What Seth Godin can Teach us About Building a Better Body

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seth godinSeth Godin is one of my heroes.

He’s not a fitness guru or nutrition expert. In fact, I doubt he could even do 30 push ups on his best day (prove me wrong Seth!).

But Seth is one hell of a marketing genius.

And being a huge marketing nerd that I am, I’ll literally eat up anything this brilliant, bald man has to say. I’m always hungry for information and his stuff tastes good. Real damn good.

So I recently stumbled upon a brand new podcast (I’m a huge podcast fan) – Seth Godin’s Startup School – where you can actually listen to live recordings of Seth’s presentations to a group of hungry entrepreneurs on the verge of starting new ventures.

This is incredible stuff.

And, as ridiculously brilliant as his stuff is, it was hard for me not to realize something peculiar while listening to his lectures…

Every piece of advice he offers is, in one way or another, translatable to building a better body and living a better life.

Let me explain…

Have the Courage to Stick to your Path

Seth Godin understands how businesses work. He understands how they thrive. What it takes to make them successful.

But he’s not the first or last person in the world to tell you that building a business takes guts.

It takes an insane amount of courage to put yourself out there and try to build something of value.

“Your business plan is what let’s you see a path to probably succeeding more than not. But the hard part isn’t defining the path. The hard part is doing the scary thing to stick to the path. The reason many of us don’t do this is because sticking to the path is very frightening. It’s frightening to put yourself out there and say “Hi this is me, I made this“.” – Seth Godin

Achieving something great is scary.

The same can be said for building a better body.

You have a goal of building a body that that will allow you to live life to the fullest.

And you may have a plan to do this – a rough outline of the changes you’re going to make, the new (positive) habits you’re going to build, the workouts you’re going to push yourself through, and the nutrition modifications you’re going to make.

But that’s not the hard part.

No. The hard part is sticking to that path. The hard part is staying consistent. Persevering. Doing the thing that scares you over and over again.

If you want to build a better body, you need to be able to put yourself out there and confidently say “Hi, this is me, this is my body and I’m on a mission to make it better.” And then do whatever it takes to make it happen.

Never, Ever Give Up

“If you make it and people don’t see the value, don’t give up. Re-make it.” -Seth Godin

Here’s a fact: things aren’t always going to work out.

It’s almost guaranteed.

Seth got 900 rejection letters in his first year in the book business before he ever became a best-selling author.

In his lectures, he tells a story he heard from his friend Zig Zigler:

“A plane takes off from NY headed to Dallas. Five minutes into the flight it gets so windy that the plane starts flying off course. But the plane doesn’t turn around, land in NY and start over. No, it just adjusts its course and keeps adjusting its course until it gets to Dallas.”

The story is simple, but it gets the message across.

Things won’t always go according to plan. There will be times where you’re going to fall off course and you’ll have to know how to make adjustments as needed. You’ll have to know when to swing the sails to catch the shifting trade winds.

But no matter what happens, never ever ever quit on yourself. Quitting should never be an option.

The plane doesn’t turn back around and start over. It adjusts course and keeps adjusting course until it gets to its destination.

You need to do the same on your journey to a better body.

Things are constantly changing.

Nothing is ever predictable.

But that’s OK. It’s all part of the path you need to take. As long as you learn from your mistakes, make necessary adjustments, and continue to persevere, things will happen for you.

Understand the Voices in your Head

“You can be the smartest, best educated business person in the world, but if the voice in the back of your head pushes you to avoid opportunities, it won’t be very good. You need to be clear with yourself as to why you’re avoiding certain situations.” – Seth Godin

Having the right mindset is just as important for building a better body as it is for business.

You can have the best plan, the best workout routine, and the best nutrition guidelines on the planet, but without the right mindset nothing will ever happen for you.

Take a second to listen to those voices you hear in your head. The ones holding you back from achieving great things.

See what they are telling you.

Then silence them.

Don’t ever let them hold you back.

Learn to Re-Tell your Stories

“It’s not about external information. It’s about the stories you are telling yourself.” -Seth Godin

As consumers and decision makers, we constantly tell ourselves stories.

These stories are based on our world views and beliefs and they have a big impact on the decisions we make, the products we choose to buy, and the life we choose to live.

Here’s an example…

Have you seen those really ugly toe shoes people are wearing these days? The Vibrams? The so-called gorilla feet?

Well I think they’re beautiful and absolutely amazing. I believe in their functionality and their minimalistic nature. I believe that they reengage the small muscles in my feet and help restore my proper biomechanical alignment. This is what I tell myself.

