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lizard brain cerebrum


lizard brain

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illustrations inspired by seth godin’s linchpin

joanne hus



lizard brain

figure 1

An art director procrastinates despite a looming deadline. A novelist spends endless time tweaking the next word instead of writing the next chapter. An entrepreneur never implements the business plan that took months to develop. Anyone who has ever created something out of nothing has experienced it: the resistance. It’s what keeps us from doing the things we long to do. In his book, Linchpin, Seth Godin dedicates an entire chapter on the resistance and what he calls lizard brain. His book encourages us to ship, to be generous, to be artists. I found his words inspiring. I hope you do, too. — jh

The lizard brain is the reason you’re afraid, the reason you don’t do all the art you can, the reason you don’t ship when you can. The lizard brain is the source of the resistance.

The lizard hates your genius, and tries to stamp it out.

As soon as you say, ‘‘I’ll try my best,’’ instead of ‘‘I will,’’ you’ve opened the door for the lizard.

No matter what sort of creative work you’re doing, no matter how successful or acclaimed you are, the lizard will seek you out and probably find you. What happens after that is up to you.

The challenge, then, is to create an environment where the lizard snoozes. You can’t beat it, so you must seduce it.

The only solution is to call all the bluffs at once, to tolerate no rational or irrational reason to hold back on your art. The only solution is to start today, to start now, and to ship.

I’m grateful to Seth Godin for permission to reproduce excerpts from Linchpin. Copyright © Do You Zoom, Inc., 2010. If you were inspired by his words, get a copy of the book. If you want to read more about the resistance and how to beat it, get Steven Pressfield’s books, The War of Art and Do the Work! You’ll never be the same.

Design and illustrations © Joanne Hus Studios, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction is prohibited without express written permission.

playful illustration. serious collaboration. po box 1341, fairfield ct 06825 | 203-257-6512

Lizard Brain  

Thoughts on the Resistance, with illustrations inspired by Seth Godin's Linchpin

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