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Our Focus Determines Our Reality

Our Focus Determines Our Reality

So Good They Can't Ignore You


So Good They Can’t Ignore You – Why Skills trump Passion in the quest for Work you Love.

“Why do some people end up loving what they do (for a living) while so many others fail to?”

Cal Newport interviews people who love their work to find out how they got there. He found that the people who loved what they did for a living had what he calls a “craftsman,” mind-set. Those who didn’t enjoy what they did he found had what he calls a “passion,” mind-set.

The passion mind-set thinks “what can the world offer me?” What job can sustain my pre-existing passion? Firstly, when you focus on what your work offers you, it makes you hyperaware of what you don’t like about it, leading to chronic unhappiness. This is especially true for entry level positions (millennials?) which by definition are not going to be filled with challenging projects and autonomy – these come later. The passion mind-set is almost guaranteed to keep you perpetually unhappy. Feeling you are not making an impact, are undervalued and considering leaving for new pastures only to repeat the process somewhere else.

The craftsman mind-set thinks “How can I improve and create something uniquely valuable to offer. To focus on building “career capital”. To take every opportunity to learn and grow your “professional brand”. To be become better today than you were yesterday.

When the “craftsman” mind-set is pursued people consistently experience these three work traits:

Impact: the quality of your work has a noticeable and positive impact on your colleagues and clients.
Creativity: you get the opportunity to improvise your work and implement your ideas.
Control: you have some say over how, when and where you work.

In the book Newport goes on to explain in detail “How,” to become rare and valuable and create the career capital you need to enjoy and excel in your work.

It starts with choosing to become So Good They Can’t Ignore You.

I thoroughly endorse this book as a totally good read.

David AnsleyComment