In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king – or so the saying goes. In his new book, Deep Work, Cal Newport argues that when it comes to deep concentration, we have become the land of the blind.
He believes that the ability to do focused work is essential for career success, but becoming increasingly rare. And the fewer people are capable of deep work, the more of an edge you should be able to get by being the exception.
We think Cal is one of the most interesting thinkers working on the issue of career strategy, so recommend you check it out. We interviewed Cal to learn more.
Quick summary of the book
Cal defines “deep work” as “the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task”.
In his previous book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Cal argues it’s better to focus on gaining career capital rather than “following your passion” (we agree). Part one of Deep Work takes off where his previous book ends – he argues that deep work is essential to gaining valuable career capital. In short:
- Deep work is increasingly valuable in the modern economy because it’s what allows you to master new intellectual skills and produce creative breakthroughs. People able to do both of these can take work that’s unlikely to be automated and reach the top of their fields,