Book Reviews

So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport -Book Notes, Summary, and Review

38. So Good They Can't Ignore You - Cal Newport

Get it on Amazon

Rating: 8/10

Date of reading: 11th – 14th of November, 2018

Description: Most people tell you to follow your passion to be happy. Cal Newport tells you the exact opposite. Don’t follow your passion, build a skill set which can’t be replicated and then start doing that. When you become good at something, your passion for that exact thing will emerge because you will be so good they can’t ignore you. Don’t do what you love. Love what you do.


My notes:




“English in Gumi, an industrial town in central South Korea. To many, life in East Asia might sound romantic, but this exoticism soon wore off for Thomas. “Every Friday night, after work, the men would gather at these street carts, which had tents extending out from them,” Thomas told me. “They gathered to drink soju [a distilled rice liquor] late into the night. During winter there would be steam coming from these tents, from all the men drinking. What I remember most, however, is that the next morning the streets would be covered in dry vomit.”” ( :5)

“Thomas’s problems began with the koans. A koan, in the Zen tradition, is a word puzzle, often presented as a story or a question. They’re meant to defy logical answers and therefore force you to access a more intuitive understanding of reality. In explaining the concept to me, Thomas gave the following example, which he had encountered early in his practice: “Show me an immovable tree in a heavy wind.”” ( :6)

“Okay, I would have been kicked out.” “Here’s the answer I gave to pass the koan,” he said. “I stood, like a tree, and waved my hands slightly as if in a wind. Right? The point was that this is a concept you really couldn’t capture in words.”” ( :6)

“A pilgrim of the way asked the Grand Master Zhaozhou, “Does a dog have Buddha nature or not?” Zhaozhou said, “Mu.” In Chinese, mu translates roughly to “no.”” ( :7)

“” Thomas had achieved a glimpse of the unity of nature that forms the core of the Buddhist understanding of the world. It was this unity that provided the answer to the koan. Excited, at his next interview with a senior monk Thomas made a gesture—”a simple gesture, something you might do in everyday life”—that made it clear that he had an intuitive understanding of the koan’s answer. He had made it through the first gate: He was officially a serious student of Zen.” ( :7)

“He had reached the zenith of his passion—he could now properly call himself a Zen practitioner —and yet, he was not experiencing the undiluted peace and happiness that had populated his daydreams. “The reality was, nothing had changed. I was exactly the same person, with the same worries and anxieties. It was late on a Sunday afternoon when I came to this realization, and I just started crying.” Thomas had followed his passion to the Zen Mountain Monastery, believing, as many do, that the key to happiness is identifying your true calling and then chasing after it with all the courage you can muster. But as Thomas experienced that late Sunday afternoon in the oak forest, this belief is frighteningly naïve. Fulfilling his dream to become a full-time Zen practitioner did not magically make his life wonderful. As Thomas discovered, the path to happiness—at least as it concerns what you do for a living—is more complicated than simply answering the classic question “What should I do with my life?”” ( :7)

bam bam bam. To sto si pronasao svrhu ne znači da ti je život riješen. Zapravo postaje još teži jer tek onda moraš skontati hoćeš li je pursue or not! (note on p.7)


“This was the backdrop against which I launched what I eventually began to refer to as “my quest.” My question was clear: How do people end up loving what they do? And I needed an answer. This book documents what I discovered in my search.” ( :8)

super način na koji je uveo temu i napravio jednostavno pitanje na koje je dao odgovor u 200 strana. Trebam uraditi isto (note on p.8)


“With this as a starting point, I begin with Rule #1, in which I tear down the supremacy of this passion hypothesis. But I don’t stop there. My quest pushed me beyond identifying what doesn’t work, insisting that I also answer the following: If “follow your passion” is bad advice, what should I do instead? My search for this answer, described in Rules #2-4, brought me to unexpected places.” ( :8)

“In other words, you need to be good at something before you can expect a good job.” ( :9)

“Don’t follow your passion; rather, let it follow you in your quest to become, in the words of my favorite Steve Martin quote, “so good that they can’t ignore you.”” ( :9)

“We’ll also return to Thomas, who after his dispiriting realization at the monastery was able to return to his first principles, move his focus away from finding the right work and toward working right, and eventually build, for the first time in his life, a love for what he does. This is the happiness that you, too, should demand” ( :9)

“today—and instead, provide you with a realistic path toward a meaningful and engaging working life.” ( :9)


Rule #1: Don’t Follow Your Passion


“You’ve got to find what you love…. [T]he only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle. When he finished, he received a standing ovation. Though Jobs’s address contained several different” ( :13)

“The Passion Hypothesis The key to occupational happiness is to first figure out what you’re passionate about and then find a job that matches this passion.” ( :13)

“thousands of full-time bloggers, professional counselors, and selfproclaimed gurus who orbit these same core issues of workplace happiness, all peddle the same lesson: to be happy, you must follow your passion. As one prominent career counselor told me, “do what you love, and the money will follow” has become the de facto motto of the career-advice field.” ( :14)

“Do What Steve Jobs Did, Not What He Said” ( :15)

“the early 1970s, returned home to California, where he moved back in with his parents and talked himself into a night-shift job at Atari. (The company had caught his attention with an ad in the San Jose Mercury News that read, “Have fun and make money.”)” ( :15)

“I tell this story because these are hardly the actions of someone passionate about technology and entrepreneurship, yet this was less than a year before Jobs started Apple Computer. In other words, in the months leading up to the start of his visionary company, Steve Jobs was something of a conflicted young man, seeking spiritual enlightenment and dabbling in electronics only when it promised to earn him quick cash.” ( :15)

“Jobs pitched Wozniak the idea of designing one of these kit computer circuit boards so they could sell them to local hobbyists. The initial plan was to make the boards for $25 apiece and sell them for $50. Jobs wanted to sell one hundred, total, which, after removing the costs of printing the boards, and a $1,500 fee for the initial board design, would leave them with a nice $1,000 profit. Neither Wozniak nor Jobs left their regular jobs: This was strictly a low-risk venture meant for their free time.” ( :15)

kako je Apple zapravo počeo. Ne ona sranja koja nam se pričaju. Jednostavno, malo, lagano i onda pušteno da izraste. (note on p.15)


“From this point, however, the story quickly veers into legend. Steve arrived barefoot at the Byte Shop, Paul Terrell’s pioneering Mountain View computer store, and offered Terrell the circuit boards for sale. Terrell didn’t want to sell plain boards, but said he would buy fully assembled computers. He would pay $500 for each, and wanted fifty as soon as they could be delivered. Jobs jumped at the opportunity to make an even larger amount of money and began scrounging together start-up capital. It was in this unexpected windfall that Apple Computer was born. As Young emphasizes, “Their plans were circumspect and small-time. They weren’t dreaming of taking over the world.”” ( :16)

“I don’t doubt that Jobs eventually grew passionate about his work: If you’ve watched one of his famous keynote addresses, you’ve seen a man who obviously loved what he did. But so what? All that tells us is that it’s good to enjoy what you do” ( :17)

“Roadtrip Nation, with the goal of helping other young people replicate their journey. What makes Roadtrip Nation relevant is that it maintains an extensive video project1. library of the interviews conducted for the There’s perhaps no better single resource for diving into the reality of how people end up with compelling careers.” ( :19)

“In the movies there’s this idea that you should just go for your dream,” Glass tells them. “But I don’t believe that. Things happen in stages.”” ( :19)

“”The key thing is to force yourself through the work, force the skills to come; that’s the hardest phase,” he says.” ( :19)

“Glass continues: “I feel like your problem is that you’re 2 trying to judge all things in the abstract before you do them. That’s your tragic mistake.”” ( :19)

“point: Compelling careers often have complex origins that reject the simple idea that all you have to do is follow your passion.” ( :19)

“There are many complex reasons for workplace satisfaction, but the reductive notion of matching your job to a pre-existing passion is not among them.” ( :21)

“Here are the top five identified passions: dance, hockey (these were Canadian students, mind you), skiing, reading, and swimming. Though dear to the hearts of the students, these passions don’t have much to offer when it comes to choosing a job. In fact, less than 4 percent of the total identified passions had any relation to work or education, with the remaining 96 percent describing hobby-style interests such as sports and art.” ( :22)

“graduate student, explores the distinction between a job, a career, and a” ( :23)

