I have recently been re-reading Seth Godin’s Linchpin. Sometimes I wonder what it must be like to be one of the most insightful people on the planet. I do my best to consistently read the words and ideas of thought leaders like him with the hope that at least some of it will rub off and sink in.
If you want to be a person who steps into the high calling of being the best you can be and impacting the world in a positive and significant way, I would encourage you to pick up the book and read it several times. Though I have underlined many parts of the book, here I just want to focus on a couple of sentences that communicate a very powerful idea…
“In every case, the linchpins among us are not the ones born with a magical talent. No, they are people who have decided that a new kind of work is important, and trained themselves to do it…Sure being tall helps you become a star in basketball, but how many of us have a shot at playing in the NBA? For the rest of us, it’s not about what you’re born with, it’s about what you do.” (p. 28)
TALENT IS IMPORTANT BUT NOT ENOUGH
Over the last couple of decades through the influence of people like Marcus Buckingham and others, the realization that talent in specific areas is something we basically have or we don’t. Whereas skill, knowledge, and positive traits can be increased; we either have talent in a particular area or not. This realization is liberating and enlightening because once you discover your areas of true talent you have a much clearer idea of where to focus your energies. This is a great, great advantage in life and work.
In this book and in many other writings Seth encourages and challenges us to be remarkable. He tells us that average just doesn’t cut it and never really did; that this is a day when the world, companies, organizations, and society in general need people who will become great at what they do. Who will have the courage and drive to step fully into their areas of talent and dare to do that work?
Mr. Godin has decades of experience in many areas of life and work, interacting with people in all kinds of endeavors. When someone like him says unless you have some incredible physical talent that will get you into a professional sport (very small percentage), the ones who succeed and make a significant difference in their world are those who do something with the talent they have, it is worth thinking about.
Over and over again he talks about the courage it takes to get out there and let the world see what you have to offer and what you can really do. We all face the fear of rejection, failure, and loss. But if you want to live a great life and do great work; if you want to be remarkable (and you really can be) do not use the excuse that I do not have enough talent. Every single human being has a talent that can make a significant difference in the lives of other. It is what you DO with it that makes you a linchpin instead of a cog.
Will you step into your areas of talent, develop them, and use them? Why be safe and average? Why not be remarkable?