What Matters Now: Download the Free E-Book

December 14, 2009

What Matters Now coverAuthor Seth Godin has compiled a free 80-page e-book entitled What Matters Now, a collection of thought-provoking nuggets from authors and technologists across the web. I'm thrilled that I had the privilege of contributing a page to it. Download the book for free.

Each page of the book is authored by someone different, and contributors range from Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert to Wired editor Chris Anderson to The War of Art author Steve Pressfield to 37Signals founder Jason Fried.* The assignment was to come up with a 10 to 200 word essay or picture on a big idea that matters now. I tackled the subject of personal productivity. Here's a screenshot of my submission.

What Matters Now book submission

When I put this together I was feeling like a slave to my to-do list and email inbox, but--cheesy as it sounds--personal productivity is about so much more than that. I hope that in 2010 we can all take the 20,000-foot view on what's most important in life before we start checking our email.

The entire book is fantastic, but a few of my favorite contributions include:

  • Seth Godin's own bit on Generosity (page 5)
  • Hugh MacLeod's piece on Meaning (page 10)
  • Dan Pink on Autonomy (page 25)
  • Dave Ramsey on Momentum (page 27)
  • Steven Pressfield on Tough-Mindedness (page 31)
  • Kevin Kelly on Open-Source DNA (page 56)
  • Penelope Trunk on Social Skills (page 75)
  • Arianna Huffington on Sleep (page 77)

Thanks to Seth for including me in this outrageously good list of contributors. Check out the book right here:

What would your page read?

What Matters Now: get the free ebook [Seth's blog]

* It just so happens that Eat, Pray, Love and The War of Art are two of my all-time favorite books, so I'm truly gobsmacked to have my name appear in the same document with their authors. One word: SQUEE!

Just downloaded the ebook, and am very excited for it.

I completely agree with you about your getting things done vs. making things happen distinction–I think of it as “did I push the needle forward.” Sure there are a zillion things to do, but many of them are just a matter of stasis. They’re a way to passively live life.

The reason why I go with this metaphor (the needle) is because making things happen isn’t necessarily the goal; for me, making things happen may not be pushing the needle forward…or (to mix the metaphor) it might not be journeying further along the critical path.

Every day I fight both battles:
* Making sure my To-Do’s aren’t just keeping me in a position of stasis
* Making sure that I’m doing something on my critical path, that I’m pushing the needle forward

Why does it have to be so difficult sometimes? :-) Now onto the book and your article!

technotheory [+11]
Dec 14 09 at 9:42 am

I love this project.

I love your generosity in contributing to it (and I love your very sweet and honest contribution itself).

What I love the most, though, is that you took the time to read through it all and carefully select and share the other contributions that really moved you. They moved me, too.

And now, because it is time, back to work.

Dec 14 09 at 9:59 am

Will there ever be a way to buy a physical copy of this book? I’d like to give it as a gift to someone who’s not to into e-reading.

ejf071189 [+2]
Dec 14 09 at 10:37 am

I have not completely read this e-book yet, but I am working my way through it. I also have a todo list which is large enough that it can keep me from pushing forward. I try to break my activities down into 2 groups. 1 group is critical must do’s and the other group is the, “I need to do this stuff to increase my success” I believe that if you are just performing buys work from your todo list you will never get further ahead than you are now.

Dec 14 09 at 6:32 pm

Gina, your page was the only one that brought me up short and made me look at what I’m doing. Many thanks.

Dec 16 09 at 5:34 am

Ask me how much I hate that horrible scribd site. On the other hand, maybe you shouldn’t.

Dec 23 09 at 2:50 pm

What license is it under? All rights reserved?

Dec 25 09 at 2:21 pm

Thanks for sharing. It’s a fantastic read.

Simran Jindal
Jan 3 10 at 2:56 pm

Comments are closed. Thanks for reading!