Andrew White

Cal Newport on finding purpose

I’ve been listening to Deep Questions with Cal Newport. While I think I prefer his written works, he addresses some really great questions. One was on finding a purpose in life. Newport mentioned something that I really agree with: that the whole idea of “passion” being your way to meaning is recent, unhelpful, and pretty wrong-headed in all but a very few circumstances. Instead he puts forward the myth of Odysseus as a better model. In short: overcome the adversity you are facing, then get your house in order, then get down to the hard work in front of you. This combines nicely with another point he makes in the same episode about a craftsman mindset. This mindset is about doing the work in front of you well, whatever it is. Both of these discussions occured in the very first episode; go have a listen.

(Apologies for the links to the iTunes listing. I can’t find any other page for the podcast.)