Linchpin – Seth Godin (Chapter 8: There Is No Map)

If obedient cogs are commonplace in the market, then, by definition, the ability to create your own map and be self-directed is extremely uncommon and undeniably valuable.

“You can’t make a map unless you can see the world as it is. You have to know where you are and where you’re going before you can figure out how to go about getting there.” (174)

Too often, the personal biases of people affect their judgment. If you can cultivate a Zen state of unattachment and see things for what they are, you can be truly objective.

A sign of unhealthy attachment is when you try to psychically influence other people’s opinions about you and/or your project (eg: You ask them what they think, then start wrinkling your forehead intently).

Being attached to the past or some imagined future makes you deny the present; this is how the music industry collapsed even though the warning signs were obvious, and it’s why many other businesses ultimately fail.

If you’re able to look at what’s happening in your world and say, “There’s the pattern,” or “Wow, that’s interesting, I wonder why,” then you’re far more likely to respond productively than if your reaction is “How dare he!”


“Here’s the truth you have to wrestle with: the reason that art (writing, engaging, leading, all of it) is valuable is precisely why I can’t tell you how to do it. If there were a map, there’d be no map because art is the act of navigating without a map.” (188)

“The problem with being outwardly focused is that we have no center, nothing to return to. The problem with outward focus is that there is no compass, no way to tell if we’re in balance.”

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