Today’s idea is from a podcast interview Seth Godin did with David Perell. It’s an unusual take on finding your north star that can apply to individual star finding as well as team strategy. The crux: just pick.
David: So then what would you recommend to young people who are struggling to find that mission and to find that North Star?
Seth: I am your guest here today and I don’t want to rain on your parade but I don’t think each of us has a North Star. I think that you can pick anything you want and make it your North Star. I was really close to becoming a movie producer, I was really close to producing broadway plays, I was really close to running a summer camp which I did for one summer, and any of those things could’ve become my North Star. I wasn’t born to do this. No one was.
So I think that if you are dissatisfied with your momentum and if you are seeking that thing, you don’t need more time, you just need to decide. You just need to pick a thing. Pick a thing. And do it. And get through and dip. And once you get through the dip and change you can change but don’t change when you are in the dip change after that. Figure out something that is worth the next few years of your life and do it, and if you can’t figure out anything that is worth it, do it anyway because it is better than sitting around whining.
It’s so easy to get caught up in what could be. To talk endlessly about possibilities. And to worry that if a decision is made, it’s final. I’ve found over and over again that decisions are not final. Our own complacency is the only thing that would make that true.
You can start to take steps and adjust in the future. The biggest risk isn’t in choosing the wrong thing—the biggest risk is endlessly debating and never taking initial action.
In today’s world more than ever, you can change. Embrace failure, start doing the work, and adjust as needed.
Changes to this newsletter
To this point on the possibility of change, I started writing here over a year ago and have gone through multiple iterations.
Patterns now has 60 editions on everything from advice given by a top divorce lawyer to getting more out of your reading to smiling more at work. And shared learnings from influential thinkers like Clayton Christensen, Mark Cuban, and Steve Jobs.
Fulfillment is part mindset, part practice. “How you think” and “what you do” work in tandem to help you design a life you want to live. My goal has been to help others wake up excited on Monday morning, or on those weeks you don’t wake up excited, arm you with ideas and stories that can help you get there.
I recently started a new company, Groove, to help others find fulfillment in life through hands-on experiences. We’ve launched our first product for work (Career Conversations) and have other concepts planned that span work, family, and education.
Starting next week this newsletter will become a part of Groove. While the email address will change, I will continue to include a weekly story, idea, or framework centered around the same topics we’ve been exploring. We may also include some other updates about what we launch and publish as a company.
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This week’s question: What North Star are you debating right now that you could pick and start headed toward?