Things I’m Doing: Listening to Books on Tape

I spend alot of time staring at a windshield, these days. This week, for example, in adding up the travel time between appointments and towns where I’ll have appointments, I’ll log about 7 hours looking at highway billboards. At first, when I started traveling for work, I thought, hey, I can really catch up on some music I’ve been meaning to check out. Or I can just listen to NPR or some funny podcasts to kill time.

But ya know what I was doing, right? Avoiding growth. By listening to music with all this “free time”, I’d be cheating myself of good, solid time to learn. Enter books on CD from my library. Two weeks ago, I traveled to Wisconsin and for the entire trip there and back, I listened to Seth Godin‘s The Icarus Deception (listened twice, actually). Here’s what I got out of it …I need to be “making art.” And I need to rethink my definition of “art.” It’s not about painting, sculpting or writing poetry (even though “writing” is what I wish my “art” was), but more about doing whatever you’re doing with a passion of an artist. Or, more specifically, what we think is an artist’s passion.

Maybe I missed the point (though Huffington Post agreed with me, sort of), and let’s remember I was driving and occasionally had to stop the CD, or sometimes had to listen to my navigation directions and missed a sentence or two, but I think what I heard was, if you’re a doctor, do it with the passion of a poet. If you’re a teacher, inspire people to marvel at your work (aka, your art). It’s a little hippy dippy for some, I’m sure, but for me? It was brilliant.

Is my marriage art? Do people look at it and marvel at our love and do they ooh and ahh when my wife and I enter a room?

Is my family and my parenting a Picasso come to life?

Is my salesmanship and passion for the product I’m selling something that will make people stop and stare, as if looking at the Mona Lisa?

And when I write, am I going through the motions making “art” worthy of a hotel room wall? Or am I creating a gallery exhibit that I’ll want to invite friends to see?

Don’t take my word for it, here’s what Seth had to say about this book.

Maybe I am having a midlife crisis. But I prefer to call it a midlife awakening.

This week, I’m going to try listening to Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog which builds around the premise that if the first thing you do every morning is eat a living frog, it will undoubtedly be the worst thing that happens to you that day, so get on with it, get it over with, and then move onto the easy stuff. It’s a book with lessons on how to stop procrastinating.

“You were designed in such a way that you most enjoy doing the very things that you have the ability to be the very best at.” -Brian Tracy.

Anyway …Seth Godin. Have you read The Icarus Deception?” Do you like Seth Godin and his bits of wisdom? I’ve always heard about him, but never looked into his story or his message. Wow, have I been missing out. Will you join me and start making “art” in whatever you do? I hope so.

Follow me on Twitter (@donkowalewski) or Instagram (don_kowalewski) or ‘Like’ Kaleidoscopic Raygun.

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