“Wrzesniewski looked at a group of employees who all had the same position and nearly identical work responsibilities: college administrative assistants.” ( :23)

“Wrzesniewski looked at a group of employees who all had the same position and nearly identical work responsibilities: college administrative assistants. She found, to her admitted surprise, that these employees were roughly evenly split between seeing their position as a job, a career, or a calling.” ( :23)

“But Wrzesniewski wasn’t done. She surveyed the assistants to figure out why they saw their work so differently, and discovered that the strongest predictor of an assistant seeing her work as a calling was the number of years spent on the job. In other words, the more experience an assistant had, the more likely she was to love her work.” ( :23)

nije sta radis, nego kako gledas na to sta radis. IStraživanje! (note on p.23)


“If you have many years’ experience, then you’ve had time to get better at what you do and develop a feeling of efficacy. It also gives you time to develop strong relationships with your coworkers and to see many examples of your work benefiting others. What’s important here, however, is that this explanation, though reasonable, contradicts the passion hypothesis, which instead emphasizes the immediate happiness that comes from matching your job to a true passion.” ( :23)

“”I’m telling you, it’s not even close,” he says. “If you look at the science, there is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does.” When Pink talks about “what science knows,” he’s referring, for the most part, to a forty-year-old theoretical framework known as Self-Determination Theory (SDT), which is arguably the best understanding science currently has for why some pursuits get our engines running while others leave us cold.” ( :24)

“for your work: Autonomy: the feeling that you have control over your day, and that your actions are important Competence: the feeling that you are good at what you do Relatedness: the feeling of connection to other people” ( :24)

“Viewer2. Google’s Ngram This tool allows you to search Google’s vast corpus of digitized books to see how often selected phrases turn up in published writing over time” ( :26)

“I disagree. The more I studied the issue, the more I noticed that the passion hypothesis convinces people that somewhere there’s a magic “right” job waiting for them, and that if they find it, they’ll immediately recognize that this is the work they were meant to do. The problem, of course, is when they fail to find this certainty, bad things follow, such as chronic job-hopping and crippling selfdoubt.” ( :26)

dobar research tool (note on p.26)


“The passion hypothesis is not just wrong, it’s also dangerous. Telling someone to “follow their passion” is not just an act of innocent optimism, but potentially the foundation for a career riddled with confusion and angst.” ( :27)

“Here’s a case where someone successfully followed their passion,” they say, “therefore ‘follow your passion’ must be good advice.” This is faulty logic. Observing a few instances of a strategy working does not make it universally effective.” ( :28)


Rule #2: Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You (Or, the Importance of Skill)


“In which I introduce two different approaches to thinking about work: the craftsman mindset, a focus on what value you’re producing in your job, and the passion mindset, a focus on what value your job offers you. Most people adopt the passion mindset, but in this chapter I argue that the craftsman mindset is the foundation for creating work you love.” ( :31)

“He called his work on this song his “technical focus” of the moment. In a typical day, if he’s not preparing for a show, he’ll practice with this same intensity, always playing just a little faster than he’s comfortable, for two or three hours straight. I asked him how long it will take to finally master the new skill. “Probably like a month,” he guessed. Then he played through the lick one more time.” ( :33)

“Martin’s rise. “I read autobiographies in general,” Martin said. “[And I often get frustrated]… and say, ‘You left out that one part here, how did you get that audition for that one thing where suddenly you’re working at the Copa? How did that happen?’ “” ( :34)

“asks Martin his advice for aspiring performers. “Nobody ever takes note of [my advice], because it’s not the answer they wanted to hear,” Martin said. “What they want to hear is ‘Here’s how you get an agent, here’s how you write a script,’… but I always say, ‘Be so good they can’t ignore you.'” ( :34)

“It took Martin, by his own estimation, ten years for his new act to cohere, but when it did, he became a monster success. It’s clear in his telling that there was no real shortcut to his eventual fame. “[Eventually] you are so experienced [that] there’s a confidence that comes out,” Martin explained. “I think it’s something the audience smells.”” ( :34)

“”Stop focusing on these little details,” it told me. “Focus instead on becoming better.”” ( :35)

“Listening to Tice talk about his routine, I was struck by his Martin-esque focus on what he produces. As you’ll recall, he’s happy to spend hours every day, week after week, in a barely furnished monastic room, exhausting himself in pursuit of a new flat-picking technique, all because he thinks it will add something important to the tune he’s writing.” ( :35)

“Listening to Tice talk about his routine, I was struck by his Martin-esque focus on what he produces. As you’ll recall, he’s happy to spend hours every day, week after week, in a barely furnished monastic room, exhausting himself in pursuit of a new flat-picking technique, all because he thinks it will add something important to the tune he’s writing. This dedication to output, I realized, also explains his painful modesty. To Jordan, arrogance doesn’t make sense. “Here’s what I respect: creating something meaningful and then presenting it to the world,” he explained.” ( :35)

“obsessive focus on the quality of what you produce is the rule in professional music. “It trumps your appearance, your equipment, your personality, and your connections,” he explained. “Studio musicians have this adage: ‘The tape doesn’t lie.’ Immediately after the recording comes the playback; your ability has no hiding place.”” ( :35)

ova rečenica. Ovaj pasus čitav pokazuje šta znači biti dobar i kako se postaje dobrim. To je perpetual proces, nikada gotovo djelo. (note on p.35)


“Whereas the craftsman mindset focuses on what you can offer the world, the passion mindset focuses instead on what the world can offer you. This mindset is how most people approach their working lives.” ( :36)

“Second, and more serious, the deep questions driving the passion mindset—”Who am I?” and “What do I truly love?”—are essentially impossible to confirm. “Is this who I really am?” and “Do I love this?” rarely reduce to clear yes-or-no responses.” ( :36)

“No one owes you a great career, it argues; you need to earn it—and the process won’t be easy.” ( :37)

“Tice is willing to grind out long hours with little recognition, but that’s because it’s in service to something he’s obviously passionate about and has been for a long time. He’s found that one job that’s right for him. I’ve heard this reaction enough times to give it a name: “the argument from pre-existing passion.”” ( :37)

“Fighting this cloud is an ongoing battle. Along these lines, Steve Martin was so unsure during his decade-long dedication to improving his routine that he regularly suffered crippling anxiety attacks. The source of these performers’ craftsman mindset is not some unquestionable inner passion, but instead something more pragmatic: It’s what works in the entertainment business. As Mark Casstevens put it, “the tape doesn’t lie”:” ( :37)

uvijek sumnjaš u to hoće li se isplatiti i to je sasvim normalno- jer jest. Ako se ne pitaš to, onda si stvarno budala. (note on p.37)


“In the last chapter I offered a bold proposition: If you want to love what you do, abandon the passion mindset (“what can the world offer me?”) and instead adopt the craftsman mindset (“what can I offer the world?”).” ( :40)

“rare. Most jobs don’t offer their employees great creativity, impact, or control over what they do and how they do it.” ( :40)

“Basic economic theory tells us that if you want something that’s both rare and valuable, you need something rare and valuable to offer in return—this is Supply and Demand 101.” ( :40)

“rom Rule #1 that Glass emphasizes the importance of the hard work required to develop skill. “All of us who do creative work… you get into this thing, and there’s like a ‘gap.’ What you’re making isn’t so good, okay?… It’s trying to be good but… it’s 1 just not that great,” he explained in an interview about his career. “The key thing is to force yourself through the work, force the skills to come; that’s the hardest phase,”” ( :41)

“Roadtrip Nation session.” ( :41)

hard work on a skill beats everything. Everything! (note on p.41)


“The traits that define great work are rare and valuable. Supply and demand says that if you want these traits you need rare and valuable skills to offer in return. Think of these rare and valuable skills you can offer as your career capital. The craftsman mindset, with its relentless focus on becoming “so good they can’t ignore you,” is a strategy well suited for acquiring career capital. This is why it trumps the passion mindset if your goal is to create work you love.” ( :42)

“This is not some philosophical debate on the existence of passion or the value of hard work—I’m being intensely pragmatic: You need to get good in order to get good things in your working life, and the craftsman mindset is focused on achieving exactly this goal.” ( :42)

“4 Nation. Slim describes on her website the following sample dialogue, which she claims she has often: Me: So are you ready to move forward with your plan? Them: I know what I have to do, but I don’t know if I can do it! Who am I to pretend to be a successful (artist) (coach) (consultant) (masseuse)? What if everyone looks at my website and laughs hysterically that I would even consider selling my services? Why would anyone ever want to connect with me? 5 Me: Time for a little work on your backbone.” ( :43)