And the story I tell myself about these shoes may be very different from the story you tell yourself.

So I buy them; you probably don’t.

Our heads are filled with these kinds of stories and they play a big role in the choices we make.

Take foods for example.

The foods you decide to eat are very much based on these stories.

You may have also heard these stories referred to as traditions.

Here’s an example…

My parents grew up on a diet heavily based on carbohydrates. Breads, pastas, rice, potatoes. They love their carbs and believe that they’re healthy and should be included in every meal.

This is the story they tell themselves and so they are constantly purchasing and consuming these foods.

But heavily consuming carbohydrates is not healthy. These foods flood your body with glucose and cause avalanches of insulin to suffocate your body. This can lead to various chronic illnesses, metabolic syndromes and ridiculous weight gain (especially as you age).

But they don’t get it.

The story that’s stored in their head is built on years of beliefs and world views.

And it’s very hard for them to rewrite that story.

But it’s not impossible.

And they’re trying (breads are now gone, pastas are next!).

If you want to build a better body, you have to find ways to rewrite the stories you are telling yourself. Only this way will you be able to make the choices that you need to make to stick to your path.

I hope you can now see why Seth Godin is a legend in my mind.

He’s a hero. A super-hero in fact (please, I want one!).

His insights are brilliant in the world of marketing, but they’re also very translatable to the every day goals we are trying to achieve.

So what are your thoughts on his ideas? What are some of the stories you are telling yourself? Please share in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

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Comments

  1. Seth rocks.

    I completely agree that we need to be persistent and fuel that persistence with “new stories”. Don’t just accept what others throw at you; review, revise, and revert back to your own stories. Stick to it.

    • “Don’t just accept what others throw at you”

      That’s a good point Troy. A lot of the stories we tell ourselves are based on beliefs that have been bestowed upon us. Learning how to rewrite these stories may be challenging, but it’s definitely doable. We need to write our own stories.

  2. Srdjan,

    I like Seth Godin’s advice because it’s simple and effective. His ideas may involve thinking outside of the box, but they are by no means impractical. In the theme of perseverance, one thing I try to do is to do something good for my body every single day, no matter how small. Even if it’s something as simple as a 5 minute kettlebell workout. It’s developing the right habits that are going to get you far in the long run.

    Alykhan

    • That’s awesome Alykhan. That actually reminds me of what another great marketer – Derek Halpern (from Social Triggers) – said in one interview:

      “No matter what level of success you reach, you should always be progressing. Every single day do something that will help you be a little bit better than the day before.”

      I think the same can be said for building a better body and it seems like that’s exactly what you’re doing.

      I try to follow the same mantra in every single aspect of my life.

  3. Jeff Blackwell says:

    Serge: I am really stuck and frustrated. I can’t seem to lose anymore weight. I saw a picture of me today and I must and will lose weight! I was turned off by how I looked. I have a muffin top and I fantasize about an 8 pack. I workout everyday and have eliminated carbs. I do Myo weight training first them HIIT then LIIT. Please tell me exactly what to eat and drink for all three meals. Currently I fast til noon and only drink coffee. Then I take a meal as recommended at 3pm and again at 7:30 pm. My results are not fitting with what Seth recommends.

    • Hey Jeff, the important thing here is that you’re determined. Building a better body is a life long journey and results will come with time. You just have to stick with it. Let’s talk by email and we’ll set something up to help you progress.

  4. David Cano Riesgo says:

    Great post!

    I really think nothing happens to you until you really believe it and you do tell yourself, no matter how much people insist something is good, helpful, profitable or whatever. You won’t really, passionately do anything until your mind in convinced and convinces you to push the right way :-)

    • “You won’t really, passionately do anything until your mind in convinced.”

      I think that’s a very powerful statement David. Nothing will happen for you if you don’t believe it can happen for you. You have to have that right mindset.

      Remember what Henry Ford said: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

      How oh-so true :)

  5. Great information, thanks for sharing. It’s true, trying to achieve greatness in anything take hard work and lots of courage. I is so easy to be average and ordinary. But then, in the end, you end up with a casket full of regrets. Absolutely, go for what you know, or better still, what you don’t know, yet.

    You have a great site here Srdjan, you should be very proud of yourself. I’m looking forward to many more informative emails.

    • Hey Tracy – it really is easy being average and ordinary these days which is unfortunate because each and every one of us has the potential to be remarkable.

      It just takes a bit of discomfort and exploration.

      And thanks for your kind words. You’re awesome!

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