Cal Newport is the author of So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love (2012). In the video from the 2012 World Domination Summit, he dispels the "follow your passion" advice so many of us have been given and passed on to others. This video made the rounds on Facebook for a while - I am just now getting around to sharing it here.
Here is the blurb for his book:
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-preexisting 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.Cal Newport is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, who specializes in the theory of distributed algorithms. He previously earned his Ph.D. from MIT in 2009 and graduated from Dartmouth College in 2004.
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 reading 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.
In addition to his academic work, Newport is a writer who focuses on contrarian, evidence-based advice for building a successful and fulfilling life in school and after graduation.
Published on Jan 29, 2013
"The path to a passionate life is often way more complex than the simple advice 'follow your passion' would suggest."
You've been told you should follow your passion, to do what you love and the money will follow. But how sound is this advice? Cal Newport argues that it's astonishingly wrong.
You can find out more in his book, So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love.