Seth Godin on Why “Finding Your Calling” Is Complete Nonsense

Are you waiting for your calling to find you? Seth Godin shows us why this search for your “passion” is nonsense, plus how to handle failure, overcome writer’s block — hint, that also doesn’t exist — and start something that matters.

Seth Godin is an entrepreneur, author of 18 books that have been bestsellers around the world, and a maker of ruckuses. He’s been on the internet since 1976, invented permission-based email, founded two significant net companies, and defines his working life by the many projects he’s launched, the failures he has learned from, and the people he’s taught. His latest is the altMBA, an intense workshop that helps people level up in a way that truly lasts. Find out more about the course at You can learn more about Seth and his blog by typing “Seth” into Google.

If you’re waiting for the perfect-for-you opportunity to come along, you’re missing out on dozens of moments just passing you by. They’re all just as good — just get going and do something meaningful!

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Cameron Long

  • Lavendaire says:

    Wow this one was SO GOOD. Seth is such a gem. My favorite takeaway is to practice flipping my brain so I can assess how I could be wrong about something I’m so sure about. That could widen my perspective on so many things. I’ll be working to implement that!

    Also love the tip on having an “instinct to ship” rather an instinct to polish. It’s about acting fast, failing, not taking anything too personally, and learning from the whole process.

    Thanks Marie!!

    • lylmarty says:

      Same for me! That’s linked also to his new vision of schooling, very innovative and so fitting! I always feel as education today miss Something, and I think Seth Godin has the point here. This was so beautiful, thank you Marie for this wonderful episode and thank you Mr.Godin for this so real words of experience 🙏🏻

    • Yogi Life says:

      He’s not the only one to think of that actually. If you look at you tube interviews of Elon Musk…he does a very similar thing. He basically looks at his thinking and questions it, very precisely, instead of taking his assumptoins for granted. Questioning our thoughts is also the basis for Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy…CBT. (Elon is worth watching too, he’s a serial entrepreneur but for the all right reasons… like Seth I think, but Elon is an engineer first, and works in tech instead of business).

    • Jessica Lauren Vine says:

      Lavendaire yesss!!! I don’t like being wrong so it is a little difficult but it’s best if I find out I’m wrong before someone else does!! Lol

    • Ada Lourdes González says:

      Lavendaire i

  • ayidas says:

    I love hearing about failure because I think that rejection (in any sense) is my biggest fear. From your videos and books from others, I am trying to embrace the “fail greatly” mindset, in order that I may succeed. The piece that most resonates with me right now is “There is no right moment. The right moment is now.” And the “Jump on the carousel.” idea. Thanks you two 🙂

  • Shannon M. Carlisle says:

    There were two things… First Marie, when you talked about how in all those other lines of work you realized that you got the same “feeling” of connection and being able to talk with people on a deeper level. That was powerful because it make you think about the threads in your life and how, you can “still be you” and do things that are true to your core meaning but it may look differently. You have a core meaning but it may manifest itself in different ways. Second, Seth… I’m so glad I clicked on this video… you said this ” you gain trust and permission to talk to people by showing up consistently in a way that you’d want someone to show up for you.” I notice in myself that when I wanted to talk to people or get a speaking gig I was chasing people BEFORE I had shown up for them instead of providing value in such a way that they wanted me to do it again because I had consistently shown up. All Marie’s videos are platinum, but this one is definitely getting archived. Thanks for choosing to matter in a way that aligns with who you are so that all of us can benefit.

  • AcroYoga with Dao says:

    marie, I admire YOUR work.  any time I feel stuck, you are one of my go-to people for practical encouragement.  on days you don’t feel like inspiring us you deliver regardless.  I feel so blessed to have you as a mentor.

  • Erna Kristin says:

    Seth is one of the most inspirational figures out there today, and his books and talks have helped me immensely throughout the years and I would recommend his readings for those who need clarity on their journey. Needless to say I got very happy to see him on Marie TV.

    The funny thing is that last year on a rainy April day I was so stuck in my head in regards to creativity and confused about what direction to take, I decided to email him. After sending him a brief message (I dont know him personally) I go for a walk and when I came back home, I had a response from him, and it was absolutely profound. He had even looked up my website! I’ll never forget this as long as I live. I took his suggestion and it was the best thing I could have done at the time. A kind and generous man, and I don’t need to email him again (-:
    Thank you!

  • MadelineAgainAndAgain says:

    It’s my birthday season. This conversation — especially “Just get on the damn horse” (my new mantra) — is the most exquisite gift I’ve received in years. Thank you for the light of your examples. You are both phenomenal.

