Earlier this year, I read the fantastic book So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport. Here are the notes I took.
Career Capital = rare/valuable resources
- If you think of it as in supply & demand, then having rare/valuable resources gives you leverage to get rare/valuable traits.
- A mission is one such trait, can be purchased with career capital to make your life better.
“Think small, act big”
- Focus on a narrow collection of subjects for potentially a long time. Once you get to the cutting edge, and discover a mission in the adjacent possible, you must go after it with zeal: a “big” action.
Rule of Financial Viability(?)
- New opportunity and you’re not sure to take it?
“Will someone pay me for this?”
-> helps judge if valuable
“Be so good they can’t ignore you”, - Steve Martin
Having proper control = Dream-job elixir
- “I want your job!” = this
Deliberate practice will
- Help stop you from being plateaued
- Get you past the “acceptable level” you’ve been at
- “Feel the strain!”
- Log the hours of deliberate practice
- Collect/analyze at the monthly level
- Top: Tentative Research Mission
- Middle: Exploratory Projects
- Bottom: Background Research
Little Bets & Experiments
- Short, less than a month long, where you can get feedback on quickly, and use that to gauge the interest.
As a developer, what matters most is writing good programs that do their job.
Capital Type: Write apps that work
Define “Good”: Scripts / Apps being taken seriously
- Deliberate practice requires good goals
Stretch & Destroy:
- Doing what you know may be enjoyable, but deliberate practice is, above all, an effort of focus and concentration. It’s not like playing scales.
- Be strong enough to reject new pursuits just because they’re shiny - they are likely a distraction.
Deliberate practice is often the opposite of enjoyable.
- Personal Examples: Linux, Raspberry Pi setup
A mission (compelling direction?), not a passion.
“A good mission is… waiting to be discovered… at the cutting edge.”