So Good They Can’t Ignore You PDF Book by Cal Newport


Click here to Download So Good They Can’t Ignore You PDF Book by Cal Newport English having PDF Size 1.1 MB and No of Pages 227.

Thomas had this realization in one of the last places you might expect. He was walking a trail through the oak forest that outlines the southern bowl of Tremper Mountain. The trail was one of many that cross through the 230-acre property of the Zen Mountain Monastery, which has called this corner of the Catskill Mountains its home since the early 1980s.

So Good They Can’t Ignore You PDF Book by Cal Newport

Name of Book So Good They Can’t Ignore You
Author Cal Newport
PDF Size 1.1 MB
No of Pages 227
Language  English
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Thomas was halfway through a two-year stay at the monastery, where he was a practicing lay monk. His arrival, one year earlier, had been the fulfillment of a dream-job fantasy that he had nurtured for years. He had followed his passion for all things Zen into this secluded Catskills retreat and had expected happiness in return.

As he stood in the oak forest that afternoon, however, he began to cry, his fantasy crumbling around him. “I was always asking, ‘What’s the meaning of life?’ ” Thomas told me when I first met him, at a coffee shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts. By then, several years had passed since Thomas’s realization in the Catskills, but the path that led him to that point remained clear and he was eager to talk about it.

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As if the recounting would help exorcise the demons of his complicated past. After earning a pair of bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and theology, then a master’s degree in comparative religion, Thomas decided that Zen Buddhist practice was the key to a meaningful life. “There was such a big crossover between the philosophy I was studying and Buddhism that I thought.

‘Let me just go practice Buddhism directly to answer these big questions,’ ” he told me. After graduation, however, Thomas needed money, so he took on a variety of jobs. He spent a year, for example, teaching 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.

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Struggling to describe the emotions of this experience, Thomas finally managed to explain it to me as follows: “It was like being really hungry, and you know that you’re going to get this amazing meal—that is what this represented for me.” Thomas’s new life as a monk started well enough. He lived in a small cabin, set back in the woods from the main building.

Early in his visit he asked a senior monk, who had been living in a similar cabin for over fifteen years, if he ever got tired of walking the trail connecting the residences to the main building. “I’m only just starting to learn it,” the monk replied mindfully. The days at the Zen Mountain Monastery started as early as 4:30 A.M., depending on the time of year.

Remaining in silence, the monks would greet the morning with forty to eighty minutes of meditation on mats arranged with “geometric precision” in the main hall. The view outside the Gothic windows at the front of the hall was spectacular, but the mats kept the meditators too low to see out. A pair of hall monitors sat at the back of the room, occasionally pacing among the mats. So Good They Can’t Ignore You PDF Book

Thomas explained: “If you found yourself falling asleep, you could request that they hit you with a stick they kept for this purpose.” After breakfast, eaten in the same great hall, everyone was assigned jobs. Thomas spent time cleaning toilets and shoveling ditches as part of his housecleaning duties, but he was also assigned, somewhat anachronistically, to handle the graphic design for the monastery’s print journal.

A typical day continued with more meditation, interviews with senior practitioners, and often long, inscrutable Dharma lectures. The monks were given a break each evening before dinner. Thomas often took advantage of this respite to light the woodstove in his cabin, preparing for the cold Catskill nights. 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.” “I don’t even know what an answer to that would look like,” I protested. So Good They Can’t Ignore You PDF Book

It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact moment when our society began emphasizing the importance of following your passion, but a good approximation is the 1970 publication of What Color Is Your Parachute? The author, Richard Bolles, was working at the time for the Episcopal Church advising campus ministers, many of whom were in danger of losing their jobs.

He published the first edition of Parachute as a straightforward collection of tips for those facing career change. The original print run was one hundred copies. The premise of Bolles’s guide sounds self-evident to the modern ear: “[Figure] out what you like to do… and then find a place that needs people like you.” But in 1970, this was a radical notion.

“[At the time,] the idea of doing a lot of pen-and-paper exercises in order to take control of your own career was regarded as a dilettante’s exercise,” Bolles recalls1 . The optimism of this message, however, caught on: You can control what you do with your life, so why not pursue what you love? There are now more than six million copies of Bolles’s book in print. So Good They Can’t Ignore You PDF Book

The decades since the publication of Bolles’s book can be understood as a period of increasing dedication to the passion hypothesis. You can visualize this shift by using Google’s Ngram Viewer2 . 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.

If you enter “follow your passion,” you see a spike in usage right at 1970 (the year when Bolles’s book was published), followed by a relatively steady high usage until 1990, at which point the graph curve swings upward. By 2000, the phrase “follow your passion” was showing up in print three times more often than in the seventies and eighties.

