What Seth Godin Doesn’t Understand about Gifted People: Goes the other way? I think not! 2


Intellectual Dabrowski had finished his experiment https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/what-seth-godin-doesnt-understand-about-gifted-people-goes-the-other-way-i-think-not/ and drawn a neat QED beside the conclusion. They had not been able to induce cheetah abilities, anatomy and physiology in Caramel Cat and the Tortoise by subjecting them to a rigorous regime of making good choices, developing good habits, positive thinking techniques, training and practice.

It could be argued that Caramel Cat had been less than enthusiastic about the whole operation; which could have resulted in less success than expected. As it was, he learned some useful strategies, which did improve his speed marginally and improved his muscle strength and breathing, but did not enlarge his nostrils or ribcage or give him any other cheetah attributes.
Caramel Cat professed to really not being fussed about becoming a cheetah as he considered that, in many ways, cheetahs were not the best model of a cat – “Far from the “best cat,” the cheetah would seem to be barely a cat at all” as Stephanie Tolan wrote in her brilliant analogy ‘Is it a cheetah?’ http://www.stephanietolan.com/is_it_a_cheetah.htm

The same could not be said of the Tortoise. He desperately wanted to achieve cheetah characteristics and worked very diligently at all the exercises and embraced the thinking techniques wholeheartedly. And he did become very fast – for a tortoise! But in every other way he was still a tortoise.
But Imaginational Dabrowski continued to think about the problem for a long time.
Probably it was the phrase ‘Wouldn’t it be great to be gifted?’ that acted as a springboard for Imaginational’s reveries.
Imaginational always warms to discussions that began with ‘What if…?’ and ‘Wouldn’t it be great…’

He wondered about what had motivated Seth Godin to write

Actually, it goes the other way
Wouldn’t it be great to be gifted? In fact…
It turns out that choices lead to habits.
Habits become talents.
Talents are labeled gifts.
You’re not born this way, you get this way.

Was Seth trying to explain/downplay his own giftedness in an egalitarian –yes you too can have what I have – manner.

Was he trying to create conversation in relation to positive thinking as suggested by his next post at http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2013/02/rehearsing-failure-rehearsing-success.html  or about cause and effect  as in http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2013/02/signals-vs-causes.html

Or was he, as a commenter on Susanne Thomas’ Building Wing Span blog http://buildingwingspan.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/what-seth-godin-doesnt-understand-about.html  suggested acting as a guru and trying to provoke action in his followers


Imaginational felt sure that Seth Godin would have a purpose in writing and speculated about whether it might relate to an upcoming project or book.
Was he canvassing opinions about the nature of giftedness or trying to influence public opinion about it?

This paragraph seemed to indicate that he was intending to teach something or change something but his intentions were not really clear


And Imaginational wondered what if it was possible to create a state of giftedness in yourself? Just because the answer at this point in time seemed to be a clear negative it did not necessarily mean that it would always be the case.

Maybe it was a Cake type argument. To bake a cake you needed to have enough of the right ingredients but how could you generate the original raw ingredients after you had baked it?

Maybe it was a Star Trek type argument. Maybe the arrow on Gagne’s model only went in one direction because on Earth we live in a linear time frame. We are born, we age and develop and then we die. Maybe if we did not live within the restrictions of a linear time frame we could gain experience and mastery which could then retrospectively cause adjustment to the essence and wiring of a person.

Maybe it was an Imaginary/ Imaginal type argument like the argument he had with Intellectual Dabrowski about the possible but highly improbable existence of the Tree Octopus https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2010/11/23/imaginational-dabrowski-counsel-for-the-defence-2/ .  Maybe there would come a time when it would be possible to imagine things into existence and people would be able to create giftedness in themself. And when that time came what would education look like? In fact who knew what developments there would be in education, in medicine, in philosophy?
And if it were possible would everyone want to do it?

As Gilbert and Sullivan observed “When you have nothing else to wear But cloth of gold and satins rare For cloth of gold you cease to care Up goes the price of shoddy!”

If people could create giftedness in themselves would it still come with all the downsides of asynchrony, heightened intensity and sensitivity and the social isolation that are felt by the gifted now? Or would it be the common condition with no negative aspects?

And if self made giftedness became the common condition what would happen to the people who chose not to do it? Would it be considered mandatory to

Make Choices
Build Habits
Earn Talents
Be Gifted

And what about the ones who, like the Tortoise, with the very best will and intention and effort were not able to self activate giftedness through good choices, good habits and hard work?

Imaginational explained all these thoughts to the others.
Sensual sat and scratched his head and Psycho Motor went outside to chase butterflies.

“I think maybe I could imagine being able to create giftedness in yourself” Imaginational said.

“That is just wishful thinking!” scoffed Intellectual.

Emotional Dabrowski said “I think that to even be able to think like that you would have to be gifted already”

This post has been nominated as one of the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Rapid Responses to the topic “All children are gifted” To read more responses to this topic see


1 thought on “What Seth Godin Doesn’t Understand about Gifted People: Goes the other way? I think not! 2

  1. This raises a good point … does Godin have any empathy for those who follow his every word and will now not be able to achieve that which he espouses with such cool detachment? I wonder …

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