Book Review | The Icarus Deception | Seth Godin

Another stellar book by Marketing’s greatest guru’s but I warn you; this book is not for everyone. It is very deep and I would say in some parts controversial. It is not so much a book about marketing but a motivational plea that will leave you thinking about your career and your life.

What is the ‘Icarus Deception’ you may ask? Well it is a Greek myth that teaches the following lesson:

“Don’t disobey the king. Don’t disobey your dad. Don’t imagine that you’re better than you are, and most of all, don’t ever believe that you have the ability to do what a god might do.”

The premise is, society has molded us and taught us to not achieve our very best. It has taught us to be safe and stay within our ‘comfort zone’. It has caused some of us to be robots and drones that go through the motions of our life and career. Throughout this book Seth attempts to get under your skin and cause you to ask the hard questions like ‘Why are you not achieving your very best?’ and ‘Why are you not as happy as you’d like to be?’

His plea is:

“The connection economy has revolutionized what it means to go to work. It has given you all the tools necessary to pick yourself. And it’s not a trap. It’s an opportunity.”

The point he makes and that I strongly agree with is, stop wasting another moment holding yourself back. Change your mind, leave your comfort zone and become the Artist that you were meant to become. An Artist is not just a painter, sculptor, or performer but it is a creator, innovator, visionary, risk-taker, and trailblazer. We are all Artists if we choose to be. Don’t let the ‘Resistance’ of society or of your mind hold you back. Reject complacency.

Like Seth says, “…your biggest failure is the thing you dreamed of contributing but didn’t find the guts to do. The biggest black mark on your working resume is the road not taken, the project not initiated, and the art not made.”

Is he saying, quit your job and become an entrepreneur? Absolutely he is if that is what it takes for you to create the art you were meant to. But, he is also saying that you can create art in the job you are in as well. As long as you are stretching yourself and not holding anything back you are accomplishing the best of yourself and not submitting to the ‘Icarus Deception.’

Finally, myths are not just myths but are stories, mirrors and lessons meant to teach us something. As Seth states, “The forgotten part of the original story of Icarus was a powerful talisman, a reminder to avoid selling ourselves short, a reminder to honor the opportunities in front of us.”

Our world needs your art and it needs you to move out of your comfort zone. Please, do us the favour of showing us the best of you. How high will you fly?