These days when Follow your passion mantra is being considered as the foundation stone to live a happy and content life, this book conveys the message to learn to love what you actually do which seems little contrary to the popular notion of happiness. The author says that instead of following your passion, work towards building a passion for your job.

Don’t follow your passion

Cal Newport says, Follow your passion mantra is based on the assumption that we all have a pre-existing passion, and to be successful, it needs to be discovered. But this is not the case. Most people do not have any pre-existing passion and it is rare that your passion can be translated into a career. It takes considerable time to develop the passion and whether you love your job or not, is based on expertise and experience. That means as long as you do efforts and become a master of your craft, you can thrive and learn to become passionate about any job you choose.

Be So good that they can’t ignore you

A passion mindset focuses on what value this job offers you while a craftsman mindset for your work, focuses on what value you are producing in your job. Irrespective of your job is your true passion or not, work towards becoming so good that they can’t ignore you. The traits that make a great job great are rare and valuable skill sets known as career capital. So focus on acquiring the career capital first and then more opportunities will come. Deliberate practice is the key. Constantly stretch your abilities beyond the comfort level and with a methodological approach. Identify your capital type, define your good, improve continuously and take genuine feedback to develop further with patience.

Once you acquire the valuable skills, the next step is to invest them to gain control over what you do and how you do, which is incredibly important. It is dangerous to take more control without enough career capital (expert skills). When you decide about the work you want to pursue with your control, check its financial viability also, if people are willing to pay for it, this is an indication of your value in terms of your work.

Think small, act big

To derive great satisfaction from your work, build your career on a compelling mission. If you want to identify a mission for your working life, first get to the cutting edge (enough capital), think small by focusing patiently on a narrow niche, and then act big. Explore, experiment, try to find opportunities, and take small chances. Great missions are transformed into great success when that idea inspires people and they remark about it, second, it should be in a conducive environment.


The author dived deeper to decode the underlying pattern of success and suggested that don’t do what you love, but by developing valuable skills in your field, learn to love what you do. To cultivate passion is a long process and it requires you to work as a craftsman diligently, honing your abilities and then leveraging your value, which can be developed in many fields.

Developing such true and deep passion, quite different from the superficial passion which comes and goes like excitement, drives to a fulfilling career.