Aditya Tyagi

Nov 24, 2018

2 min read

My Reading Experience — So good they can’t ignore you by Cal Newport

Book Cover

The core idea of the book is simple: To construct the work you love, you must first build career capital by mastering rare and valuable skills, and then cash in this capital for the type of traits that define compelling careers — Control and Mission

The book takes example of a programmer asking for remote working from her employer i.e to get more control over her life. But she just didn’t went out and asked for it, she first made sure that she becomes exceptionally good at her work by acquiring rare and valuable career capital and then make the demand.

The book also tells how to gain such career capital (or dream elixir,as the book calls it) — Deliberate Practice. Doing things we know how to do well is enjoyable, and that’s exactly the opposite of what deliberate practice demands. It is effort of focus and concentration. Pushing yourself.

Suppose by now you have collected the career capital and are ready to take more control of your life, the book then sheds light on two types of control traps:

1. Control that’s acquired without career capital is not sustainable.

2. Once you acquire enough career capital, you’ll face resistance from your current employer because now you are more valuable than ever and he/she will resist giving you more control.

Thinking of quitting your 9–5 and embarking the glorified startup journey? Think again w.r.t “The law of financial viability” which when deciding whether to follow an appealing pursuit, seek evidence of whether people are willing to pay for it. If you find this evidence, continue. If not, move on.

The book also takes dig at how to move ahead with your life to make a career that you want. Topics such as

1. Think Small, Act Big

2. Getting to a mission in your life that spearheads your career decisions

3. Little Bets: Move ahead in an incremental fashion

4. Leaping the gap between idea and practice

5. Marketing your mission right

are a delight to know and opens up your mind to endless possibilities. It also makes a point that you cannot just FIND your mission one day and then decide to figure out a job that is aligned to it. You work, keep on working to become the best at 1 thing and you’ll find the breakthrough (mission) during that period.

At last, the book references the Seth Godin’s philosophy of Purple Cow: You’re either remarkable or invisible.

The book is available here:

Thank you for your time. I hope I was able to bring you value!
Aditya Tyagi
November 24, 2018

Programmer and a voracious reader who writes about web development and personal finance | adityatyagi.com

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