Mirror, Mirror...Who’s the Wisest of Them All?

January 7, 2020

Mirror, Mirror...Who’s the Wisest of Them All?

May 29, 2023

They often say your friends and companions are reflections of you. Most of the time, this is a good thing. However, we all know those friends who can make you feel like you’re in a demented House of Mirrors. You feel fat, elongated, stupid, judgmental. Hopefully, by the second half of life, you learn whose reflection you want to emulate.

Seth Godin has always been the wise one in my life, a few steps ahead of me. Always a valuable mirror. Neither of us mentions our co-written first book in our bibliographies, but Seth wrote his first official book less than a decade after biz school. He started his blog a few years later and became a favored global speaker on marketing and entrepreneurship before his 40th birthday. Soon after, he started creating a series of schools, including his world-renowned altMBA, which was clearly a product of harvesting his own midlife wisdom. If I wanted to know what I’d be doing in five or ten years, I guess I just needed to study what Seth was doing today.

Seeking wisdom is a tricky business. We think we need all kinds of degrees and certificates, or bells and whistles. Spend a weekend walking on burning coals with Tony Robbins or binge-watch Oprah’s SuperSoul Sundays. Maybe a good Deepak Chopra book will have our answers. The truth is, wisdom is much closer. Perhaps right next to us.

Imagine your wisest friend for a few minutes—how do they go about creating a purposeful life? What qualities do you most admire in them? How could you emulate them beginning today? Better yet, when was the last time you reached out and asked them for some advice?


This is the 5th post in our week-long series of Chip Conley and Seth Godin sharing lessons on how to harvest and cultivate wisdom. Here are the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th posts from the series.

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