The Icarus Deception

How High Will You Fly?
by Seth Godin | Portfolio © 2012 · 256 pages

Seth Godin is one of the world's most inspiring and prolific creators. He's also one of its most popular bloggers. This book is all about challenging what Seth calls "The Icarus Deception" and reclaiming our power to fly. The primary theme? We’re way too worried about exhibiting any level of hubris and trying to fly too high when we should be more concerned about flying too LOW. (Obviously, without being “recklessly stupid” about it but…) Big Ideas we explore include: how to catch a fox (and human!), the highs and lows of the Icarus Deception, "the itch" (how's yours?), and how to deal with resistance (aka "the most important line in the book"!).

A revolution is here, our revolution, and it is shining a light on what we’ve known deep down for a long time—you are capable of making a difference, of being bold, and of changing more than you are willing to admit. You are capable of making art.
Seth Godin

How Long Are You Going to Wait?

They told you to get your résumé in order, to punch your ticket, to fit in, and to follow instructions.

They told you to swallow your pride, not to follow your dream.

They promised you trinkets and prizes, and possibly riches if you would just suck it up and be part of the system, if you would merely do what you were told and conform.

They sold you debt and self-storage and reality TV shows. They sold your daughters and sons, too.

All in exchange for what would happen later, when it was your turn.

It’s your turn.”

~ Seth Godin from The Icarus Deception

We’ve talked about him in a bunch of Notes and in Creativity 101. He’s one of the most inspiring and prolific creators out there and has one of the most popular blogs in the world.

In fact, his practice of creating a new post every day is one of my inspirations for our +1 series. And, his concept of relentlessly “shipping” is one of my creative mantras and is an absolutely essential, fundamental aspect of my productivity.

This book is all about reclaiming our power to fly.

The book cover has a birdcage with an open little door on it that metaphorically represents the central theme of the book: We may FEEL like we’re trapped inside a tiny little cage BUT (and this is a very big “but” Seth emphasizes throughout the book!), the door to the cage is wide open. We just need to cruise on out.

Which leads us to the question on the cover of the book: “how high will you fly?”

… Well, how high will you fly? And… Is NOW a good time to get that flying on?

If you’d like some inspiration to find out how to spread your wings and get about your business of flying high, I think you’ll love the book. (Get it here.)

It’s written in a lyrically rhythmic style with short bursts of fill-up-your-soul wisdom. I could LITERALLY (hah!) pick up the book and choose an Idea from pretty much any page of the book to create this Note.

I’m excited to share a few of my favorite Ideas we can apply to our flying (!) TODAY (!!!) so let’s jump straight in!

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About the author


Seth Godin

entrepreneur, best-selling author, and speaker.