“The course description says Slim will answer questions like “Why do we get stuck living other people’s models of success?” and “How do we get the courage to do big things in the world?” It costs forty-seven dollars.” ( :43)

“The downside of the passion mindset is that it strips away merit. For passion proponents like Slim, launching a freelance career that gives you control, creativity, and impact is easy—it’s just the act of getting started that trips us up. Career capital theory disagrees. It tells us that great work doesn’t just require great courage, but also skills of great (and real) value.” ( :43)

what can you offer to the world. If the answer is nothing, then starting working on creating a skill which can be of value to people (note on p.43)


“As the recession hit in 2008, Feuer’s business struggled. One of the gyms where she taught closed. Then two classes she offered at a local public high school were dropped, and with the tightening economy, demands for private lessons diminished. In 2009, when she was profiled for the Times, she was on track to make only $15,000 for the year. Toward the conclusion of the profile, Feuer sends the reporter a text message: “I’m at the food stamp office now, waiting.” It’s signed: “Sent from my iPhone.”” ( :44)

“”Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,” and one traveler chose the” ( :44)

“path to mastery while the other was called toward passion’s glow. The former ended up celebrated in the industry, in control of his own livelihood, and weekending with his family in a forested retreat. The latter ended up on food stamps.” ( :45)

“”It sounds like you should leave your job.” On reflection, it became clear to me that certain jobs are better suited for applying career capital theory than others. To aid John, I ended up devising a list of three traits that disqualify a job as providing a good foundation for building work you love:” ( :46)

“THREE DISQUALIFIERS FOR APPLYING THE CRAFTSMAN MINDSET 1. The job presents few opportunities to distinguish yourself by developing relevant skills that are rare and valuable. 2. The job focuses on something you think is useless or perhaps even actively bad for the world. 7 3. The job forces you to work with people you really dislike.” ( :46)

“If it satisfies the first trait, skill growth isn’t possible. If it satisfies the second two traits, then even though you could build up reserves of career capital, you’ll have a hard time sticking around long enough to accomplish this goal. John’s job satisfied the first two traits, so he needed to leave.” ( :46)

veoma vazna distinkcija između craftman i passion mindseta. Craftsman (mozda konobar) je los u ova tri slucaja i ne doprinosi (note on p.46)


“To provide a sense of the competitiveness of this process, Jamie sent me a copy of his script evaluations. Out of the hundred or so writers who submitted scripts, all but fourteen sent a script that had already been produced and aired on television. Of the fourteen who had not yet broken into the industry, the highest score any received from Jamie was a 6.5 out of 10.” ( :50)

“In other words, getting on the inside in the world of television writing is daunting. But at the same time, I can understand why so many thousands aspire to this goal: It’s a fantastic job. For one thing, there’s the money. As a new writer, your salary starts modest. The Writer’s Guild of America guarantees that you make at least $2,500 a week, which, given a standard twenty-six week season, is decent for half a year of work. Depending on the success of the series, you’ll then progress after a year or two to become a story editor, where, as a longtime TV writer explained in a article on the topic, “you’re still making shit” (though, as another writer admitted, “shit” at this point 1 qualifies as over $10,000 an episode). Things start to get interesting when you make it to the next level: producer. Once there, “you’re in the money.” Top writers can pull in seven-figure paychecks. In the article referenced above, the term “kabillionaire” was used by multiple people to describe the salaries of producers on long-running shows.” ( :50)

“But the difference between Wall Street and Hollywood in the style of work is staggering. Imagine: no e-mail, no late-night contract negotiations, no need to master intricate bond markets or legal precedents. As a writer your whole focus is on one thing: telling good stories. The work can be intense, as you’re often under deadline to deliver the next script, but it only lasts half a year, and it’s immensely creative, and you can wear shorts, and the catered food, as was emphasized to me several times, is fantastic. (“Writers are crazy about their food,” one source explained.)” ( :50)

koliko pisci zarađuju – jebeno puno! (note on p.50)


“industry to crack is the fact that it’s a winner-take-all market. There’s only one type of career capital here, the quality of your writing, and there are thousands of hopefuls trying to gain enough of this capital to impress a very small group of buyers.” ( :52)

“What I like about Alex’s story is what he does next: He quit his job at the National Lampoon and took a position as an assistant to a development executive at NBC. It’s here that I see Alex’s debater instincts stir back to life. The National Lampoon was too far to the periphery of the industry to teach him what it takes to succeed. By accepting an assistant position he threw himself into the center of the action, where he could find out how things actually work.” ( :52)

“what allows some writers to succeed in catching the attention of a network while so many others fail: They write good scripts—a task that’s more difficult than many imagine. Spurred by this insight, Alex turned his attention to writing. Lots of writing. During the eight months he spent as an assistant he dedicated his nights to working on a trio of different writing projects.” ( :52)

“And on his own, he was writing a screenplay about his life growing up in Washington, D.C. “I might finish writing at two or three A.M., then have to leave at eight the next morning to get back to my job at NBC on time,” Alex recalls. It was a busy period.” ( :52)

“”For those with free TiVo space, I recommend giving the ‘thumbs up’ to a groundbreaking episode of Commander in Chief, this Thursday at ten,” Alex wrote in an e-mail to friends around this time. “Why groundbreaking, you ask? Because, within the first ten minutes, for the first time in the history of network television, the words ‘Alex’ and ‘Berger’ will appear—in succession, mind you—just underneath the words ‘written by.'” ( :53)

“producer Jonathan Lisco in the run-up for his new show, K-Ville, a post-Katrina New Orleans drama being developed for Fox. Given his writing credit, however, and a collection of increasingly polished spec scripts, this job became an informal tryout for Alex: He was given the chance to impress Lisco —which he did. When a spot opened on the writing staff for K-Ville, it was given to Alex: his first official position as a staff writer. He went on to write and air two episodes before the show was canceled.” ( :53)

“Rewind the clock further and ask how Alex, as a lowly script assistant, got a script aired on Commander in Chief, and you encounter the writing skill he had developed over the previous years spent obsessively honing his craft—a period where he was often working on three or four scripts at a time, always seeking feedback for how he could make them better. The Alex Berger who first arrived in LA, fresh out of college, did not have this writing-skill capital. By the time he was working for Commander in Chief, however, he was ready for his first major transaction.” ( :54)

radi brate na svom skillu u podrucju koje zahtjeva to. Isto kao 2 lol championa, garen i recimo akali. Garen je simple, a akali zahtjeva velik skill. (note on p.54)


“The fact that people covet his position isn’t surprising. Clean energy is hot. It’s a way to help the world while at the same time, as Mike admitted, “you make a lot of money.” In his position, Mike has traveled the world, met senators, and spent time with the mayors of both Sacramento and Los Angeles. During one of our conversations, he mentioned that David Plouffe, Barack Obama’s campaign manager, had been “hanging around the office.” What interests me about Mike is that, like Alex Berger, he didn’t arrive at his outstanding job by following a clear passion. Instead he carefully and persistently gathered career capital, confident that valuable skills would translate into valuable opportunities. Unlike Alex, however, Mike started gathering capital before he knew what he wanted to do with it. In fact, he had never given a moment’s thought to cleantech venture capital until a couple weeks before his first interview.” ( :55)

“Mike majored in biology and earth systems at Stanford. After earning his bachelor’s degree, Mike elected to stay for a fifth year to earn a master’s.” ( :56)

“Mike, who is competitive by nature, tackled the project with intensity, driven by the belief that the better he did now, the better his options would be later. “During this time, I traveled to India ten times and to China four to five times, in addition to quite a bit of travel in Europe,” he recalls. “I met with the heads of major utilities, and I learned how the global energy market really works.” When the project concluded in the fall of 2007, Mike and his professor held a major international conference to release and discuss the results. Academics and government officials from around the world attended.” ( :56)

“”deep understanding” of how the international carbon market works. As part of this expertise, he learned that the United States had an obscure exchange, known as the renewable energy credits market. “Almost no one understood these things; it was a really fractured market with huge information asymmetry,” he recalls. Being one of the few people who actually knew how this market worked, Mike decided to start a business. He called it Village Green. The idea was simple: You give money to Mike, he does complicated transactions that only he and a few other energy regulation wonks really understand, and then he offers you certification that you’ve purchased enough carbon offsets for your business to be deemed carbon neutral.” ( :56)

