Monday, October 4, 2010

Cal Newport

Has anyone heard of Cal Newport? of the Study Hacks blog?

No? Well, he's kind of my hero. Cal has a blog about enjoying life and being successful all at once. He has philosophies about Zen Success, Hard Focus, and Romantic Scholars. I found him when looking for study tips, (he, and all his writing endeavours, can be found through and became obsessed with applying more and more of his techniques as each one continued to make my life happier and easier.Cal was even a reason I wanted to start blogging on a regular basis.

So why am I writing about him now? I have just had another break through. Often on the site Cal mentions how it is better to do few things extraordinarily than many things well; that it is more impressive and will lead to a happier more successful life, now and in the future. He than gives an example of a triple-major, with a hodge-podge of extra curriculars, and many group affiliations. Now I agree that that sounds like a horrible way to live, but I ignored these posts because my course schedule is not hard and I only belong to one group. I just concentrated on the ideas he proposed of Hard Focus and Avoiding Pseudo Work.

Then it clicked. I have been working on my subjects 2 hours each 6 days a week in order to do the best work possible without draining myself or burning out. I was still tired, I was terribly frustrated when I couldn't finish whatever I had planed into my two hour slot, and I still felt I had too much to do. This was because of everything I forced myself to do outside of schoolwork, everyday. Things I thought, as an adult, I had to worry about and plan on, and drive myself crazy with, everyday. But, Cal says the secret to his happiness is doing less. I realized do less doesn't only apply to what I do at school, it applies to my everyday life. I don't have to stress about all the horrible things in the world or even the emergencies that may occur tomorrow. I can spend a few hours one day a week on money concerns/bills and not let it distract me all the time. I don't have to research everything about politics, current events, the new superfood, how to be a good step-mom, how to be as pretty as a celebrity, how you can read a man's body language to find out what he ISN'T TELLING YOU, BE YOUNG FOREVER, MULTITASK BETTER, READ FASTER, KNOW EVERYTHING!!!, etc., etc, the list goes on forever.
But I don't have to do everything. I can do less. I can be extraordinary in a few areas that I am excited about. So I thought of the four things that were at the top of my list: My learning; Being well read; Writing more; and, of course, my immediate family (which consist of my wonderful boyfriend, Shane, and his son, Connor).

Other than that, I can let go a bit. There are other things needed in life but they don't have to be a constant stress. There are also other things I chose to have in my life, other people I love, but that love is constant I don't have to worry about these things everyday; either. I'm already happier. So, do less! Also, don't forget to check out!


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