some failure.

I am ready to do more than the status quo. Will you join me?

Mary Anne

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How Do You Make Decisions?

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

I realized recently that most of my decisions happen effortlessly. If I have to think too much or too long, then I know that the time is not right to make a decision. Or as Seth Godin says about the ‘Decision Before the Decision’: “This is the one that was made before you even showed up.”

When was the last time I made a decision? Probably when I was hungry and decided what food to eat. Other than that, decisions just happen when the time is right

Byron Katie talks about decisions in this way: “You can’t make a decision. You can only experience a story about how you made it. Decisions make themselves; they’re happenings; they come when the time is right.”

What a relief!
Mary Anne

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Make More Art

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Each week there are many vendors and artists at the NYC Union Square Farmers Market. I recognize many of the artists as they are there every week.  I walked over to a table I had not seen before and saw some beautiful Buddha’s painted onto wood. The woman told me the cost of a small wooden Buddha painting. I knew I wasn’t carrying much cash with me and asked her if she would be around again. She said she would sell it for a little less. I reached into my pocket and realized I was still short a few dollars. I explained I would come back another day. She picked up the painting, put it in a bag, and told me I could have it for that amount of money.

I brought the painted wood home and put it on my bookshelf. All weekend it would catch my eye and I smiled. I love the bold colors, the three candles, and the shadows. I realize how important it is to make and share art. Art takes many forms and lives on in ways that we cannot possibly imagine. Seth Godin says his definition of art must have three elements:

“Art is made by a human being.
Art is created to have an impact, to change someone else.
Art is a gift. You can sell the souvenir, the canvas, the recording… but the idea itself is free, and the generosity is a critical part of making art.”

Ms. Solomon is the writer in the “Questions For” column in The NY Times Magazine. She was interviewed this weekend in the Book Review and asked, Is there an art to asking questions?” Solomon replied, “No, definitely not. There’s a tendency to call everything an art form, so we read about “the art of Twittering” or “the art of mixing a perfect mojito.” The word “art” should be reserved for activities that stand a chance of adding at least one beautiful object to the world.”

We need more art that has a chance to add at least one beautiful object or idea into the world. Yes, we need to make and share more art.

What art will you make that will change at least one person?

Mary Anne

The photo in this blog of the Buddha is designed by Anothai Hansen.
Visit her website: http://www.anothaiart.us/

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When Did You Stop Being An Artist?

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

IMG_0304“Art, at least as I define it, is the intentional act of using your humanity to create change in another person.” – Seth Godin

Last week Seth Godin gave a talk in New York City to promote his new book, Linchpin: Are you Indispensable? From the moment he stepped on stage he gave examples of how our work has been informed by being told what to do and how that is all changing. Every day there is a chance to do your art or not. As Godin says, “Art is the new work that none of us were taught to do.”

Godin posts a blog every day. He says even after all these years and posts, he still cringes when he hits the send button. Will anyone read it? Will anyone care what he has to say? He even thought of saying he’s done with writing. Then right after he says he’s done, a strange thing happens ­– he starts to write.

Ask yourself ­– when did you stop writing, dancing, singing, painting, creating? How old were you? Did someone tell you that you would never make it as an artist? We lose a part of ourselves every time we don’t create our art. Imagine the amazing feelings artists give the world. They generously share their work, receive a fee (sometimes), and then people get to share it, and the art gets better with each experience.

The photo in this blog was done in Kindergarten. The teacher could have told me to use standard colors – use black, brown, or yellow for hair. Instead, she just said, draw your happy self. Apparently my happy self had green hair and purple eyes. All of us were told how beautiful our pictures were and to celebrate them. I have hung this self-portrait plate in every place I have lived. It hangs proudly on the wall for all to see the art of me.

Give the gift of experiences ­– share your art for the entire world to see. Maybe you stopped being an artist because you were scared, unsure, rejected, or embarrassed. But that’s the point of art ­– to do it anyway. As Scott Adams once said, “Creativity is allowing you to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”

The art inside of you is waiting to come out. What will you do with your chance to create? I’m taking my art smock out again. Will you join me?

Here’s to creating a world with more art.
~Mary Anne

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