“venture capital, given my experience with my company,” he said. Mike knew that he was not a good match for this technology-focused fund. “I have no idea how to find the next Facebook,” he told me, “but I could tell you if a solar energy firm was probably going to make money.” He figured, however, that since he had never been through a real job interview before, the experience would provide good practice.” ( :56)

“You know, you would be a good match for this cleantech fund that’s starting up,” he said. “Why don’t I introduce you to my friend over there?”” ( :56)

“Mike started a trial period as an intern at the Westly Group. In October they gave him a full-time position as an analyst, and soon after, he was promoted to associate. Two” ( :56)

biznis se uci kroz zaposljenje i poznavanje industrije, pogotovo visoko regulirane i komplicirane poput energetskog sektora (note on p.56)


“years later he became a director. “When people ask me how I got my job,” he now jokes, “I tell them to make friends with a comedian.”” ( :57)

samo 3 godine mu je trebalo da postane direktor. Ali samo 3 godine nije samo tri godine. Ja pisem svaki dan svega godinu i pol dana i naplacujem tekstove po 200 dolara. Eto ti razlike u godini dana (note on p.57)


“As you’ll learn more about in the next chapter, Mike literally tracks every hour of his day, down to quarter-hour increments, on a spreadsheet. He wants to ensure that his attention is focused on the activities that matter. “It’s so easy to just come in and spend your whole day on email,” he warned. On the sample spreadsheet he sent me, he allots himself only ninety minutes per day for e-mail. The day before we last spoke he had only spent forty-five. This is a man who is serious about doing what he does really well.” ( :58)

“By the time I graduated high school I could play from a repertoire of hundreds of songs, ranging from Green Day to Pink Floyd. In other words, I had reached the level of expertise you would expect from someone who had played an instrument seriously for the last six years. But this is what I find fascinating: Compared to Jordan Tice’s ability at this same age, I was mediocre.” ( :60)

“admiringly, by my grade’s music snobs as Dave Matthews for cool people. When Jordan was in high school, he regularly played gigs with their bass player, Mark Schatz. The question hanging over this comparison is why, even though we had both played seriously for the same amount of time, did I end up an average high school strummer while Jordan became a star?” ( :60)

“up more total practice hours than I did, we weren’t all that far apart— and more to do with what we did with those hours.” ( :60)

“”So he would write out the lead and then you would go memorize them?” I asked. “No, we would just figure them out by ear,” Jordan replied. To the high school version of myself, the idea of learning complicated lead parts by ear would have been way past my threshold of mental strain and patience.” ( :60)

“Watching Jordan’s current practice regime, these traits—strain and feedback—remain central.” ( :61)

“”I develop muscle memory the hard way, by repetition,” he said, echoing Jordan’s long, skillstretching practice sessions. “The harder I work, the more relaxed I can play, and the better it sounds.”” ( :61)

“If you want to understand the science of how people get good at something, chess is an excellent place to start. For one thing, it provides a clear definition of ability: your ranking.” ( :62)

“Elo system used by the World Chess Federation.” ( :62)

“A solid novice player who plays the occasional weekend competition will have a score in the triple digits. Bobby Fischer peaked at 2785. In 1990, Garry Kasparov became the first player to ever reach 2800. The highest score ever obtained was 2851, also by Kasparov.” ( :62)

“Previous studies had shown it takes around ten years, at minimum, to become a grand master. (As the psychologist K. Anders Ericsson likes to point out, even prodigies like Bobby Fisher managed to fit in ten years of playing before they achieved international recognition: He just started this accumulation earlier than most.) This is the “ten-year rule,” sometimes called the “10,000-hour rule,” which has been bouncing around scientific circles since the 1970s, but was popularized more recently 3 by Malcolm Gladwell’s bestselling 2008 book, Outliers. Here’s how he summarized it:” ( :62)

“In the 1990s, this was a relevant question. There was debate in the chess world at the time surrounding the best strategies for improving. One camp thought tournament play was crucial, as it provides practice with tight time limits and working through distractions. The other camp, however, emphasized serious study—pouring over books and using teachers to help identify and then eliminate weaknesses. When surveyed, the participants in Charness’s study thought tournament play was probably the right answer.” ( :63)

“In the 1990s, this was a relevant question. There was debate in the chess world at the time surrounding the best strategies for improving. One camp thought tournament play was crucial, as it provides practice with tight time limits and working through distractions. The other camp, however, emphasized serious study—pouring over books and using teachers to help identify and then eliminate weaknesses. When surveyed, the participants in Charness’s study thought tournament play was probably the right answer. The participants, as it turns out, were wrong.” ( :63)

“The researchers discovered that the players who became grand masters spent five times more hours dedicated to serious study than those who plateaued at an intermediate level.” ( :63)

“around 5,000 hours out of their 10,000 to serious study. The intermediate players, by contrast, dedicated only around 1,000 to this activity.” ( :63)

“materials can be deliberately chosen or adapted such that the problems to be solved are at a level that is appropriately challenging.” This contrasts with tournament play, where you are likely to draw an opponent who is either demonstrably better or demonstrably worse than yourself: both situations where “skill improvement is likely to be minimized.”” ( :63)

“I spent many hours playing songs I knew, including dozens and dozens of hours spent on stage. Like the intermediate players in the Charness study, I was letting this satisfying work pile up ineffectively while Jordan, during these same ages, was painstakingly squirreling away the serious study that would make him exceptional.” ( :63)

“If you want to understand the source of professional athletes’ talent, for example, look to their practice schedules—almost without exception they have been systematically stretching their athletic abilities, with the guidance of expert coaches, since they were children.” ( :64)

“”When experts exhibit their superior performance in public their behavior looks so effortless and natural that we are tempted to attribute it to special talents,” Ericsson notes. “However, when scientists began measuring the experts’ supposedly superior powers… no general superiority was 6 found.”” ( :64)

“As Ericsson explains, “Most individuals who start as active professionals… change their behavior and increase their performance for a limited time until they reach an acceptable level. Beyond this point, however, further improvements appear to be unpredictable and the number of years of work… is a poor predictor of attained performance.”” ( :64)

“way, if you just show up and work hard, you’ll soon hit a performance plateau beyond which you fail to get any better.” ( :64)

“Consider Alex Berger’s two-year rise from assistant to cocreator of a national television series. He told me that getting your writing to “network quality” can take from a couple of years at the minimum to as many as twenty-five. The reason he was on the fast track, he explained, was his debate-champstyle obsession with improving. “I have a never-ending thirst to get better,” he said. “It’s like a sport, you have to practice and you have to study.” Alex admitted that even though he’s now an established writer, he still reads screenwriting books, looking for places where his craft could stand improving. “It’s a constant learning process,” he said.” ( :65)

“”At the beginning of each week I figure out how much time I want to spend on different activities,” he explained. “I then track it so I can see how close I came to my targets.” On the sample spreadsheet he sent me, he divides his activities into two categories: hard to change (i.e., weekly commitments he can’t avoid) and highly changeable (i.e., self-directed activities that he controls). Here’s the amount of time he dedicates to each:” ( :65)

“Even after we had been working for a while on the interviews for this book, my scheduling e-mails to Mike only sporadically generated a reply. I eventually figured out that it worked better to call him while he was commuting to his Palo Alto office. On reflection, of course, this makes perfect sense from Mike’s perspective. Spending hours every day sorting through non-critical e-mail from authors such as myself or from business students fishing for tips, among other trivialities, would impede his ability to raise money and find good companies—ultimately the job he’s judged on.” ( :66)

“The important stuff still finds its way to him, but on his schedule.” ( :66)

“required tasks that don’t ultimately make him better at what he does (eighteen hours). The majority of his week is instead focused on what matters: raising money, vetting investments, and helping his fund’s companies (twenty-seven hours). Without this careful tracking, this ratio would be much different.” ( :66)

Bruno, trebaš zaštiti svoje vrijeme i raditi deliberate practice. Trebam poslat mail Niku Goekkeou da ga pitam za feedback na moj tekst. Treba mi deliberate practice feedback od profesionalca. (note on p.66)


“This is a great example of deliberate practice at work. “I want to spend time on what’s important, instead of what’s immediate,” Mike explained. At the end of every week he prints his numbers to see how well he achieved this goal, and then uses this feedback to guide himself in the week ahead. The fact that he’s been promoted three times in less than three years underscores the effectiveness of this deliberate approach.” ( :67)

