You’re a true linchpin, so for you this book is an award, not a manual. You taught me a lot of this long before Seth did. Knowing you has permanently and immeasurably changed the arc of my life, and for that I can never thank you enough.
Butch & Sundance
Simmons & Gladwell
Pettengill & Hebert
You’re my hero, Paul.
There are inscriptions, and then there are inscriptions. This one just made me cry as I re-read it. This incredibly humbling and moving inscription by Clay is the essence what Seth Godin is talking about when he defines a Linchpin as someone who creates art.
Art for Godin is defined as the expenditure of emotional labor, which is not required. Emotional labor involves choosing to take the time to treat interactions as a chance for a genuine emotional connection. This is where Clay’s gifts truly lie. He takes the time to treat his interactions as a chance to delight someone.
One of the biggest things Seth discusses in his latest book, is why we aren’t always in the convention of doing just this. Why we resist creating new things, giving gifts without an expectation of reciprocity. Much of it has to do with the fear of putting our selves out there for criticism, or that the work we create will be ignored. Fear as Seth discusses in the book comes from the oldest part of our brains, the part that evolved from the lizard brain.
This is the part of our brain that is closest to our brain stem that has for millions of years helped to keep us alive. It has protected us from predators, and kept us safe. Which is great and all, but we don’t a live in a world where our lives are threatened very often. So when our fear responses are aroused, they are typically not useful responses.
I know that I’m capable of creating great art and do often bring great joy and delight to other people, but fear definitely can overwhelm me at times. It helps to understand that when I’m feeling that I’m avoiding something, that I can just attribute it to my lizard brain and start getting engaged with the task at hand.
Acknowledging the presence of fear, and that it is probably not rational, allows Clay to create these true gifts like the inscription above. Clay could have easily let a fear that his inscription would be missed as I opened the book, or that I would have found his inscription cheesy, but he instead chose to write it and put it out there in the world. This is what an artist does, he invest emotional labor and then shares it with the world.