On Saturday, I finished So Good They Can't Ignore You by Cal Newport. It was a book recommended to me by B. Since we have similar thoughts on work life and I'm interested in self-growth books, I decided to read it. I enjoyed the book so much that I finished it in a week.
In Rule #1, Newport debunks the cliché work advice to "follow your passion." Through the examples of multiple people's career stories and working lives, he digs deep to learn what makes an individual happy with their work, and the path that has led them to where they are. With his research and these examples, he highlights the skills the reader should be aware of to guide their work and be "so good they can't ignore you."
This book would be helpful to anyone who has struggled to find the right work for their life, wants to develop skills necessary to loving the work you do, or for the person who has tried to "follow their passion" and found out that it doesn't always work.
Without giving too much away (hopefully), here are a few other points I underlined for myself to remember:
- You need to get good in order to get good things in your working life.
- It is a lifetime accumulation of deliberate practice that again and again ends up explaining excellence.
- Hardness scares off the daydreamers and the timid, leaving more opportunity for those like us who are willing to take time to carefully work out the best path forward and then confidently take action.
- "Rather than believing they have to start with a big idea or plan out a whole project in advance they make a methodical series of litter bets about what might be a good direction, learning critical information from lots of little failures and from small but significant wins." - Peter Sims, Little Bets
Up next I'm reading: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho