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A Comment On "So Good They Can't Ignore You" by Cal Newport


Check out this interesting book, here, and discussion at GovLoop.
This is a very good example of someone making money off of intentionally controversial hype.
The author takes a nugget of truth and blows it up into advice that could seriously harm people.
The nugget of truth is that employers reward skill not passion. Passion in fact can get in the way of career success. Why? Because it blinds your judgment when you get emotional about the work.
The harmful part is that YOU cannot go to work without some form of motivation. Lots of things are motivating -- subsistence, engagement, meaning, control and empowerment (see Penelope Trunk's excellent blog post here).
Work about which you feel passionate is also motivating.
When I was young, I studied what I was passionate about - writing - and I have never, ever been sorry about that. I went to a college where I could create my own courses, shape my own major and eventually got a scholarship to study sociology, which is endlessly fascinating to me and turned into marketing.
My advice to young people is:
FOLLOW YOUR PASSION
There is enough time to be practical later on - the marketplace will reward you for the things you are good at. But don't start out cynical and trying to "work it" just to make a buck. You will be miserable.

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