“Step 1: Decide What Capital Market You’re In” ( :69)

“marke t. There are two types of these markets: winner-take-all and auction.” ( :69)

“An auction market, by contrast, is less structured: There are many different types of career capital, and each person might generate a unique collection. The cleantech space is an auction market. Mike Jackson’s capital, for example, included expertise in renewable energy markets and entrepreneurship, but there are a variety of other types of relevant skills that also could have led to a job in this field.” ( :69)

“he began to build up a stable of college-aged humor writers. He also filmed a pilot for a low-budget show for the organization. These actions make sense in an auction market where it’s important to build up a diverse collection of capital. But the entertainment industry is not an auction market; it’s instead winner-take-all. If you want a career in television writing, as Alex discovered, only one thing matters: the quality of your scripts.” ( :69)

“This new blogger was viewing blogging as an auction market. In his conception, there are many different types of capital relevant to your blog—from its format, to its post frequency, to its searchengine optimization, to how easy it is to find it on social networks (this particular blogger invested serious time in submitting every post to as many social networking sites as possible). He viewed the world through statistics and hoped that with the right combination of capital he could get them where he needed them to be to make money. The problem, however, is that blogging in the advice space— where his site existed—is not an auction market, it’s winner-take-all. The only capital that matters is whether or not your posts compel the reader. Some top blogs in this space have notoriously clunky designs, but they all accomplish the same baseline goal: They inspire their readers.” ( :69)

“Step 2: Identify Your Capital Type” ( :71)

“a winner-take-all market, this is trivial: By definition, there’s only one type of capital that matters. For an auction market, however, you have flexibility. A useful heuristic in this situation is to seek open gates—opportunities to build capital that are already open to you.” ( :71)

“Step 3: Define “Good”” ( :72)

“7 Geoff Colvin, an editor at Fortune magazine who wrote a book on deliberate practice, put it this 8 way in an article that appeared in Fotune: “[Deliberate practice] requires good goals.”” ( :72)

“For him, at this early stage of his career capital acquisition, “good” meant having a script good enough to land him an agent. There was no ambiguity about what it meant to succeed at this goal.” ( :72)

“Step 4: Stretch and Destroy” ( :73)

“Doing things we know how to do well is enjoyable, and that’s exactly the opposite of what deliberate practice demands…. Deliberate practice is above all an effort of focus and concentration. That is what makes it “deliberate,” as distinct from the mindless playing of scales or hitting of tennis balls that most people engage in.” ( :73)

“If you show up and do what you’re told, you will, as Anders Ericsson explained earlier in this chapter, reach an “acceptable level” of ability before plateauing. The good news about deliberate practice is that it will push you past this plateau and into a realm where you have little competition. The bad news is that the reason so few people accomplish this feat is exactly because of the trait Colvin warned us about: Deliberate practice is often the opposite of enjoyable.” ( :73)

“This is what you should experience in your own pursuit of “good.” If you’re not uncomfortable, then you’re probably stuck at an “acceptable level.”” ( :73)

“Fortune article, “You may think that your rehearsal of a job interview was flawless, but your opinion isn’t what counts.”” ( :73)

“Step 5: Be Patient” ( :74)

“What’s interesting is that Martin redefines the word so that it’s less about paying attention to your main pursuit, and more about your willingness to ignore other pursuits that pop up along the way to distract you.” ( :74)

“This is why Martin’s diligence is so important: Without this patient willingness to reject shiny new pursuits, you’ll derail your efforts before you acquire the capital you need. I think the image of Martin returning to his banjo, day after day, for forty years, is poignant. It captures well the feel of how career capital is actually acquired: You stretch yourself, day after day, month after month, before finally looking up and realizing, “Hey, I’ve become pretty good, and people are starting to notice.”” ( :74)

e to je to. Sada mi iskacu zene, raja za pijenje, kafici, putovanja, govori i razno razne picke materine. Trebam baciti ignore na sve to i samo raditi ono sto jesam: pisanje (note on p.74)


“called these rare and valuable skills career capital, and noted that the foundation of constructing work you love is acquiring a large store of this capital. With this in mind, we turned our attention to this process of capital acquisition. I argued that it’s important to adopt the craftsman mindset, where you focus relentlessly on what value you’re offering the world. This stands in stark contrast to the much more common passion mindset, which has you focus only on what value the world is offering you.” ( :75)


Rule #3: Turn Down a Promotion (Or, the Importance of Control)


“In which I argue that control over what you do, and how you do it, is one of the most powerful traits you can acquire when creating work you love.” ( :78)

“of quitting your day job one day and then waking up to the rooster’s crow the next, but it matches what I consistently found when researching the previous two rules: You have to get good before you can expect good work.” ( :80)

“It is, instead, autonomy that attracts the Granby groupies: Ryan and Sarah live a meaningful life on their own terms.” ( :81)

“Dan Pink’s 2009 bestselling book Drive, for example, reviews the dizzying array of different ways that control has been found to improve people’s 1 lives. As Pink summarizes the literature, more control leads to better grades, better sports performance, better productivity, and more happiness.” ( :82)

“In one such study, mentioned in Pink’s book, researchers at Cornell followed over three hundred small businesses, half of which focused on giving control to their employees and half of which did not. The control-centric businesses grew at four times the rate of their counterparts. In another study, which I found during my own research, giving autonomy to middle school teachers in a struggling school district not only increased the rate at which the teachers were promoted, but also, to the 2 surprise of the researchers, reversed the downward performance trend of their students.” ( :82)

“Results-Only Work Environment (or, ROWE, for short). In a ROWE company, all that matters is your results. When you show up to work and when you leave, when you take vacations, and how often you check e-mail are all irrelevant.” ( :82)

“The more time you spend reading the research literature, the more it becomes clear: Giving people more control over what they do and how they do it increases their happiness, engagement, and sense of fulfillment. It’s no wonder, then, that when you flip through your mental Rolodex of dream jobs, control is often at the core of their appeal.” ( :82)

“To finance this adventurous life, her plan calls, vaguely, for her to “build a set of low-maintenance websites that recurrently earn enough to support the pursuits on this list.” Her goal was to get this revenue up to $3,000 a month, which she calculated to be enough to handle her basic expenses. Eventually, she planned to leverage these experiences to “develop a non-profit to develop my vision of health, human potential, and a life well-lived.”” ( :85)

“The First Control Trap Control that’s acquired without career capital is not sustainable.” ( :86)

“who coined the term “lifestyle design,” is a fantastic example of the good things this approach to life can generate (Ferriss has more than enough career capital to back up his adventurous existence). But if you spend time browsing the blogs of lesser-known lifestyle designers, you’ll begin to notice the same red flags again and again: A distressingly large fraction of these contrarians, like Jane, skipped over the part where they build a stable means to support their unconventional lifestyle.” ( :86)

“courage to pursue control is what matters, while everything else is just a detail that is easily worked out.” ( :86)

to je ta rečenica koja mi je trebala da opišem onaj polaritet mindseta i realnih rezultata u polju. (note on p.86)


“with many lifestyle designers, was his blog about being a lifestyle designer. In other words, his only product was his enthusiasm about not having a “normal” life.” ( :87)

“but the list still excludes the most important step of all: giving readers content they’re willing to pay for.” ( :87)

“If you embrace control without capital, you’re likely to end up like Jane, Lisa, or our poor frustrated lifestyle designer—enjoying all the autonomy you can handle but unable to afford your next meal.” ( :87)

“Here’s what I wrote in my notes not long into the interview: “This is someone who has put a lot of thought into her career.”” ( :89)

“Lulu repeatedly fought to gain more freedom in her working life, sometimes to the shock or dismay of her employers or friends. “People tell me that I don’t do things the way other people do,” Lulu said. “But I tell them, ‘I’m not other people.'” ( :89)

“hings played out as follows: Lulu began hacking the UNIX operating system that ran the company’s software. She eventually taught herself to build scripts that automated the testing, thus saving the company time and money. Her innovations attracted notice, and after a few short years she was promoted to senior QA engineer.” ( :89)

“”I would have asked for less time, but thirty was the minimum for which you could still receive full benefits,” she explained. If Lulu had tried this during her first year of employment, her bosses would have laughed and probably offered her instead a “zero-hour-a-week schedule,” but by the time she had become a senior engineer and was leading their testing automation efforts, they really couldn’t say no.” ( :89)

