The Icarus Deception- Taking risk, being brave for the love & passion in everything you do

This review came about too slow. I hope this review will help fresh graduates like myself to integrate into the rat race, stepping into the wet cement and leaving footprints behind. Perhaps after my examinations in June, I shall try completing a book in ten days. It will be a good hobby to rejuvenate and think about life, I’m sure.

This is my second review for 2013, Seth Godin’s The Icarus Deception. This book has been my bible ever since I stepped foot into a local telecommunications company for a short six months stint. First of all, I was desperately trying to adapt to the not so- dynamic environment where employees are in their comfort zone. Any disruption to the equilibrium will not be well- received. It was quite a task trying to listen from the management side and the employees as well trying your best to stay neutral.  My review may not be a true reflection of what Godin Seth has been trying to deliver to his readers. But at least it describes my quest or rather journey to the connection economy of discovering things, making things, making art and using it to connect to others, regardless of leisure or work. I am a late bloomer. That is probably the reason I only started to develop interests to pick up new things only recently.  I shall do myself the huge favors of learning salsa, kickboxing and improving my Mandarin and Arabic. (for leisure) These are one of the few things I have been wanting to do for the past one year. Maybe I should stop giving excuses and act upon them. I owe myself that much.

I realized that this year passes by too quickly. Thus, the word ‘busy’ cannot be used as an excuse to make art, take initiatives. Don’t worry about the results. It’s the process that matters. It’s all about confidence and having the right attitude. No more excuses. Just do it.  A reminder to myself, first and foremost.

There is a saying, you will only learn if you leave whatever you have learnt behind. This is so true, especially for people who received their education here, where I was born and raised. This is the where the system trains one to follow, rather than think creatively or at least within the box.

And so, what’s next? Well, for starters, we should every once in a while ‘get away’ from the routine. Pick up a new interest, once in a while. Meet new people and make emotional connections. Sincerely and not expecting anything in return.  Voice out your opinions, even if people laugh at you. This will lead to feedback. Feedback means, you have to start listening and evaluate your current situation. Then decide if you can perform your art, or if you have to shift your comfort or safe zone.

While I try to convince myself to see the world like a clean whiteboard, and use my foresight and guts to make a difference, ie, add colours, diagrams to it, let’s all put aside whatever we have learnt, see the world as it is, without judging. Then contribute. I see this happening in my nation (finally) where citizens are beginning to stand for what’s right for their country and not let foreign talent makes them a second class citizens. Talk about the start of a new revolution.

So,let’s all take risks, once in a while, be sincere and make things happen with passion. Bit by bit. After my initial disappointment of trying to create art, I learnt how to keep my hopes up, despite experiencing uncertainties. As they said, at least when you are heart-broken, you know that you have tried and in that quest, I learnt that it was useful to stay composed and have the foresight to see things in a different light while having that flexible attitude to go with the flow as things change.

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Linchpin- By Seth Godin (A must read for all fresh grads)

I have never enjoyed doing book reviews or summary when I was in school. This masterpiece is the first book that motivates me to digitize the main components of the book so I can share with the people I love the most- my friends and family members with hope that they can learn and see things beyond their job manuals.

According to the author, a linchpin is someone who is an individual who can walk into chaos and create order, someone who can invent, connect, create, and make things happen”.  The linchpin does not work to the manual provided by this boss, he invents his own map. He creates an art and gives it as a gift for free without expecting direct compensation. Compensation or rather reward often disguises itself in the form of freedom to perform one’s own tasks, trust and respect shown by people in the organisation.

To become one, a linchpin must fight the resistance of fitting in, adapt to change, stand out, acknowledge a drastic truth about a situation and share with others. Godin, also suggested seven abilities that a linchpin must possess to become one. (See the mindmap below)

My career consultant once told me this synonym:

To be happy for one day, go fishing,

To be happy for a month, get married,

To be happy for a year, inherit a fortune,

To be happy for entire lifetime, LOVE YOUR JOB

In all honesty, being a fresh graduate, I do not understand what he meant by that. However, this book provided me with insights on how to be indispensable and eventually being someone who loves her job throughout her entire career journey, which in most cases may last for about 50 years.

So, the question is, how do we love our job?? Most of us, have good technical knowledge that makes us experts in our own field, be it ICT or finance. What exactly makes us stand out? We have the choice to make art out of our work and enjoy every single process of it. This means, we have to make transactions both personal and emotional:

1) Be passionate and energise so as to see things as it is- Manage stress and SHIP whatever that is necessary during that 8hours

2) Be flexible, calm and resilient in the face of uncertainty

3)  Interact and connect with people, and give gifts by going beyond what your job requires.

4) Make a difference by inventing a future, falling in love with it and abandon it in a moment’s notice if need to in order to move forward

5) Never say ‘NOT MY JOB’: Be helpful to your colleagues and ensure that you can meet professional goals

The rest of the main points pointed out by the Godin are shown in the mindmap. I hope fresh graduates like me, will find a way to route a map, be insightful, be an artist remarkable enough to lead to take risks and make changes and not be a machine in the workforce. I am glad, that in the organisation that I am working at now, I have a good boss who intends to develop linchpins and I see the positive change in my colleagues. Soon, I hope, to see the change in myself.

Feel free to double click on the image to see the main points of the book.

Up next will a review on ‘ The Icarus Deception’ by the same author.

Linchpin