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Download So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love Audiobook, by Cal Newport Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.94 out of 53.94 out of 53.94 out of 53.94 out of 53.94 out of 5 3.94 (18 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Cal Newport Narrator: Dave Mallow Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2012 ISBN: 9781619692015
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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.

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.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Do what you love and the money will follow’ sounds like great advice—until it’s time to get a job and disillusionment quickly sets in. Cal Newport ably demonstrates how the quest for ‘passion’ can corrode job satisfaction. If all he accomplished with this book was to turn conventional wisdom on its head, that would be interesting enough. But he goes further—offering advice and examples that will help you bypass the disillusionment and get right to work building skills that matter.”

    Daniel H. Pink, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “Stop worrying about what you feel like doing (and what the world owes you) and instead, start creating something meaningful and then give it to the world. Cal really delivers with this one.”

    Seth Godin, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Lively and engaging…[with] real-life examples of individuals…This refreshing view encourages readers to make reasonable choices, buckle down and put in the time, and through trial and error hone their ‘career capital.’ Written in an optimistic and accessible tone, with clear logic and no-nonsense advice, this work is useful reading for anyone new to the job market and striving to find a path or for those who have been struggling to find meaning in their current careers.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This book changed my mind. It has moved me from ‘find your passion, so that you can be useful’ to ‘be useful so that you can find your passion.’ That is a big flip, but it’s more honest, and that is why I am giving each of my three young adult children a copy of this unorthodox guide.”

    Kevin Kelly, senior maverick, Wired magazine

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 2/16/2014

    " Listened to through Audible. Walks through why following your passion might not be the best advise. Challenges you to hone your skills to become an expert. And if you are an expert, don't you love what you do. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ctrain79 | 1/26/2014

    " Basic career advice. Good for a *very* general set of rules to lead to success in reaching your goals and to set a path on how to actually achieve them. Not a big deal, and a person could get everything they need out of this book by simply reading the summaries at the end of each section of three to four chapters. Newport has a lot of interesting people he has interviewed, and their viewpoints would be good for a more relaxing read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura Talley | 1/19/2014

    " 5-star advice with 3-star presentation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Victoria | 1/4/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book: a refreshing, no-nonsense thesis backed by a compelling argument and interesting real-life examples. The author also offers a practical guide for getting satisfaction out of one's chosen work. I realized I had been following a similar path in my own career, and have taken steps to keep on investing in my own "career capital" by cultivating a more focused practice. Well done. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Masafuera | 12/30/2013

    " The gist of his book is public and neatly summarised by that New Yorker (I think?) article. Not worth RRP, decidedly unacademic, very fluffy - for instance - lays out a framework for *one* type of success, tries to assure the reader that doing something for long enough leads to loving it... I am not convinced and found his blog more useful than this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sonya | 12/15/2013

    " This should be required reading for high schoolers, graduates, and people who are worried to death about their career choices. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mikedariano | 10/5/2013

    " The largest problem in this book was that it seemed as though the examples Dr. Newport used were all very similar in situations to himself. The content and arguments otherwise were very good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sari | 9/1/2013

    " a good exploration of what makes a successful career, dispelling the myth of "follow your passion" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet | 8/28/2013

    " Not necessarily empirically supported or masterfully written, but the ideas are good and very effectively discount the conventional wisdom to "follow your passions" into your career. Then goes the step further to what you should do instead. Very practical and applicable. Recommend it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thomas | 8/8/2013

    " I wish I had read this in high school. This should be mandatory reading in high schools. I don't normally pick up career advice books but this one was one I couldn't ignore, since it threw the advice I heard all my life, "follow your passion" out the window. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Travis Tomsu | 6/30/2013

    " Great themes presented in this book. The repetition of the same summary points gets old after the first few chapters, though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rory | 3/24/2013

    " Pretty good. A lot of counter-intuitive advice here, and stuff I want to put into practice. The last chapter, about marketing was a bit of a waste. I also felt like I had a bunch of questions, but maybe he answers them in his blog or he will in a 2nd edition with a Q&A or summat? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alan | 2/27/2013

    " Great book. Really helps counterbalance the Lifestyle Entrepreneur movement (Timothy Ferris / The 4-Hour Work Week). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vikneswaran | 2/24/2013

    " Newport sets out a persuasive case against the 'passion hypothesis'. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Drew | 11/10/2012

    " Typical Cal writing - super logic based, but it's more than just a gimmicky starting point. Interesting examples and motivational. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claire | 10/19/2012

    " Most of what I read I gleaned off the website, though he goes more into depth here. I do love Cal Newport and his advice; it's shaped a lot of my personal philosophy and how I approach life and school and success. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben Walker | 9/28/2012

    " Very good book. Highly recommended, especially for young people. If you're not interested in reading the whole thing, just read the conclusion to each chapter (about 8 pages) and you'll get the idea of the whole book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margaret Heller | 9/25/2012

    " I enjoy Cal Newport's Study Hacks blog. A lot of this is revised from that blog, and definitely feels like a mathematician wrote it. Lots of rules and rehashing of those rules. I think it's worth a read if you think you have to love what you do all the time. Cause that's impossible and takes work. "

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About the Author

Cal Newport, PhD, is a writer and an assistant professor of computer science at Georgetown University. He also runs the popular website Study Hacks: Decoding Patterns of Success.

About the Narrator

Dave Mallow has worked extensively in animation, video games, and audiobook narration. Among his animation credits are the voice of Baboo in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers; Angemon, Gekkomon, and Uppamon in Digimon: Digital Monsters; and Akuma in Street Fighter.