“By the time this company was acquired in 2001, Lulu was the head software developer. Given this career capital, when she began to chafe at the new owner’s regulations—a dress code, for example, plus insisting that all employees work between the hours of nine and five—she was able to demand (and receive) three months’ leave. “There will be no way for you to contact me during this period,” she told her new bosses. The leave, it turned out, was also an excuse to train her staff to work without her. Soon after her leave ended, Lulu left and, in a bid for even more control, became a freelance software developer. At this point her skills were so valuable that finding clients was no problem.” ( :90)

“I interviewed Lulu early on a weekday afternoon, and the timing didn’t seem to matter at all. “Hold on, let me make sure Skype is turned off so no one can bother me,” she told me soon after I arrived. Taking an afternoon off on a whim to do an interview is not the type of decision she could have gotten away with if she had followed a traditional career path to become a stock-owning, Porsche-driving, ulcer-suffering VP. But then again, stock-owning, Porsche-driving, ulcer-suffering VPs probably enjoy their lives quite a bit less than Lulu” ( :90)

“Her first client really wanted to hire her full-time to work on the project, but she refused. “They really didn’t want a contractor,” she recalls, “but they didn’t have anyone else who could do this type of work, so they eventually had no choice but to agree.”” ( :91)

“” ‘Where’s the blood?’ I ask. ” ‘We can’t give it to you,’ the tech replied. ‘You skipped registration when you came in’— remember, I literally had this guy’s heart in my hand when we came through the door—and I was thinking, ‘You got to be freaking kidding me.’ ” That patient died in the OR. He probably would still have died even if he had been given a blood transfusion, but the point is that this was exactly the type of autonomy-demolishing experience that was eating away at Lewis” ( :91)

“This is the irony of control. When no one cares what you do with your working life, you probably don’t have enough career capital to do anything interesting.” ( :92)

“The Second Control Trap The point at which you have acquired enough career capital to get meaningful control over your working life is exactly the point when you’ve become valuable enough to your current employer that they will try to prevent you from making the change.” ( :92)

“Singapore. “I love that the country has so little gravity, it doesn’t try to hold you here, it’s instead a base from which you can go explore,”” ( :95)

“”You mean, the type of mental algorithm that prevents the lawyer, who has had this successful career for twenty years, from suddenly saying, ‘You know, I love massages, I’m going to become a masseuse’?” he asked. “That’s it,” I replied. Derek thought for a moment. “I have this principle about money that overrides my other life rules,” he said. “Do what people are willing to pay for.”” ( :97)

“”Money is a neutral indicator of value. By aiming to make money, you’re aiming to be valuable.”” ( :97)

“The Law of Financial Viability When deciding whether to follow an appealing pursuit that will introduce more control into your work life, seek evidence of whether people are willing to pay for it. If you find this evidence, continue. If not, move on.” ( :97)


Rule #4: Think Small, Act Big (Or, the Importance of Mission)


“. Later in this book, we’ll dive into the details of how she found this focus, but what’s important to note now is that her mission provides her a sense of purpose and energy, traits that have helped her avoid becoming a cynical academic and instead embrace her work with enthusiasm.” ( :105)

“In short, I wanted an answer to an important question: How do you make mission a reality in your working life?” ( :106)

“In which I argue that a mission chosen before you have relevant career capital is not likely to be sustainable.” ( :107)

“problem—information dissemination in networks—using the same narrow technique—randomized linear network coding. It was as if my research community woke up one morning and collectively and spontaneously decided to tackle the same esoteric problem.” ( :109)

“In his engaging 2010 book, Where Good Ideas Come From, Johnson explains that 1 such “multiples” are frequent in the history of science. Consider the discovery of sunspots in 1611: As Johnson notes, four scientists, from four different countries, all identified the phenomenon during that same year. The first electrical battery? Invented twice in the mid-eighteenth century. Oxygen? Isolated independently in 1772 and 1774. In one study cited by Johnson, researchers from Columbia University found just shy of 150 different examples of prominent scientific breakthroughs made by multiple researchers at near the same time.” ( :109)

“In hindsight, these observations are obvious. If life-transforming missions could be found with just a little navel-gazing and an optimistic attitude, changing the world would be commonplace. But it’s not commonplace; it’s instead quite rare. This rareness, we now understand, is because these breakthroughs require that you first get to the cutting edge, and this is hard—the type of hardness that most of us try to avoid in our working lives.” ( :111)

“”I think you do need passion to be happy,” Pardis Sabeti told me. At first this sounds like she’s supporting the passion hypothesis that I debunked in Rule #1. But then she elaborated: “It’s just that we don’t know what that passion is. If you ask someone, they’ll tell you what they think they’re passionate about, but they probably have it wrong.” In other words, she believes that having passion for your work is vital, but she also believes that it’s a fool’s errand to try to figure out in advance what work will lead to this passion.” ( :112)

“It was at Oxford that Pardis decided that Africa and infectious diseases were also a potentially interesting topic to study. If you’re keeping count, this was the third field that at some point in her student career attracted her—the full list now contains math, medicine, and infectious disease. This is why she’s wary of the strategy of trying to identify your one true calling in advance—in her experience, lots of different things can, at different times, seem compelling.” ( :112)

“What struck me about Pardis’s story is how remarkably late it was in her training before she identified the mission that now defines her career. This lateness is best represented by her decision to still attend—and finish!—medical school even though she was working on PhD research that was starting to attract notice” ( :113)

“Think Small, Act Big.” It’s in this understanding of career capital and its role in mission that we get our explanation for this title. Advancing to the cutting edge in a field is an act of “small” thinking, requiring you to focus on a narrow collection of subjects for a potentially long time. Once you get to the cutting edge, however, and discover a mission in the adjacent possible, you must go after it with zeal: a “big” action.” ( :113)

“In which I argue that great missions are transformed into great successes as the result of using small and achievable projects—little bets—to explore the concrete possibilities surrounding a compelling idea.” ( :114)

“nagging thought kept spoiling my intellectual satisfaction: Why don’t I have a personal mission-driven career?” ( :115)

“And I’m not alone in this reluctance to act. Many people have lots of career capital, and can therefore identify a variety of different potential missions for their work, but few actually build their career around such missions. It seems, therefore, that there’s more to this career tactic than simply getting to the cutting edge. Once you have the capital required to identify a mission, you must still figure out how to put the mission into practice.” ( :115)

“Soon a glass pitcher is produced. As Leslie pours the hootch into Mason jars, he offers a warning: “Don’t ask about the proof. You wouldn’t drink it if you knew.” As Kirk and Jason sit on a pair of logs, drinking the moonshine and swapping stories, surrounded by East Texas nothingness, they seem to be having a great time. I was hooked. To understand the appeal of American Treasures, you must understand its competition.” ( :116)

“n addition, there’s no exchanging of cash in this show (a mainstay of all other entries in this genre). Putting monetary value on artifacts is antithetical to the mission of archaeology, and Kirk and Jason refused to do so in their show. The hosts instead seem driven by the idea that they’re educating the public about the reality of modern archaeology. This is their mission, and as indicated by the smiles on their faces as they sipped East Texas moonshine in the premiere episode of their show, it’s a mission that’s a hell of a lot of fun to pursue.” ( :116)

“The recording was of a man who lived just north of Pittsburgh. He sounded articulate and thoughtful—at least, until he got to the reason he was calling the Penn State archaeology department. “I’ve got what I think is the treasure of the Knights Templar in my backyard,” he explained. The gathered academics all had a good laugh. But then Kirk interjected: “I’m going to call him back.” His more experienced colleagues tried to talk him out of it. “He will never leave you alone,” they told him. “He will call you back every week and keep asking you questions.” As Kirk explained to me, in an academic field like archaeology, you get a lot of these types of calls—”people who think they found a dinosaur footprint, or whatever”—and there’s just not time, with the pressure of research and teaching, to keep up with them. But Kirk saw an opportunity here” ( :118)

“that would support his mission. “This type of public outreach is exactly what we archaeologists should be doing,” he realized.” ( :119)