Parachute, in other words, helped introduce the baby boom generation to this passion-centric take on career, a lesson they have now passed down to their children, the echo boom generation, which has since raised the bar on passion obsession. This young generation has “high expectations for work,” explains psychologist Jeffrey Arnett, an expert on the mindset of the modern postgrad. So Good They Can’t Ignore You PDF Book

Rebuild Your Backbone is an example of the courage culture, a growing community of authors and online commentators pushing the following idea: The biggest obstacle between you and work you love is a lack of courage— the courage required to step away from “other people’s definition of success” and to follow your dream.

It’s an idea that makes perfect sense when presented against the backdrop of the passion mindset: If there’s some perfect job waiting for us out there, every day we’re not following this passion is a wasted day. When viewed from this perspective, Feuer’s move appears courageous and long overdue; she could be a guest lecturer in Pamela Slim’s teleseminar.

But this idea crumbles when viewed from the perspective of career capital theory—a perspective that makes Karma Kids Yoga suddenly seem like a poor gamble. 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. So Good They Can’t Ignore You PDF Book Download

Career capital theory disagrees. It tells us that great work doesn’t just require great courage, but also skills of great (and real) value. When Feuer left her advertising career to start a yoga studio, not only did she discard the career capital acquired over many years in the marketing industry, but she transitioned into an unrelated field where she had almost no capital.

Given yoga’s popularity, a one-month training program places Feuer pretty near the bottom of the skill hierarchy of yoga practitioners, making her a long way from being so good she can’t be ignored. According to career capital theory, she therefore has very little leverage in her yogaworking life. It’s unlikely, therefore, that things will go well for Feuer— which, unfortunately, is exactly what ended up happening.

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. So Good They Can’t Ignore You PDF Book Download

Toward the conclusion of the profile, Feuer sends the reporter a text message: “I’m at the food stamp office now, waiting.” When Ryan Voiland graduated college in 2000 with an Ivy League diploma in hand, he didn’t follow his classmates into the big-city banks or management consultancies. Instead he did something unexpected: He bought farmland.

Ryan’s acreage is in Granby, Massachusetts, a small town of six thousand in the center of the state, not far south from Amherst. The land quality in Granby is mixed—it’s too far east from the Connecticut River to guarantee access to the river valley’s best soil—but Ryan still managed to coax a variety of fruits and vegetables out of his plot.

He called the fledgling concern Red Fire Farm. When I arrived in May 2011 to spend a day at Red Fire, Ryan, who is now working with his wife, Sarah, had seventy acres of organic produce under cultivation. The bulk of Red Fire’s revenue comes from their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. So Good They Can’t Ignore You PDF Book Download

In which subscribers pay for a share of the farm’s output at the beginning of the growing season and then pick up their produce every week at distribution stands throughout the state. In 2011, the program had around 1,300 CSA subscribers and had started to turn people away—there was more demand than they could meet.

In other words, Red Fire Farm is a success, but this is not what drew me to Granby. I arranged to spend a day with Ryan and Sarah for a more personal reason: I wanted to figure out why their lifestyle was so appealing. To clarify, I’m not the only one entranced by Red Fire. This is a farm with fans.

When Ryan and Sarah arrange special events throughout the year —a dinner to celebrate the summer strawberry harvest, for example, or their fall pumpkin festival—they quickly sell out. During my last visit I overheard a middle-aged woman tell her friend, “I just love Ryan and Sarah”—and I’m pretty sure they’d never actually met. So Good They Can’t Ignore You PDF Book Free

The idea of Ryan and Sarah, and what their lifestyle represents, was enough to draw her to Granby. This appeal, of course, goes beyond just Red Fire. The dream of leaving the rat race to start a farm, or otherwise live in harmony with the land, is the perennial fantasy of the cubicle-bound. In recent years, the New York Times, for example.

Has made great sport of telling the story of ex-bankers who head off to Vermont to start farms (stories that usually end with the banker slinking home, mud-stained hat in hand). Something about working outdoors, sun on your back, no computer screen in sight, is undeniably appealing. But why? This question motivated my visit to Red Fire.

I was unlikely to move out to the country, but if I could isolate the underlying traits that attracted me to this lifestyle, I reasoned, I could perhaps then integrate some of these traits into my own life in the city. In other words, figuring out this appeal became a key goal in my quest to understand how people end up loving what they do. So Good They Can’t Ignore You PDF Book Free

So I wrote Ryan and Sarah and asked if I could spend a day following them around. Once they agreed, I packed up my notebook, dusted off my work boots, and drove due west out of Boston: I was on a mission to crack the Red Fire Code.