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Cal Newport on why you should *not* follow your passion

For lasting success, abandon the passion mindset for the craftsman's mindset

The passion mindset asks “What does this job offer me?".The craftsman's mindset finds joy in developing news skills and then puts them to work, by asking “What am I offering the world?

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Cal Newport on why you should *not* follow your passion

Cal Newport on why you should *not* follow your passion

https://www.bakadesuyo.com/2013/04/interview-author-cal-newport-on-how-you-can-become-an-expert-and-why-you-should-not-follow-your-passion/

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Key Ideas

Growth happens outside of your control area

When people want to get better at something they make a mistake by seeking flow: It’s enjoyable, you feel like you have control. But the actual state in which you’re getting better is one of where you feel uncomfortable.  

For lasting success, abandon the passion mindset for the craftsman's mindset

The passion mindset asks “What does this job offer me?".The craftsman's mindset finds joy in developing news skills and then puts them to work, by asking “What am I offering the world?

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“Follow your passion” might be bad advice
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Don't follow your passion
The main flaw of  “finding your passion” presupposes that interests and passions are fixed, rather than fluid and evolving as we age and gain wisdom and experience. 
The problem with following your passion
  • It ignores the market. Unless you have a trust fund waiting for you, you’ll have to feed yourself and others. 
  • It will turn a passion into a job. 
Learn from Startups
  1. Identify real needs in the market that are currently not being well met. 
  2. Assess your strengths: Whatever is easy for you that most others have a harder time with, that’s a worthy option.
  3. Match up these two in a constantly iterative process: This process takes many years if not decades.

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Digital minimalism
Digital minimalism

It means using technology with more intention and purpose.

It's a “philosophy of technology use” rooted in reclaiming control and intention back from the devices and platforms that hav...

Techno-maximalism

It promtes the basic idea that technological innovations can bring value and convenience into your life.

It just looks at the positives. And it's view is more is better than less, because more things that bring you benefits means more total benefits. 

Putting FOMO into perspective

If you want to maximize the amount of value you feel in your life, you want to put as much of your time and effort as possible into the small number of things to give you huge rewards. 

When you think about it that way, fear of missing out looks like, just mathematically speaking, a really bad strategy.

Developing our strengths

Although we usually see our weaknesses as more changeable than our strengths, research shows that we should not focus on improving our weak parts, but to develop our strengths.

Identifying strengths

Try to see your strengths in relation to what energizes you. Something is a strength if: 

  • it makes you feel successful
  • you're drawn to it
  • it fully engages you
  • after doing that activity, you feel energized and fulfilled.
Ask the people around you

It's difficult for us to see our own strengths, but people around us (friends, coworkers, family members, mentors) will most likely see them clearly.

The goal is to identify things that you wouldn't have thought of on your own—or to find patterns.

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Passion is key to success

Passion seems to be essential for success and happiness.
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A career without passion

While some people have a clear calling from an early age, many spend their whole careers without having ever discovered their passion.

The most basic foundation of passion is an intense interest in what you're doing.

Mindsets
Some people tend to see their abilities as fixed, that you either have a talent for something or you don't. Others have a growth mindset where they believe that abilities can change over time.

These mindsets determine how we face challenges: We either give up when we are faced with difficulties or we persevere knowing that we will improve over time.

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The Effects Of Burnout
The Effects Of Burnout

One of the worst things burnout does is to take away the pleasure you once had in your work. And even after recovering you might not recapture the same enthusiasm you once had.

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What Makes a Job Satisfying
  • Engagement
  • Benefitting other people
  • Work you’re good at (and feel valued for)
  • Flexibility and control
  • Chances for meaningful collaboration.
Work As Identity

Work is seen as a source of income and a source of identity. This increases the likelihood of burnout, as it makes a failure in one mean a failure in both.

Blurring the lines between personal and professional life leads us to chase unrealistic deadlines, take on overwhelming workloads, and bring work into all other parts of our lives.

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Cherish your life
Cherish your life

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Work hard, live longer

One of the biggest truths you will ever come to realize is that hard work, ambition and targets give actual meaning to your life. 

Furthermore, once you have given a purpose to your work, you will most certainly see that motivation goes a long way into making someone's life more interesting to live.

There is a limit to happiness

Whoever believes that happiness knows no bound is in for a big surprise: happiness, like everything in this world, knows limits and very often we perceive this fact maybe just a bit too harsh. 

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Make The Readers Feel Something

Honesty is the most important ingredient. You don’t have to be or have gone through something to write about it but you must have a heartfelt feeling about it so you can expose that emotion thro...

Structure And Revise

You need to have a beginning that builds to a middle and an ending, or at least an idea of where you’re going, as it is key to explore your themes and foreshadow things properly.

Another important thing is to revise your writings. Your first draft is likely to contain multiple errors, poorly phrased sections, and inconsistencies.

Surprise The Reader

To do it, you must know what your audience expects from the type of writing you’re doing and then defy it.

Without the surprise, without the twist, if you don’t pull the wool over the audience’s eyes, then it’s unlikely you’re going to be memorable. It’s precisely the fact that things are not what they seem that makes a story interesting.

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Do many things

It's better to have lots of options and interests than none at all. 

Make a list of all the things you're interested in, pick two to focus on first and then get busy. If you ...

Always stay true to yourself

We often try to place limits on ourselves after we've invested so much money in school and we move into the working world feeling stuck at jobs with horrible bosses, low pay and in cities that just aren't what we expected. 

Stop doing what you hate and begin taking the steps to do what you love. You don't have to feel confined to a box and you shouldn't worry about being defined by one thing.

Focus on you

You won't find your passion by watching and comparing where you are in life to others. 

You also can't compare your beginning to someone else's middle.

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Re-reading doesn't help

Don't just re-read your notes. When you first read, you extract a lot of information, but when you do it the second time, you read with a sense of 'I know this, I know this.'

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Ask lots of questions

Read once and then quiz yourself. Retrieving that information is what actually produces more robust learning and memory.

Even if you get the answers wrong, you'll still have an idea of what you don't know. This helps guide your studying more effectively.

Make connections

Relate new information to prior information for better learning.

During a second reading, try to connect new information to something you already know.

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