“On a Sunday morning, not long after hearing the call about the Knights Templar treasure, Kirk gathered a cameraman and soundman, and headed out to Pittsburgh to investigate the claim. “He was the coolest guy,” Kirk recalls. “He had crazy ideas, but he was fun to talk to. We hung out all day, and had some beers, and chatted.” The “treasure,” it turns out, was just some old deer bones and railroad spikes found in a gravel pit, but the experience was invigorating for Kirk. It also turned out to be more consequential than he could ever have guessed.” ( :119)

“The production company loved the idea and they loved Kirk. They refilmed his visit to the Templars’ treasure site and sent the tape to the Discovery Channel and the History Channel. The latter agreed to finance a pilot, but the former said, “Screw a pilot, let’s film eight episodes.” When they asked Kirk about a cohost, he had only one name to offer, his good friend Jason De León, who had also recently graduated Penn State and had just started as an assistant professor at Michigan. They both arranged for the Discovery Channel to buy out their teaching obligations for the following fall, 1 and then hit the road to film the first season of what would become American Treasures.” ( :119)

“to host a television show and then work backward to make that dream a reality. Instead, he worked forward from his original mission—to popularize archaeology—with a series of small, almost tentative steps.” ( :120)

“As I was struggling to make sense of Kirk’s story, I stumbled across a new business book that had been making waves. It was titled Little Bets, and it was written by a former venture capitalist named 2 Peter Sims. When Sims studied a variety of successful innovators, from Steve Jobs to Chris Rock to Frank Gehry, as well as innovative companies, such as Amazon and Pixar, he found a strategy common to all. “Rather than believing they have to start with a big idea or plan out a whole project in advance,” he writes, “they make a methodical series of little bets about what might be a good direction, learning critical information from lots of little failures and from small but significant wins” [emphasis mine]. This rapid and frequent feedback, Sims argues, “allows them to find unexpected avenues and arrive at extraordinary outcomes.”” ( :120)

“In which I argue that great missions are transformed into great successes as the result of finding projects that satisfy the law of remarkability, which requires that an idea inspires people to remark about it, and is launched in a venue where such remarking is made easy.” ( :123)

“Giles, however, didn’t always love his career. There were points when he was broke and unemployed, and other points when he suffered through jobs that bored him into a stupor. The turning point came in 2008 when Giles became a rock star in the community of computer programmers who specialize in a language called Rub” ( :124)

“He left ENTP and built up a blog and a collection of miniWeb applications that soon brought in enough money to support him. “I had an audience who wanted to know what I thought about a whole ton of different things,” he told me. “In many cases they were happy to pay money just to ask me questions.”” ( :124)

“(“working from home is kind of lame when you don’t have roommates, a girlfriend, or even a dog”),” ( :124)

“The speed with which Giles bounces from opportunity to opportunity might seem disorienting, but this lifestyle is a perfect match for his hyperkinetic personality. One of Giles’s favorite presentation techniques, for example, is to begin talking faster and faster, accompanying his speech with a rapid series of slides, each featuring a single keyword that flashes on the screen at the exact moment that he utters the term—the oratorical equivalent of a caffeine rush. In other words, he used his capital to build a career custom-fit to his personality, which is why he now loves his working life” ( :124)

“In more detail, Giles committed himself to the mission of bringing together the worlds of art and Ruby programming. He made good on this commitment when he released Archaeopteryx, an open-source artificial intelligence program that writes and plays its own dance music.” ( :124)

“His marketing-centric approach is useful for anyone looking to wield mission as part of their quest for work they love.” ( :125)

“The first dot-com crash had begun. “Pretty soon I was the only one of my friends who had a job at all,” he recalled. “I talked to a recruiter about finding something I liked better, and he said I should be thrilled to have a job.”” ( :126)

“He decided that a good mission for him would somehow combine the artistic and technical sides of his life, but he didn’t know how to make this general idea into a moneymaking reality, so he went searching for answers. He found what he was looking for in an unlikely pair of books.” ( :126)

“Remarkable marketing is the art of building things worth noticing.” ( :126)

“”At this point I basically just put two and two together,” Giles told me. “The synthesis of Purple Cow and My Job Went to India is that the best way to market yourself as a programmer is to create remarkable open-source software. So I did.”” ( :127)

“Reflecting on Giles’s story, I kept coming back to the same adjective: “remarkable.” What Giles discovered, I decided, is that a good mission-driven project must be remarkable in two different ways. First, it should be remarkable in the literal sense of compelling people to remark about it.” ( :128)

“What’s nice about this first notion of remarkability is that it can be applied to any field. Take book writing: If I published a book of solid advice for helping recent graduates transition to the job market, you might find this a useful contribution, but probably wouldn’t find yourself whipping out your iPhone and Tweeting its praises. On the other hand, if I publish a book that says “follow your passion” is bad advice, (hopefully) this would compel you to spread the word. That is, the book you’re holding was conceived from the very early stages with the hope of being seen as “remarkable.”” ( :128)

“Once again, this notion of remarkability applies beyond just Giles’s world of Ruby programming. If we return to my example of writing career-advice books, I realized early on in my process that blogging was a remarkable venue for introducing my ideas. Blogs are visible and the infrastructure is in place for good ideas to quickly spread, through, for example, linking, Tweets, and Facebook. Because of this conduciveness to remarking, by the time I pitched this book to publishers, I not only had a large audience who appreciated my views on passion and skill, but the meme had spread: Newspapers and major websites around the world had begun to quote my thoughts on the topic, while the articles had been cited online and Tweeted thousands of times.” ( :128)

“The Law of Remarkability For a mission-driven project to succeed, it should be remarkable in two different ways.” ( :128)

ideja remarkabilitiya – Bruno, treba ti misija/proizvod biti remarkable i i mora biti lansirana preko platforme koja podržava to (note on p.128)


“First, it must compel people who encounter it to remark about it to others. Second, it must be launched in a venue that supports such remarking.” ( :129)

“The core idea of this book is simple: To construct 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. Mission is one of those traits.” ( :131)

“To encounter these ideas, therefore, you must first get to that cutting edge, which in turn requires expertise. To try to devise a mission when you’re new to a field and lacking any career capital is a venture bound for failure.” ( :131)




“In the fall of 2010 I sent out my applications for academic jobs. By early December I had applied to twenty positions. A curious quirk of the academic-job search process is that your colleagues expect it to be demanding, so they keep tasks off your desk. And though the process is in fact demanding, these demands come in bursts, leaving long stretches of downtime in between. Without much work to fill these stretches, you can find yourself uncomfortably idle. So it was that as November gave way to December, and I finished submitting my twenty applications, I had, for the first time since my college summer vacations, not much to do.” ( :132)

“I turned down a pair of interviews that had been scheduled for later in the spring and accepted the Georgetown offer. My career die had been cast: I was going to be a professor. It was the second week of March when I formally took myself off the market.” ( :132)

“The story of my passion aversion starts in high school, when my friend Michael Simmons and I started a Web design company. We called it Princeton Web Solutions.” ( :134)

“Princeton Web Solutions wasn’t a meteoric success, but this was partly by design, as we didn’t really want to invest the time required to grow a serious company. During our senior year of high school we worked with six or seven clients, including a local architecture firm, a local technical college, and an ill-conceived—but oddly well-funded—Web portal targeting the elderly. Most of these contracts paid between $5,000 and $10,000, a healthy chunk of which we passed on to a team of Indian subcontractors, who did most of the actual programming work. When Michael and I left for college—he to NYU and I to Dartmouth—I decided I was done with website design and moved on to more pressing interests, such as girls” ( :134)

“Once Michael and I figured out how to keep the business humming, however, this skill turned out to be rare and valuable (especially for people our age).” ( :134)

“Because of these early experiences, I looked on with curiosity, once I arrived at college, when my classmates began to wring their hands about the question of what they wanted to do with their lives. For them, something as basic as choosing a major became weighted with cosmic significance. I thought this was nonsense. To me, the world was filled with opportunities like Princeton Web” ( :134)

bogovski ljudi su radili zajedno i ne samo to, nego gledaj sta su napravili sa prčenih 15 godina!!! (note on p.134)


“Solutions waiting to be exploited to make your life more interesting—opportunities that had nothing to do with identifying predestined dispositions.” ( :135)

“I started by hacking my study skills to become as efficient as possible. This took one semester of systematic experiments and subsequently earned me three consecutive years of a 4.0 grade point average, a period during which I never pulled an all-nighter and rarely studied past dinner.” ( :135)

