So Good They Can't Ignore You

Updated: Jan 24

Cal Newport

“Follow Your Passion” is TERRIBLE advice. In this eye-opening account, Cal Newport sets out to discover the reality of how people end up loving what they do.

What’s it about?

In So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Cal Newport debunks the long-held belief that “following your passion” is the key to satisfaction.

Drawing from real-life examples and cutting edge science, he details the alternative strategies that work much better for developing a compelling career.

The book revolves around four ideas. The first one is about debunking the “passion hypothesis”. The second one enlightens us on how we can adopt what Newport calls a “craftsman mindset”. He then goes on to argue about autonomy being the most important component of a ‘dream’ job. The fourth idea explains that having a ‘mission’ or a ‘higher purpose’ in your job is probably a good idea, and is really nice if you can find it.

What I liked about the book?

This is one of the few self-help/ improvement books that actually hold relevance in today’s age.

Newport does not make baseless claims in this book. Every argument he makes is backed by intensive research and real-life examples.

Unlike the usual self-help books, this book does not give you a bright, optimistic future to look forward to. Newport is very pragmatic in the ideas that he puts forward which makes the book more realistic and relatable to the target audience,ie, people who are confused about what to do with their life.

In an age where the global unemployment rate is rising along with the percentage of people who are not satisfied with their jobs, this book provides a new approach to solving this crisis on an individual level.

“If your goal is to love what you do, you must first build up 'career capital' by mastering rare and valuable skills, and then cash in this capital for the traits that define great work.”

What did I not like about the book?

While the first two sections of the book are amazing, the latter two sections, while still good, are unable to match the expectations set by the former parts of the book.

While Newport does make a lot of sense about his passion hypothesis, it can be a subjective issue and has its exceptions like sportspersons and actors. This has raised many concerns from readers.

Newport’s advice on finding purpose in your work (the 4th part) draws skepticism as it is not universally practical.

My verdict-

So Good They Can’t Ignore You presents a number of compelling arguments on how we must go about developing a career we end up loving. This is a must-read practical guide for all the Gen-Z people out there who are faced with a bleak future in terms of the global employment market.

Rating - 7.5/10

You can check out this book for yourself by clicking on the link below!

Thank you for reading my review. Hope you enjoy the book!

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