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The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? Hardcover – December 31, 2012
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About the Author
Seth Godin is the author of more than a dozen bestsellers that have changed the way people think about marketing, leadership, and change, including Permission Marketing, Purple Cow, All Marketers Are Liars, Small is the New Big, The Dip, Tribes, Linchpin, and Poke the Box. He is also the founder and CEO of Squidoo.com and a very popular lecturer. He writes one of the most influential business blogs in the world at SethGodin.com.
Top customer reviews
Like most reviewers so far, I bought this book because I'm a fan of SG. However, while I do believe he is preaching his message with the sincere intention to serve us, his readers, I must disagree with the raving reviews. As I read the same message he's given us before, remixed with nuggets from his vast reading, I feel deja vu. The book is like a handful of fortune cookies from SG's all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet.
The Icarus Deception is grab-bag of his market insight and signature motivational style, already well-expressed on his blog and in his other books. The references to SG's broad reading (even Ulysses gets a nod) was probably thrown in to mix things up, but all it does for this reader is mix up things.
The cajoling to seize your destiny, and live as an artist of life, is not without charm. But SG can do better. He is better than this book. His readers certainly deserve better. Mr. Godin, your readers deserve all of that enormous brain of yours, not just the clever marketing gland (which I can only assume is just above the lizard brain).
A good book on life and work as an artist is the "The Elephant and the Flea" by Charles Handy.
My only concern throughout the book had to do with minimizing the other aspects that prevent people from realizing their dreams. The book provides a notion that we're all human resource drones playing a robotic role in a capitalist society. While Godin is correct to a certain degree, the overarching reason is that we're supporting families or trying to achieve financial security. He solely focused on our incessant need for material possessions. It's more complex than Godin 's somewhat misguided assumptions.
Nevertheless, as I strive to bring my vision to fruition after experiencing failure, Godin's words managed to place several cracks in my wall of fear that's constantly paralyzing my efforts. With that in mind, it's a worthwhile read for anyone who has the constant urge but lack the will to risk achieving their art.
The title is rooted in the legend of Icarus, which many people typically understand to illustrate the dangers of flying too high, lest you get burned and come crashing back to earth. What Godin points out, is the full story of Icarus also contains a warning against flying too low, lest the water ruin the lift in the wings. Ultimately, the point of this snippet (in the very beginning of the book) is that flying low seems safe, but really isn't.
The entire book is spent amping you up to dare more, to reach for more. The "how" is left entirely up to you, because there really isn't any blueprint for this sort of thing. He insists that taking bigger risks is more essential than ever, now that the previously considered "safe route" of getting a good job is exposed as being not nearly as safe as we've been led to believe all our lives.
As I read the book, I found myself nodding with sour amusement recalling my parents' admonitions regarding my occasionally mentioned desires to follow a career in, say, music: "What about a *real* job?" Of course, their generation had been raised and conditioned to believe that the safe, secure bet was the traditional degree-job-house-family progression. I wish I'd been more the rebellious sort, because youth is the best time for daring the sort of risks Godin touts. Having said that, it's never too late to dream big and reach big; it's just a hell of a lot easier for younger folks.
If you feel you need a kick in the backside to make some serious changes in your life, this book just might do it. On the down side, you may need to thumb through it again from time to time to keep the enthusiasm fresh. That's the nature of self-help books, after all. Why I really like this one, is that Godin does an excellent job of amping me up for making changes, while readily admitting he doesn't have all the answers.