So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport

Rating: 6/10

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So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport

Rating: 6/10

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High-Level Thoughts

Don’t “follow your passion,” focus on getting really good at something and passion will follow. This summarizes the entire book, without offering as much tactical advice as Deep Work (to me). Many people think this is his better book though, so try it for yourself.

Summary Notes

If you’re not focusing on becoming so good they can’t ignore you, you’re going to be left behind.

Three traits that define great work:

  • Creativity: Ira Glass, for example, is pushing the boundaries of radio, and winning armfuls of awards in the process.
  • Impact: From the Apple II to the iPhone, Steve Jobs has changed the way we live our lives in the digital age.
  • Control: No one tells Al Merrick when to wake up or what to wear. He’s not expected in an office from nine to five. Instead, his Channel Island Surfboards factory is located a block from the Santa Barbara beach, where Merrick still regularly spends time surfing.

Strain, I now accepted, was good. Instead of seeing this discomfort as a sensation to avoid, I began to understand it the same way that a body builder understands muscle burn: a sign that you’re doing something right. (see Peak)

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