Wednesday Wise Woman

Frida Kahlo

1907 – 1954 | Mexico | Painter

At the age of fifteen, Frida was accepted into Mexico’s prestigious prep school where she was one of thirty-five girls out of 2000 students. At eighteen she was involved in a terrible accident that would leave her with pain and physical disabilities for the rest of her life.

DK Books: Women

In 1929, she married Mexico’s famous writer Diego Rivera, and theirs was passionate and stormy relationship.

Without any formal art training, her work was exceptional. She painted mostly self-portraits and her pieces explored sexuality, feminism and identity.

In the 1940s she began showing her work internationally and in 1953 she held her first major solo exhibition.

Although she became bedridden, she continued to work and could be found in bed with her easel on her lap, painting away.

Frida Kahlo

Source: Girls Who Rocked The World – Michelle Roehm McCann & Amelie Welden; Women – DK Books

Becoming Indispensable with Seth Godin in Linchpin

“You can either fit in or stand out. Not both.”

Seth Godin, Linchpin

Reading Robin Sharma’s The Leader Who Had No Title took me back to our focus book for today, Linchpin by Seth Godin. It was my second Godin read and I enjoyed it better than Purple Cow.

According to Seth, a linchpin is someone who invents, leads regardless of title, connects others, makes things happen and creates order out of chaos. The linchpin is indispensable, he/she’s incredibly good at her job and does work that makes a difference. They’re not born with magical talents but rather decided to train themselves to do a new kind of work that’s important and that creates value.

Seth dives into how broken the system is. We are brainwashed into following a certain map, following instructions, being obedient and average. He says that the linchpin makes the choice to chart their own path while creating value, instead of buying into fear. The linchpin is not a replaceable cog in a machine, she/he leads and solves interesting problems.

The book advises you to become an artist, and an artist is not only the one who holds a paintbrush or clay. He says, “Art is the ability to change people with your work, to see things as they are and then create stories, images, and interactions that change the marketplace.” Anyone can be an artist in what they do. You need to dream up new ideas and go out and make them real.

He also emphasises the urgency of shipping. Instead of tolerating resistance and not putting your work out there, out of fear, he says you should create and hustle those solutions you’ve created out the door.

This is an inspiring book. It pushes you to reach into your genius or awaken it, create something that matters and become indispensable. When you read this you will learn that you don’t necessarily have to quit your job and go climb mountains or explore jungles, but rather to bring your whole self to work and do things that matter, things that are of value. You will be inspired to look for the artist in you and be creative in all that you do.

So go ahead, be a Linchpin, you have it in you.