Seth Godin: Hero of the Week

I listened to the unedited version of the following interview (found here) earlier this spring and was blown away. I've been a huge fan of Seth Godin's since stumbling across his blog during a time when the following entry hit close to home:

John Koenig calls it vemödalen. The fear that you’re doing something that’s already been done before, that everything that can be done has been done. Just about every successful initiative and project starts from a place of replication. The chances of being fundamentally out of the box over the top omg original are close to being zero. A better question to ask is, “have you ever done this before?” Or perhaps, “are the people you are seeking to serve going to be bored by this?” Originality is local. The internet destroys, at some level, the idea of local, so sure, if we look hard enough we’ll find that turn of a phrase or that unique concept or that app, somewhere else. But no one is asking you to be original. We’re asking you to be generous and brave and to matter. We’re asking you to step up and take responsibility for the work you do, and to add more value than a mere cut and paste. Give credit, definitely, but reject vemödalen. Sure, it’s been done before. But not by you. And not for us.

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, but maybe it's also ought to take timing into account. It's easy in an age of speed, information, and saturation, to feel like many of the good ideas have already been taken. Joni Mitchell already played in open tunings and her lyrics far surpass what I imagine I might write one day. But the originality of what I make doesn't ever so much rouse me as the interpreted efficacy of - and need for - its message, as well as the process/community/connection it seeks to cultivate. Maybe it stems from an upbringing in the theater. Maybe it's just my current process. My hope is that music will always be made, heard, and used in that endeavor.  Why do it if it doesn't connect you to a feeling that you are not alone? Even aloneness is experienced by everyone. Perhaps a more streamlined question asks, What can I do to connect myself to others in this work?

I'm meeting a ton of beautiful people this week and experiencing much of my life from the position of being new - new in town, new to the cultural and topographical scenery, new to unemployment, new to these tribes, and even new to myself - the old friend I have ignored and who knows me by heart. 

Grab a glass of something, sit back, and enjoy.