Seth Godin — The Pursuit of Meaning, The Life-Changing Power of Choosing Your Attitude, Overcoming Rejection, Life Lessons from Zig Ziglar, and Committing to Making Positive Change (#672)

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“It is entirely possible that you work in a place where you have no options, you have no agency, you have no significance. If that is actually true, you should quit, because you don’t get tomorrow over again. My guess: it is not actually true. My guess is you have more agency than you are prepared to embrace.”

— Seth Godin

Seth Godin is the author of 21 international bestsellers that have changed the way people think about work. His books have been translated into 38 languages and include Tribes, Purple Cow, Linchpin, The Dip, and This Is Marketing. Seth writes one of the most popular marketing blogs in the world, and two of his TED talks are among the most popular of all time. He is the founder of the altMBA; the social media pioneer Squidoo; and Yoyodyne, one of the first internet companies.

His new book is The Song of Significance: A New Manifesto for Teams.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

Brought to you by AeroPress 3-in-1 coffee press for delicious brews, Allbirds incredibly comfortable shoes, and Shopify global commerce platform providing tools to start, grow, market, and manage a retail business. 

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#672: Seth Godin — The Pursuit of Meaning, The Life-Changing Power of Choosing Your Attitude, Overcoming Rejection, Life Lessons from Zig Ziglar, and Committing to Making Positive Change

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This episode is brought to you by ShopifyShopify is one of my favorite platforms and one of my favorite companies. Shopify is designed for anyone to sell anywhere, giving entrepreneurs the resources once reserved for big business. In no time flat, you can have a great-looking online store that brings your ideas to life, and you can have the tools to manage your day-to-day and drive sales. No coding or design experience required.

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Want to hear the last time Seth was on the show? Have a listen to our conversation here, in which we discussed the etymology of the word “hack,” the making of magic, why hiding behind words like “quality” or “perfection” as a means of postponing action to avoid risk is a cop-out, what Isaac Asimov and Gary Gilmore can teach us about writer’s block, skills with a disproportionate return on investment that entrepreneurs and creatives should consider cultivating, the importance of applying constraints and boundaries to the learning process, and much more.

#476: Seth Godin on The Game of Life, The Value of Hacks, and Overcoming Anxiety

What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.



  • Connect with Seth Godin:

Website | Seth’s BlogInstagram | Facebook


  • [05:42] The changes of aging.
  • [10:07] How Seth gets over momentary lapses of optimism.
  • [16:13] The Carbon Almanac.
  • [18:40] Addressing 21st-century nihilism.
  • [26:23] Finding significance and making a difference.
  • [35:34] The boss and the bees.
  • [44:47] Ethically reclaiming meaning from work in the Quaker surveillance state.
  • [51:50] Seth’s impression of my efforts over the years.
  • [56:21] Circumnavigating false proxies.
  • [1:02:17] Employee retention.
  • [1:05:54] Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play.
  • [1:08:07] Zig Ziglar.
  • [1:12:12] Seth’s early career life.
  • [1:13:45] Seth’s current career life.
  • [1:17:01] The 140-year-old piano.
  • [1:19:35] Meetings.
  • [1:24:04] Page 19 thinking.
  • [1:27:37] Soliciting useful writing feedback.
  • [1:31:36] Parting thoughts.


“What a gift I have today to be in the shoes of somebody who, at 62, gets to do things well, but only because I’m walking away from things I can’t do anymore. And instead of focusing on what I used to have, I’m really working hard and getting satisfaction out of focusing on what I do have and what I can do.”
— Seth Godin

“We are living in a culture where there’s an overhang of all these people with loud voices talking about the end of the world because it’s the end of their world, but it’s not the end of the world.”
— Seth Godin

“Some people believe that the purpose of business is to enable culture, to enable humanity. And some people believe that the purpose of humanity and culture is to enable business. And I think those people have too much influence right now, and they’re wrong.”
— Seth Godin

