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Motivational Quotes

“We make a difference to other people when we give gifts to them, when we bring emotional labor to the table and do work that matters.  It’s hard for me to imagine that this way of living and working is available to only a few.  Yes, the cards are unfairly stacked against too many people.  Yes, there are too many barriers and not enough support.  But no, your ability to create and contribute isn’t determined at birth.  It’s a choice.” ~ Seth Godin, Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

“If it acts like a duck (all the time), it’s a duck.  Doesn’t matter if the duck thinks it’s a dog; it’s still a duck as far as the rest of us are concerned.  Authenticity, for me, is doing what you promise, not ‘being who you are.’  That’s because ‘being’ is too amorphous and we are notoriously bad at judging that.  Internal vision is always blurry.  Doing, on the other hand, is an act that can be seen by all.” ~ Seth Godin, Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

“It really seems (at least if you read popular media) that who you know and whether you get ‘picked’ are the two keys to success.  Luck.  The thing about luck is this: we’re already lucky.  We’re insanely lucky that we weren’t born during the Black Plague or in a country with no freedom.  We’re lucky that we’ve got access to highly leveraged tools and terrific opportunities.  If we set that luck aside, though, something interesting shows up.  Delete the outliers – the people who are hit by a bus or win the lottery, the people who luck out in a big way – and we’re left with everyone else.  And for everyone else, effort is directly related to success.  Not all the time, but as much as you would expect.  Smarter, harder-working, better-informed, and better-liked people do better than other people, most of the time.” ~ Seth Godin, Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

“Remarkable visions and genuine insight are always met with resistance.  And when you start to make progress, your efforts are met with even more resistance.  Products, services, career paths… whatever it is, the forces for mediocrity will align to stop you, forgiving no errors and never backing down until it’s over.  If it were any other way, it would be easy.  And if it were any other way, everyone would do it and your work would ultimately be devalued.  The yin and yang are clear: without people pushing against your quest to do something worth talking about, it’s unlikely that it would be worth the journey. Persist.” ~ Seth Godin, Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

“Today, working hard is about taking apparent risk.  Not a crazy risk like betting the entire company on an untested product.  No, an apparent risk: something that the competition (and your coworkers) believe is unsafe but that you realize is far more conservative than sticking with the status quo.  Richard Branson doesn’t work more hours than you do.  Neither does Steve Ballmer or Carly Fiorina.  Robyn Waters, the woman who revolutionized what Target sells – and helped the company trounce Kmart – probably worked fewer hours than you do in an average week.  None of the people who are racking up amazing success stories and creating cool stuff are doing it just by working more hours than you are.  And I hate to say it, but they’re not smarter than you, either.  They’re succeeding by doing hard work.” ~ Seth Godin, Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

“Most learning, especially most organizational learning, occurs through trial and error.  Error occurs whether you want it to or not.  Error is difficult to avoid.  It’s not clear that research or preparation have an enormous impact on error, especially marketing error.  Error is clearly not in short supply.  Trial, on the other hand, is quite scarce, especially in some organizations.  People mistakenly believe that one way to successfully avoid error is to avoid trial.  We need more trial.” ~ Seth Godin, Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?