Something that I have been getting more interested in recent years is in the possible ways to increase one’s cognitive abilities. For this mind hacks edition, I present to the readers the writings and thinking of Cal Newport.
I was originally informed of Cal’s blog and books by Ramit Sethi on a webinar interview he did with Tim Ferris. Cal’s blog is Study Hacks – Decoding Patterns of Success. His website is at calnewport.com .
As he states on his “about” section….
What is Study Hacks?
Study Hacks was launched in the summer 2007 by me (aka., Cal Newport). At the time I was a computer science PhD candidate at MIT. Now I’m an assistant professor at Georgetown University.
I’m interested in why some people end up leading successful, enjoyable, meaningful lives, while so many others do not. Being a geek, I’m not satisfied with simplistic slogans (e.g., “follow your passion!”) or conventional wisdom (e.g., student success requires stress). Instead, I dive deeper, looking to decode underlying patterns of success.
When I started this project, I was a student. Therefore, much of my early writing concerns the patterns of success followed by remarkable students. I reject the idea that doing well in school requires stressful overwork, and instead promote a philosophy of simplicity: do less, but do what you do much better.
During this period I also wrote three books on my student philosophy: How to Be a High School Superstar (Random House, 2010), How to Become a Straight-A Student (Random House, 2006) and How to Win at College (Random House, 2005).
Over 125,000 copies of these books are currently in print, so people must be finding them useful.
Recently, as I’ve moved beyond my student years, I’ve turned more of my attention toward decoding patterns of success in the working world. In September 2012, my new book on this topic, So Good They Can’t Ignore You (Hachette/Grand Central), was published. It lays out my case for why “follow your passion” is a dangerous suggestion and then chronicles my quest to figure out what works instead.
Me: What makes him a little more different in thinking than most self help, mind enhancing, blogs out there is his training. He went to MIT to study Computer Science, he is an assistant professor at Georgetown University. He tries to breakdown the process of “success” to figure out why some people become successful and how other people can learn from these already successful people and emulate their results. As he states very clearly in his profile section “…Instead, I dive deeper, looking to decode underlying patterns of success, in all their nuanced glory.”
So far he has written three books, one of which I have bought.
- So Good They Can’t Ignore You <—this is the one I bought
- How to Become a Straight-A Student
- How to Win at College