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So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love | [Cal Newport]

So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love

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 - preexisting 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

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  •  
    Sergio M. Perez 03-22-13

    Say something about yourself!

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    "I wish I read this book 10 years ago."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes!!! Every breathing being needs to read/listen to this book; it will make/save you thousands of dollars.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of So Good They Can't Ignore You?

    The entire book is filled with disruptive concepts; I would recommend reading/listening to the entire book.


    Which character – as performed by Dave Mallow – was your favorite?

    Not one in particular


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me realize I have been approaching entrepreneurship the wrong way all along.


    Any additional comments?

    If I could, I would donate a copy of this book to every single high school graduate.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Provo, UT, United States 02-20-13
    Elizabeth Provo, UT, United States 02-20-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Something to think about"

    I love books that make me think differently about things I've heard my whole life. like you have to find your passion and then find a job that matches your passion. this book shows how that is not true.

    the most important thing you can do is gain career capital. work on skills that make your current job more fulfilling. I like this concept, I have some goals to work on now.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip D. Mann Oklahoma City, OK, United States 10-23-12
    Philip D. Mann Oklahoma City, OK, United States 10-23-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Too Busy to Find Your Passion?"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Comely 12-24-12

    ZEN. LDS. GTD. FTW.

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    "A bit like Chinese Takeout"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The book title is a little misleading. It should have been called "Triangulate" or "You're not there yet".


    What was most disappointing about Cal Newport’s story?

    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.


    What about Dave Mallow’s performance did you like?

    The perfect voice for this book and his reading was flawless.


    Was So Good They Can't Ignore You worth the listening time?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    The advice to 'follow your passion' has not been debunked by Cal's book, rather, he just injected more realism and substance to it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TrishNJ 06-29-15
    TrishNJ 06-29-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great book for early or mid career"

    The book was a refreshing break from the "do what you love and the money will follow" genre and provides practical steps to bring more craftsmanship to your work life. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jesse 06-04-15
    Jesse 06-04-15 Member Since 2010
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    "If you are a stereo typical hippy read this book."

    There is nothing new as far as useful information here. I'm not sure what world this author is from but Work Hard is not unconventional wisdom. I would give the book a lower rating but the actionable information is spot on. The book could be 1/5 as long if the author didn't focus so much on why "follow your passion" is bad advice. That is explained clearly from the start. If you don't understand that hard work is connected to happiness this book may be worth your time. The author seems to have a bone to pick as a hook. (To use a pop music term)
    My main reason for a less than positive review is the information is good, but the setting is less than solid.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stanley A. Parker 05-30-15 Member Since 2006
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    "Fantastic!"

    A must read for graduates as well as the seasoned discontent! Blah dee dah to fill in the rest of the required words.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. Eric J. Maltzer 05-03-15
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    "Amazing book!"

    Really unique advice. Well thought through. Very well written and organized. Easy to digest in a sitting or two. Much needed for millennials!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Faulkner 04-27-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Practical, In-depth, Actionable"

    This book truly explains the how and why of livelihood success, 'destiny' control, and self-assured happiness in our earning lives. These are the nuts and bolts of building passion out of action, to create the niche that your own expert presence will fill.

    This is presented with a thorough, well-organized, and easy to read style that makes it both digestible and memorable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Valere Morissette 04-22-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A Must if you are searching your passion"
    What did you love best about So Good They Can't Ignore You?

    Most of us don't or didn't have a passion, now this book make it clear; don't waste time searching for your passion, instead become good at something the things that are the easiest for you. Your passion will become " to be good and to do good". I lived this way and I had a great life, full of adventure and accomplishment that give me a great satisfaction.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Very well documented with many life experiences. I had in mind the content of this book, before I read it, the elaborate approach of Cal Newport make it clear.


    Have you listened to any of Dave Mallow’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from So Good They Can't Ignore You?

    I will apply it with anybody for the young generation that is 'searching for a passion".


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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