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So Good They Can't Ignore You

Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love

by Cal Newport


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.

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Recommendations: 1

Categories: Business & CareersManagement & Leadership

Reading time: 56 hours

Recommendations


Kevin Kelly
Executive Editor

There is a book that I'm recommending by Cal Newport. It's called So Good They Can't Ignore You. This changed my mind because I bought into the New Age California dogma of follow your bliss, one will follow. He makes a really good argument and convinced me that's actually not very good advice, that what you really want to do is to master something and to use your mastering of something as a way to get to your passion