“When we think about tomorrow or the tomorrow after that, given the damage we’ve all done, we still live in culture, we still have this miracle. You and I are talking while thousands of miles apart. We have access to every piece of information. We have magical computers that can understand us and talk back. We can reach out to someone in need. We can connect to people who need to hear from us. And if you want to just give up because the world is going to be different in 20 years, that’s your choice. But given that we’ve got this window, it feels to me like we need to up our focus on humanity and connection and possibility and improvement of the condition, and maybe not worry so much about public demonstrations of power, firing people online, being brutal in the service of profit. Because we don’t have a profit shortage, we have a meaning shortage.”
— Seth Godin

“If you can figure out how to get five or 10 people together, you can probably ban gas-powered leaf blowers in your village. And that will have 50 times the impact of you switching to an electric car. Plus the idea of banding together with five or 10 or 15 other people, creating the conditions for other people to find something to care about and succeed at it, will fill you with meaning, not with despair.”
— Seth Godin

“Milton Friedman just made up this nonsense about the only purpose of a corporation is to maximize its profit. It lets people off the hook and they become tools of a system that grinds stuff out.”
— Seth Godin

“It is entirely possible that you work in a place where you have no options, you have no agency, you have no significance. If that is actually true, you should quit, because you don’t get tomorrow over again. My guess: it is not actually true. My guess is you have more agency than you are prepared to embrace.”
— Seth Godin


The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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9 Replies to “Seth Godin — The Pursuit of Meaning, The Life-Changing Power of Choosing Your Attitude, Overcoming Rejection, Life Lessons from Zig Ziglar, and Committing to Making Positive Change (#672)”

  1. Hi Tim, how’s it going? Awhile back you recommended Four Sigmatic for coffee and tea. Do you still use their products? They had a lotion so organic you could eat?

  2. Hey, Tim Ferris, listen up, because this criticism is coming at you with some Fonzie flair. Now, I’ve got a bone to pick with you about staying on Twitter even after Elon Musk went and messed things up. You see, my cool cat, Elon may have stirred up the platform, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick around and endure the chaos.

    Twitter used to be a happening spot where folks could connect, share ideas, and engage in meaningful conversations. But ever since Musk took the wheel, it’s been a bumpy ride. The platform has become a playground for his eccentricities, random outbursts, and endless memes. And let’s not even get started on the crypto shenanigans.

    Now, Tim, you’re a wise and influential dude. You’ve got your own brand, your own ideas, and your own platforms. So why are you still hanging around in a place that’s been tainted? It’s like cruising down the street on a gnarly motorcycle with a busted engine. It just doesn’t make sense.

    I get it, you might have a solid following on Twitter, and it’s a way to stay connected with your audience. But hey, Fonz-style tough love here, it’s time to make like a leather jacket and zip out of there. Find new avenues to engage with your fans and share your knowledge. Build your own platform where you can call the shots and create an environment that aligns with your style.

    So, Tim, my advice to you is to step away from the Twitter tornado and find a more groovy place to connect with your peeps. Trust me, you’ll feel cooler, calmer, and more in control. Happy trails, my friend!

  3. Wow, what a knowledge bomb. I think Seth nails the future consumer at 14:20. I know I’m feeling this. Thank you both for your years of sharing.

  4. What was the book that was mentioned called maybe “Last Placement” about people having one year to live in New Hampshire? I can’t seem to find it.

    1. Hi, Katherine –

      It’s called The Last Policeman. You’ll find a link to it in the Selected Links section, near the end of the blog post as you scroll down.


      Team Tim Ferriss

  5. A really lovely conversation. All throughout I continued to hope you both would not stop talking. It also contains so much wisdom! Thank you so much Tim, for this conversation and all the other ones you create.

  6. Dear Tim, just an observation—you don’t interview a lot of women or people who aren’t cis men. I know you’ve interviewed SOME women but… not nearly enough. By and large most of your guests are men.

  7. This was such a tender and generous conversation by both of you. I love that you asked Seth what he had observed about you that you needed to know.. like spinach in your teeth. That was courageous and inspiring. I really like the way you do your interviews, Tim – you ask some very deep questions with great humility. Thank you!