are you a “waker”?

[“I Choose This Life”, which I sent out in the newsletter recently. You can buy the print here etc.]

Are you a “Waker”?

If the answer is no, I’m sorry to hear that. Wakers are my favorite people.

A waker is someone who is very good at waking other people up from their metaphorical slumber.

Some people just have the gift. Being around them or their work just makes you feel more alive, more inspired, more motivated, more awake. The best wakers will make you do crazy-ass things, like quit your boring job and start your own business, write that song, move to Thailand, forgive that someone who once hurt you, or finally tell that girl that you love her.

A waker reminds you on a constant basis,  just how alive you really are. Just how much human potential you really have inside of you. And there’s something about their influence that makes you utterly unable to go back to “sleep” ever again, in spite of your best efforts.

Wakers can be great artists- Jeff Buckely, Picasso, Harper Lee, Beethoven, Charlie Parker, Leo Tolstoy, Tilda Swinton, Louis Armstrong, Ralph Steadman, Saul Steinberg etc- but they don’t have to be.

Wakers can be great spiritual leaders- Jesus, Gandhi, Mohammed, Buddha, The Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King, Joseph Campbell etc- but they don’t have to be.

Wakers can be great public figures- Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill, Simone de Beauvoir, Diana Vreeland, Carl Sagan, John Peel, Susan Sontag, Alistair Cooke, Margaret Thatcher,  etc- but they don’t have to be.

I know great wakers who are bartenders, bus drivers, teachers, receptionists, plumbers. Theirs is a gift, not a job title.

If you are a waker, I’m happy for you. There is no better way to spend one’s life than being a waker, I truly believe that.

The human race needs you, like flowers need sunshine. The human race would die out within three generations without you. Thanks for being here. Seriously.

If you’re not a waker, don’t you think you should be? Serious question.

[The “Remember Who You Are” archive is here.]

[Download the high-res “Remember Who You Are” poster here.]

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Hugh MacLeod is a genius.  Genius.

Seth Godin
Best Selling Author

His work acknowledges the absurdity of workaday life, while also encouraging employees to respond with passion, creativity, and non-conformity...   MacLeod’s work is undeniably an improvement over the office schlock of yore. At its best, it’s more honest, and more cognizant of the entrepreneurial psyche, while still retaining some idealism.

The New Republic
Lydia Depillis

Last year my State of the College address was 76 slides loaded with data. This year it was 14 cartoons that were substantially more memorable.

Len Schlesinger
Former President, Babson College

"There are only two daily newsletters that I look forward to opening and reading every time they show up to my inbox: Seth Godin's and gapingvoid."

Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos

In moments of indecision I glance at the wall [to Hugh's work] for guidance.

Brian Clark
  • Seth Godin
  • The New Republic
  • Len Schlesinger
  • Tony Hsieh
  • Brian Clark