I was just listening to a podcast with Seth Godin. Deep into the interview, the interviewer asked Seth a simple question, “what do you fear?”.
Seth gave an interesting answer, “I fear not doing what I do well. I don’t want do anything that is not done very well. I always want to attempt to do better.”
He’s an interesting person and when you realize that he has a deep desire to do things that would make his mother proud. This desire really explains his answer regarding fear. His greatest fear is to do subpar results. And he looks at that as a disappointment to his mother. Wow.
I compare myself, and I really don’t feel that I have that deep seated desire to make sure that I am making my mother proud. And it is interesting because, for Godin, he wants to do things that would honor his mother. This is hard to explain, but the subtle difference I am trying to explain is better to say this: he could be a financial advisor or a stocktrader, but he does not think of those career paths as ones that would make his mother proud.
So, he has chosen a path where he can impact and improve people’s lives. He does this under the guise that this would make his mother proud.
I’m not writing about this because I find it odd, or that I disagree with his decision process to go this route. I’m just interested in this being a way that he has chosen his path and the quality of his efforts and work on his path. Good for him.
Now, I reflect. What would my life be like if I had been driven in the same way? It feels so different to contemplate, “what would mom think?”
What about you? When you’re making a decision, choosing a career path, attempting to achieve something – do you consider “what would mom think?”