What Matters Now: Generosity, Fearlessness, Meaning and Ease

I’m currently reading a very informative PowerPoint slide deck titled What Matters Now, that Seth Godin put out, partly for brand marketing and partly for spreading ideas. I find a bunch of these ideas intriguing, so I decided to share my thoughts on a few of the concpets mentioned. This might be an ongoing thing, I’m not sure. For now, I just wanted to put my ideas out there.

First up, Generosity. Seth Godin talks about how being connected, and giving to others is actually maybe better than focusing on yourself in rough times. He says, “If you make a difference, people will gravitate to you. They….want to get you more involved. IN a digital world, the gift I give you almost always benefits me MORE than it costs.” That last sentence really stuck with me. Cost doesn’t matter. Value does, and the best gifts benefit both parties, the giver and the receiver. As holidays are approaching, this applies to literal gift giving. Don’t worry about the cost, focus on what matters. Focus on giving somethign impactful, such as an idea, or a gift with practical purposes for that specific person. But you can also give in a broader sense, like money to charities, time in voluteer work, talent at a local nursing home, just in general being philanthropic. In that giving, you make a differerence in someone’s lives, creating a bond. This interaction sometimes makes huge changes in people’s lives. THAT, in my opinion, is the power of giving and being generous.

Next, Anne Jackson, the author of Permission To Speak Freely, wrote about the power and impact of fear. She asks, “why are we so insipired by [those who appear to be fearless]?” Her answer: “Because deep down, we are them.” We can do everything those who appear fearless do. After all we are all human, just like they are. Fear breeds courage. And courageous people write the story of the world. Be courageous, take risks, and combat your fears. Just in doing so, you add a bit of “oomph” to our world.

Hugh MacLeod’s bit contained a graphic with witty quips on what to do with your life. The words give perspective to life and our actions; focus on meaning not outward appearance. My favorites: Meaning scales, People Don’t. Everyone is born creative; Everyone is given a box of crayons in Kindergarten. You have to find your own schtick. If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you. And lastly, Ignore Everybody (the title of his book). In summary, I feel he’s saying, be creative, be willing to work hard, ignore those who tell you your passion is stupid and take control of your dreams/life.

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, opened her bit with saying, “we are the strivingest people who have ever lived.” By this she means, we work our butts off daily, and she questions this work ethic. Where is our extreme ambition getting us? Not a sense of accomplishment that’s for sure. We live in what has been unfortunately termed a rat race. Gilbert proposes taking a break from constantly being on the go. In her words “My radical suggestion? Cease participation, if only for one day this year–if only to make sure we don’t lose forever, the rare and vanishing human talent of appreciating human ease.” By human ease, she means taking a step back to clear our head. If you’ve read my posts before, I’ve said a bunch of stuff along the same line; we need to chill in order to improve and have a clearer view on our goals.

And those are some of the things that matter in our ever-changing 21st Century World.

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