In this eye-opening account, Cal Newport debunks the long-held belief that "follow your passion" is good advice.
Not only is the cliché flawed - pre-existing passions are rare and have little to do with how most people end up loving their work - but it can also be dangerous, leading to anxiety and chronic job hopping.
After making his case against passion, Newport sets out on a quest to discover the reality of how people end up loving what they do. Spending time with organic farmers, venture capitalists, screenwriters, freelance computer programmers, and others who admitted to deriving great satisfaction from their work, Newport uncovers the strategies they used and the pitfalls they avoided in developing their compelling careers.
Matching your job to a preexisting passion does not matter, he reveals. Passion comes after you put in the hard work to become excellent at something valuable, not before.
In other words, what you do for a living is much less important than how you do it.
With a title taken from the comedian Steve Martin, who once said his advice for aspiring entertainers was to "be so good they can't ignore you", Cal Newport's clearly written manifesto is mandatory listening for anyone fretting about what to do with their life, or frustrated by their current job situation and eager to find a fresh new way to take control of their livelihood. He provides an evidence-based blueprint for creating work you love.
So Good They Can't Ignore You will change the way we think about our careers, happiness, and the crafting of a remarkable life.
©2012 Cal Newport (P)2012 Hachette Audio
Interesting take on the "craftsman mindset" versus the flawed "passion mindset," an idea supported by work from Daniel Pink, Malcolm Gladwell, and many others. It is absolutely true that business (and some consultants) often go in the exact-opposite direction shown by decades of strong research.
I recommend this book for entrepreneurs and lifestyle designers.
ZEN. LDS. GTD. FTW.
The book title is a little misleading. It should have been called "Triangulate" or "You're not there yet".
The book isn't really about becoming really good at something. It's about finding work in life that is satisfying and remarkable, and that is done by working at things that interest you until you land that dream job. Cal claims he debunks the idea to 'follow your passion', but in my mind he fails to because all of the people mentioned in the book followed their interests and passions and tried various things to get to their life's work or calling in life.
The perfect voice for this book and his reading was flawless.
Not for me. After listening to it I felt I didn't learn a single thing. But then again, I'm 42 and likely not his target audience.
The advice to 'follow your passion' has not been debunked by Cal's book, rather, he just injected more realism and substance to it.
I love how practical and grounded "So Good" is. I drank the success Kool-Aid of loopy books like "The Secret" for a few years there only to realize how disconnected from reality that whole scene is. In retrospect, I wish I would have read "So Good" FIRST. It's not the sexiest book - no promises of fancy cars or mansions. Instead, it's the gritty bare-knuckled reality of getting good and (in my opinion), getting PAID. Yes you have to grind it out getting really damned skilled at something. Yes it takes time, practice, and failure. "So Good" is refreshingly honest and guides you and I through that journey of becoming, well, "So Good They Can't Ignore US". Thank-you Cal Newport for writing such a fantastic book. Anytime another entrepreneur asks me for a good book recommendation, especially newer entrepreneurs, this is the FIRST book I recommend.
I walk at least an hour a day - so audio books are a great fit for me to finish a book in a week rather than the 1-2 months I normally need!
As the first Audio book I listened to, I think it was a very good choice. I was recommended the book from a Venture Capitalist at 500 Startups.
Thomas my favorite character, mostly because his story seemed to be a stark example of someone following a sort of spiritual path to find their passion, only to discover a magical transformation didn't take place with his satisfaction level.It was also a nice way to finish off the book referring back to Thomas who ended up putting in the hard yards over 10 years to get really good at something - again a stark contrast - to those seeking a shortcut.
No extreme reaction given it validated many of the things I have done over 20 years to build up "career capital" and the book nicely dovetails content from other books I've read such as "Outliers & 10,000 hours" and "Where good ideas come from & adjacent possible". i.e. by doing the hard work and getting good over 10k hours one is more likely to be able to see the opportunities that lay beyond the cutting edge - in the adjacent possible.
By sidelining the idea of passion as a driver, and the language around the "passion carrot" (as I put it) industry I think Cal Newport's book helps one to focus in on deepening one's skills (career capital) which I find to be very practical and a nice reminder to me to be more cognoscente about the way I achieve this in my work.
I often listen to books in the business/ career genre, and have long been troubled by the fact that I really had no idea how to change the downtime activities I enjoyed into my career. I really don't know how to transition from video games and reading sci-fi/fantasy fiction into a sustainable career, and I wasn't sure if I even wanted to try. This book made me realize that maybe I don't have to.
I felt as though the book was a little slow getting into it, but in the end I am glad that I listened to the full book. I really enjoyed that each point he made was tied to a real person interviewed by the author, it made it easier to implement the information in the book. The book's conclusion, in which the author describes the application of his findings in his own life, gave me a lot of ideas about how to improve my own work.
If you have been told by someone that you won't be happy at work unless you "find your passion" and have been discouraged by such mantras, you will enjoy this book. And you won't continue to feel like an un-passionate weirdo in this passion-oriented culture.
Good stories but nothing that stroked me or inspired. I already forgot most of the content.
Give listener points to remember. One, two, three
I love the idea that follow you passion is a bad idea, for most people. I love it because I have difficulties in the past to follow my passion and develop a career out of it. And for so long I feel guilty about it. But now, I am free of guilt.
Cal Newport also give an alternative by giving the way of the craftman mindset. He argue that rather that follow you passion at the beginning, you start by accumulating a career capital by doing something good. You build your career capital so that you can have a rare and valueable skill. With that skill you can make a career that have the traits of a great career such as control, freeedom and mission. And then the passion will grow.
Cal is my favourite character because he is the hero in a quest to find a way to hae a great career.
No I haven't heard other Dave Mellow's performance and this is my first audio book. Nevertheless, I like his voice, it is clear and easy to follow.
How to build accumulate career capital that can translates to a great career with control and freedom.
A lot of good well researched material.Quite ground breaking. Somewhere towards the 2/3rd to 3/4th part of the book he started rambling a bit.
The fact about chess players, the ones who did regular tournaments did not improve as much as those who did serious study.
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