    My action is to figure out a blogging schedule that I can reasonably expect to be consistent at and get on it (the damn horse, as it were).

  • Stephanie Tonneson says:

    Marie, you are so authentic and enchanting. I love watching your videos because they make me feel safe, comforted, and like everything will always be okay, even when it’s not. Thank you, not ONLY for your insight, but for your captivating sense of sincerity and compassion. It is truly infectious and so pleasant to watch. You are wonderful.

  • Adriana M says:

    This is so inspirational and motivational. I shared this with everyone I know needs a positive push. I have to push myself every day to act in the way that corresponds to my values, goals, and ambitions. It isn’t easy, but the most important thing to remember when it comes to getting things done is self-accountability. You have to ask yourself every day “am I really using my time well, is this really what I could be doing right now? If I don’t accomplish my goal can I really call myself a designer/writer/artist/whatever ” If the answer is no, you need to hold yourself more accountable to your own dreams, or you will watch them go by while feeling anxious and afraid and that fear or failure will become a reality.

  • Vanessa B says:

    This was amazing! I am a new subscriber but I have heard so many good things about this channel!
    As a small business owner and a teacher I have learned that your work and your dedication and creativity can make a difference in someone’s life, but not everyone’s. Also, the importance of learning from our failures and becoming greater through them.

  • Henry Kaminski, Jr. says:

    “Your goal isn’t to touch everyone. Your goal is to touch someone” This reminds me of the “Dog on the Tanker” story in Sam Horns book ATTENTION. The Empathy Telescope is a psychological phenomenon that states, “It’s easier to care about one person than it is many.” Love your content Marie. Truly inspiring. #jerseyproud

  • Ying2.O says:

    This was such an inspirational video!Lots of wisdom really and I feel a bit overloaded at the moment but this cannot possibly leave me”…Everybody does not matter”. *brain explosion* Thank you so much, Seth! I do believe I found an additional mentor online! Thank you so much, Marie for you light and all your videos! I have been watching your videos quite randomly since 2014! I love you soooo much!!!!

  • Mariah Palmer says:

    Such an amazing episode!!! Top two things I got from this were: Is this interaction going to leave behind something I’m proud of?
    I’m pregnant with my first child. I want to instill in my child the confidence and wisdom to not fear failure.

  • Smith Js says:

    Seth Godin is like a 100 years old buddhist monk. He is so enlighten, full of wisdom. And he always say something so profound and so true about life.

  • Nivedita Deshpande says:

    Two of my people favorite people, great minds and generous souls! Could not have asked for a better thing to happen to me at this junction of my life. Gonna put this on repeat.

  • Malcolm McDole says:

    Amazing episode with Seth Godin. My big takeaway was when he said ” Our goal isn’t to touch everyone, our goal is to touch someone.” That quote gave me the answer to my procrastination on starting my blog because I was very concerned about if everyone would like it. I’m going to make those blog post now because I have ideas daily that I feel will help someone. Thank you, Marie.

  • Keri Lintner says:

    Mind Blown. Just had a horrible morning with my kids. Went on a random search and found you…! THIS has made me re-think a multitude of actions within my family and by slow starting business. Efforts are not what they should be or where they should be. Thank you both Marie & Seth for the eye-opening refocusing that I needed today!! Now to move forward and put this little thing of ‘making someone matter’ into action.

  • Tamuela Anderson says:

    I love Seth’s comment about Free Range Children. I have a 16 year old who started a high school last year in the Miami area with 3,200 other students. It was overwhelming and she spent the first quarter trying to convince her dad and I to put her in homeschooling. She finally gave up. The school offered a curriculum included 36 AP classes, but as I learned more, I realized what a rough environment the school was. Thankfully in that pressure cooker, the lessons she learned was exactly what you mentioned….how to solve problems by failure. (Also, I would add, how to steer clear of people trying to derail her dreams). I wish I had seen this episode before, I would have made a mindful effort to concentrate on “What were the failures today? And what did you learn? Whether she gets accepted into a top school or not, it is so important to raise Problem Solvers in this new world while not discouraging the spirit.

  • Holly C says:

    I didn’t think it was possible to love Seth Godin any more than I already did, but it is. He is extraordinary.

  • English Speaking Success says:

    This is a goldmine of advice and ideas. Marie, you are such a talented interviewer! Thank you both.

  • Therita Engelbrecht says:

    Oh my word Marie!!! This is such an old episode, but it really hit home for me!! My BIGGEST take away is: “Our goald isn’t to touch everyone, our goal is to touch someone, just one person. If you get good at that, do 5, then do 100. But stop worrying about everyone. Everyone doesn’t matter.” Thank you for what you do, it’s amazing…. as always!!!

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