Week 4 Reading

Cal Newport discusses two types of mindsets people have when approaching work, The Craftsman Mindset (the mindsets of artists and musicians), and the Passion Mindset which he argues is what most people adopt.

Craftsman Mindset

  • focus on what value you’re producing in your job – it is the foundation for creating work you love
  • crucial for building a career you love
  • is about what YOU can offer the world
  • offers a sense of clarity

Basically, CM is all about “creating something meaningful then presenting it to the world”

Passion Mindset

  • focus on what value your JOB offers you
  • what the world can offer you
  • can keep you unhappy and confused
  • offers ambigous and unanswerable questions

Basically, PM’s are often hyperaware of what they don’t like about their jobs, especially those in entry level positions doing crap work or hard tasks (being taken advantage of???)

Something that really stuck with me

Leave behind the angst of whether or not your job is right, instead just put your head down and plug away at getting really good at it …“NO ONE OWES YOU A GREAT CAREER, YOU NEED TO EARN IT”

This is something that my dad always instilled in me. Not everyone and especially not you (meaning me) is born with a silver spoon in their mouth. You want to get somewhere in life, you need to work hard, and hard work is always recognised.

I was also taught that money does not buy happiness and should not be the deciding factor in my choice of job/career/hobbies.

I question Newport though for his rule #2 where he suggests you shouldn’t question whether or not your job is your passion and instead turn your focus toward becoming really good at it. I think everyone is entitled to question whether or not they are happy in what they are doing, because in turn, even if you work really hard on something, you may exhaust this passion and turn it into something you hate – which kind of defeats the purpose entirely.

I also think there is a strong difference in passion and work, and it is very rare that people have the option of combining the two. I know plenty of people that work as nurses or lawyers, and have a passion for cooking or sport….and no matter how hard they worked or practised, they would not be recognised – I think there is a fine line to his argument.

For me, I love writing. It’s what I’m good at it. I have been told I’m good at it. If it something that I get to put as my employment on the Census paper one day, great, and I will keep working to write the best that I can, but I know there are thousands of others out there just as good if not better, and I’m okay with that…I think.

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