“When it later came time for me to decide what to do after college, I had two offers in hand, one from Microsoft and the other from MIT. This is the type of decision that would paralyze my classmates. I, however, didn’t see any reason to worry. Both paths, I was sure, would yield numerous opportunities that could be leveraged into a remarkable life. I ended up choosing MIT—among other reasons, in order to stay closer to my girlfriend.” ( :135)

“This insight brought me into the world of performance science, where I encountered the concept of deliberate practice—a method for building skills by ruthlessly stretching yourself beyond where you’re comfortable.” ( :136)

“A graduate-level mathematics problem set—something I have plenty of experience with—is about as pure an exercise in deliberate practice as you’re likely to find. You’re given a problem that you have no idea how to solve, but you have to solve it or you’ll get a bad grade, so you dive in and try as hard as you can, repeatedly failing as different avenues lead you to dead ends.” ( :136)

“According to popular legend, Richard Feynman, the Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist, scored only a slightly above-average IQ of 125 when he was tested in high school. In his memoirs,” ( :136)

“however, we find hints of how he rose from modest intelligence to genius, when he talks about his compulsion to tear down important papers and mathematical concepts until he could understand the concepts from the bottom up.” ( :137)

“Here was my first lesson: This type of skill development is hard. When I got to the first tricky gap in the paper’s main proof argument, I faced immediate internal resistance. It was as if my mind realized the effort I was about to ask it to expend, and in response it unleashed a wave of neuronal protest, distant at first, but then as I persisted increasingly tremendous, crashing over my concentration with mounting intensity.” ( :137)

“first type was time structure:” ( :137)

“It took, on average, ten minutes for the waves of resistance to die down. Those ten minutes were always difficult, but knowing that my efforts had a time limit helped ensure that the difficulty was manageable.” ( :137)

“type of structure I deployed was information structure—a way of capturing the results of my hard focus in a useful form. I started by building a proof map that captured the dependencies between the different pieces of the proof. This was hard, but not too hard, and it got me warmed up in my efforts to understand the result. I then advanced from the maps to short self-administered quizzes that forced me to memorize the key definitions the proof used. Again, this was a relatively easy task, but it still took concentration, and the result was an understanding that was crucial for parsing the detailed math that came next.” ( :137)

“I returned to this paper regularly over a period of two weeks. When I was done, I had probably experienced fifteen hours total of deliberate practice-style strain, but due to its intensity it felt like much more.” ( :137)

“I began to understand it the same way that a body builder understands muscle burn: a sign that you’re doing something right. Inspired by this insight, I accompanied a promise to do more largescale paper deconstructions of this type with a trio of smaller habits designed to inject even more deliberate practice into my daily routine. I describe these new routines below:” ( :138)

“My Hour-Tally Routine” ( :140)

“I started the tally sheet on March 15, 2011, and in the last two weeks of that month I experienced 12 hours of strain. In April, the first full month of this record keeping, I got the tally up to 42 hours. In May, I backslid to 26.5 hours and in June this fell to 23 hours. (In fairness, these last two months were a period during which I was up to my ears in the logistics of switching from my position at MIT to my position at Georgetown.)” ( :140)

tracking systems for habits – Cal Newport and hour-tally routine. Ovo bi bio dobar članak (note on p.140)


“It’s much easier to redesign your graduate-student Web page than it is to grapple with a mind-melting proof.” ( :141)

“making me much more “craft-centric.”” ( :141)

“was first transitioning toward a researchcentric program. “In a growing program, you’ll always have a say,” she told me.” ( :142)

“The second thing I noticed was that Georgetown’s tenure process was going to differ somewhat from the pattern of standard well-established programs. At a large research institution, tenure happens as follows: Higher-ups in the administration send out letters to other people in your general field and ask whether you’re the top person in your particular specialty. If you’re not, they’ll fire you and try to hire whoever is. Some places go so far as to essentially tell their new hires not to expect tenure. (Academic-job markets are so tough, and with so much more available talent than open positions, they can get away with this.)” ( :142)

“In his famed “Last Lecture,” the late Carnegie Mellon computer science professor Randy Pausch captured this reality well when he quipped, “Junior faculty members used to come up to me and say, ‘Wow, you got tenure early; what’s your secret?’ I said, ‘It’s pretty simple, call me any Friday night in my office at ten o’clock and I’ll tell you.’ “” ( :142)

“researching Rule #3, I came across a useful tool for navigating between these two traps. I called it the law of financial viability, and described it as follows: “When deciding whether to follow an appealing pursuit that will introduce more control into your work life, ask yourself whether people are willing to pay you for it. If so, continue. If not, move on.”” ( :143)

strašan zakon. Prati pare zajedno s kontrolom. Ako ima kontrole, ali nema para, bjezi od toga. (note on p.143)


“Consider, for example, Alan Lightman, an MIT physics professor turned writer. Lightman started as a traditional physicist but was writing on the side—both fiction and nonfiction that grappled with the human side of science. He’s perhaps best 2 known for his bestselling, award-winning novel, Einstein’s Dreams, though he’s written many other books, and his essays have appeared in basically every important American literary publication.” ( :144)

“adjunct-professor position, providing him even more freedom in his schedule, and had crafted for himself an impressively unburdened life of the mind. He now teaches writing courses that he designed and that focus on issues he thinks are important.” ( :144)

“official MIT website gives the following disclaimer: “I don’t use e-mail”—a move toward simplicity that a less famous academic would never get away with.” ( :144)

“Esther Duflo, who won a MacArthur “Genius Grant” for her work evaluating ant-poverty programs, didn’t make the cut for the book, but still weigh heavily on my thinking about how to best shape my own career” ( :144)

“Others, such as Alan Lightman, or Erez Lieberman, who earned fame by the age of thirty-one through his combination of mathematics and cultural studies, or Esther Duflo, who won a MacArthur “Genius Grant” for her work evaluating ant-poverty programs, didn’t make the cut for the book, but still weigh heavily on my thinking about how to best shape my own career.” ( :144)

research ovih ljudi itekako vrijedi pogledat. Pogotovo ova Esther Duflo sa njezinim anti poverty programom analizom (note on p.144)


“To ensure that I really understand the new idea, I require myself to add a summary, in my own words, to my growing “research bible” (which I introduced earlier in this conclusion when discussing how I applied Rule #2).” ( :146)

“This book opened with the story of Thomas, who believed that the key to happiness is to follow your passion. True to this conviction, he followed his passion for Zen practice to a remote monastery in the Catskill Mountains. Once there, he applied” ( :148)

“Almost ten years later, I met Thomas at a coffee shop not far from my building at MIT. He was working in Germany at the time and was visiting Boston for a conference. Thomas is tall and slim with close-cropped hair. He wears the thin-framed square glasses that seem to be mandatory issue among European knowledge workers. As we sat and sipped coffee, Thomas filled me in on his life after his Zen crisis.” ( :148)

“This new focus, and the output it produced, was appreciated by management. Nine months into his job he was promoted. Then he was promoted again. And then again! Within two years he had moved from a lowly data-entry position to being put in charge of a computer system that managed over $6 billion of investment assets.” ( :148)

“I think it’s fitting to end on Thomas’s story, as it sums up the message at the core of this book: Working right trumps finding the right work—” ( :148)

rondo radnja. Kako je završiti neki tekst/knjigu sa onom pričom s kojom si počeo. Bam, vrati te na sami početak, završi ti radnju (close the loop) i dao satisfakiju kraja nečega. Perfektno! (note on p.148)


“Then replace this with the image of the smiling, confident, value-focused man who ten years later joined me for coffee—the version of Thomas who looked at me at one point in our conversation and remarked, without irony, “Life is good.”” ( :149)




“The decision to write this book can be traced back to a series of posts on the passion hypothesis that I first published on my blog, Study Hacks. The reaction from my readers was immediate and voluminous. Their feedback helped shape and focus my thinking on this topic and convinced me that this was a discussion worth sharing with a wider audience. As such, I thank them for spurring me into starting this project.” ( :157)

“The necessity and difficulty of these problem sets in learning mathematics is one of the reservations I have about the growing self-education movement. Without someone to grade your problem-set results—a grade that might play a big role in what options are available to you in the future—it’s hard to imagine repeatedly pushing yourself through the dozens of hours of strain required to get yourself to answers, and in turn experience substantial skill growth.” ( :167)

Check out more book notes at How I Read 90 Books In The Past 2 Years By Reading 20 Pages A Day

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