A summary of “What to do when it’s your turn (and it’s always your turn)” by Seth Godin.
First of all, the book came to me by a friend at the exact right time. It’s been a delight reading it and I’m very happy that I found Seth to be so enjoyable. I tried his podcast, Akimbo, which I had a hard time grasping at first. After reading this one, I’ll probably pick that up again.
The book gave me a lot of food for thought, both intangible and tangible in the sense of there being some things that will just keep living through me as well as I wrote down a bunch of quotes and started a lot of texts because of the interaction with the book. I’ll share some of my thoughts on the book in and out of itself at first, then some of the quotes that I gathered and lastly I’ll try to explain some of the thoughts that were sparked in me reading it.
As the book is written sort of in chronicles, I did have a hard time getting in to it at first. Seth has a very distinct way of writing and that bugged me a bit in the beginning. As I gave it time, I got over all of those thoughts, and realised that somehow I had a notion of what a book should be and this didn’t fit the model. As soon as I dropped that thought, it got a lot more fun reading and that’s what I’m hoping for with Akimbo as well. One more thing that I want to mention is the segmentation of the book which was quite clear in the beginning, but kind of smoothed out over the course. I liked it being a bit more structured in the segments as I knew what the general intended topic was, but that’s probably a part of my need for control talking.
I think in general, Seth does a brilliant job of making his message clear throughout the whole book. The little notes, all of the repetition and the structure of the whole book gives you no where to hide if you don’t really really want to. What it does is inject you with some positive thinking, and smothers your excuses if you let it. The book in full should be read by all of us who need more of that. I’d also love to make it a part of school in some way, either by implementing it in the education to become a teacher or teaching it straight to students, preferably quite young.
Some of the quotes I’ve gathered, I’ll just put up here. Some of them will have a little comment attached by me, and some will just not make it here. All of the quotes I’m gathering from everywhere are found here!
“The cost of being wrong is smaller than the cost of doing nothing.”
This quote came very conveniently to me as I’ve had the idea of that doing something rather than nothing has greater quality to us as humans.
“We win the infinite game when we keep playing.”
One of the things that I try to practice the most is patience. It’s waiting it out and still showing up. To play the infinite game.
“The problem with the ability to take your turn is simple: it makes things your fault. Not just the things you do, but the things you don’t do.”
Accountability and being responsible has been a big theme throughout the whole book. It’s something that I care immensely about.
“There’s no pain free path. But at least you can do something that matters.”
“I’ve written 700 blog posts, and 4 of them are perfect.”
Once more on the patience of the infinite game, and on perfection. The things you do don’t need to be perfect, they need to be good enough.
Really, all I can share is my thoughts, which I’m very happy to. Some of the themes of thoughts that have been sparked within me reading this have been explained with the quotes, but I’ll try to expand on some of them here.
The notion of patience is present throughout the whole book, and is one that I’ve carried for a long time. Another one of my role models, Gary Vaynerchuk, has a saying that I often use: “Macro patience, micro speed.”. It means that you need to do the hard work, and do It as much as you can each and every day. At the same time, you need to be patient and look at the long game. That’s something that I think Seth captures in this book, but with a much gentler tone then Gary usually displays. It’s about staying in the game, giving it your all just as much as taking responsibility for that decision.
In order to become a grown up, one needs to start taking responsibility for everything that you can take responsibility for. That’s something that I’ve been struggling a lot with throughout my life, which I don’t think is uncommon at all. It’s hard becoming a grownup. I don’t know whether or not it’s harder today than it’s been before, and I don’t know if that’s relevant at all. But I know that people are struggling with it enough to need books like the 12 Rules for life, and if that’s needed, I think Seth is a better option to read. Not because they have the same end goal, but because I think Seths approach is really healthy.
What Seth seems to be talking about most in this book is doing things, which has been an obsession of mine for the past years. Just doing something, anything, and not asking for permission. I think that might be self explanatory within the title, but I really want to push for this. The book really has left me with a drive to write, which I’m very grateful for.