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6 rules that should be guiding your career, by Daniel Pink and Eric Barker


Stashed in: Plan!, Be yourself., @bakadesuyo, FAIL, Never give up., Steve Jobs, Awesome, Inspiration, Good Stuff, Lives that Inspire, The Internet is my religion., Grit

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Eric Barker writes:

Daniel Pink’s The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need conveys principles about the world of work that everyone should take note of.

So what does he have to say? Six simply-stated concepts:

  1. There is no plan.
  2. Think strengths, not weaknesses.
  3. It’s not about you.
  4. Persistence trumps talent.
  5. Make excellent mistakes.
  6. Leave an imprint.

Will post my favorite notes from Eric's article below. The whole article is worth a read.

Also, Dan Pink’s other book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us is one of the best things he has read in the past few years. (You can check out Eric's notes from it here.)

1) There is no plan.

"As Pink explains, you can’t plan your career too far in advance because there are too many x-factors."

What’s the number one thing people regretted on their deathbed?

I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

That’s a strong argument for acting on fundamental reasons.

2) Think strengths, not weaknesses.

“Successful people don’t try too hard to improve what they’re bad at. They capitalize on what they’re good at.”

3) It’s not about you.

“…the most successful people improve their own lives by improving others’ lives.”

4) Persistence trumps talent.

How much does natural talent control what you can achieve in life? In ~95% of cases, it doesn’t.

The key is knowing what to be persistent about, and what is worth letting go.

5) Make excellent mistakes

“Too many people spend their time avoiding mistakes. They’re so concerned about being wrong, about messing up, that they never try anything — which means they never do anything. Their focus is avoiding failure. But that’s actually a crummy way to achieve success. The most successful people make spectacular mistakes — huge honking screwups! Why? They’re trying to do something big. But each time they make a mistake, they get better and move a little closer to excellence.”

6) Leave an imprint.

“…when you get older and look back on your life, you’ll ask yourself a whole bunch of questions. Did I make a difference? Did I contribute something? Did my being here matter? Did I do something that left an imprint? The trouble is, many people get towards the end of their lives and don’t like their answers. And by then it’s almost too late.”

9 minutes in to his famous Stanford commencement speech Steve Jobs discusses the importance he placed on thinking about death during life:

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.”

Scientists now agree he was on to something:

Thinking about death can actually be a good thing. An awareness of mortality can improve physical health and help us re-prioritize our goals and values, according to a new analysis of recent scientific studies.

Watch the speech:

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