Rare and valuable skills are necessary for you to grow into the work you love. Read on to find out how, with the lessons I’m learning from the author of “Digital Minimalism” – Cal Newport.

Today on Think It Through Thursday, I continue my exploration of Cal Newport’s 2012 release, “So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love.” As I await the arrival of his latest release, “Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World,” I thought this would be helpful for me – and you, too.

See Part 1 here, where I summarise the first two rules of working right, instead of trying to find the right work. Hint: it involves Deep Work – one of the cornerstones of Hybrid Consonance a.k.a. Holistic High-Performance Mindsets, Habits, and Practices.

“What you do for a living is much less important than how you do it.” –  inside cover.

” ‘Follow your passion’ is dangerous advice.” – introduction, p. ix. 

My Action Points

Today’s post is not a summary, but rather a vision of what is possible, and my action points from reading the first two rules of Newport’s advice.

Rule #1: Don’t Follow Your Passion

Lesson: In some ways, passion isn’t rare – it’s talked about, a lot. “Follow your passion…” But what is rare – valuableuseful skills and knowledge that produces high impact results – takes time and experience to develop. Stick around long enough, be consistent, and you’ll grow.

Action: I am writing, teaching, and musicking (writing and making music with my students and elsewhere). I keep showing up, day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year. I continue growing as an educator, musician, and writer.

What about you? What will you choose to develop – and will you commit to the long term growth avenue of showing up consistently in order to grow?

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

Lesson: focus on what you can give to others. Build up rare and valuable career skills, thus accumulating career capital. Discover and clarify what rare and valuable skills you can develop. Grow your rare, valuable skills and knowledge through deep, deliberate practice. Keep doing this consistently.

Action: I grow my skills by dedicating time every day to deep practice in writing and music. I share these, ‘practice in public’ by posting here on Hybrid Consonance. I reflect on what works, what doesn’t, and seek feedback from my students, audience, mentors, and coaches. That includes you, dear reader.

What about you? How will you grow your skills?

Next Thursday, I’ll (hopefully!) finish the summary and note my action points derived from my reading of the book.

Like what you’ve read? Please comment below, on Twitter, or connect on LinkedIn.

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