Top critical review
3.0 out of 5 starsValid points, but not fully in agreement
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 7 August 2017
I agree with the points made by the author- that putting effort at getting better matters more than the belief that the right career choice will imply happiness and things will be effortless. In "Revolutionary Road", Frank dreams big of moving to Paris and doing something else . But without putting in any real effort, such wishful thinking is mere escapism and this is what happens in that novel. This is the point this book tries to make- that several people so not really have a defined passion , and that instead one should invest in building career capital ( skills).
However there are several points of disagreement-
1. What if a person's skill was really suited for a certain kind of work, giving them an unfair advantage ? Then it would be worth spending time to discover that. The writer already agrees that athletes do need to know their calling and get going at a young age. But what about singers with a gifted voice? What about a career in sales, where appearance and extroversion are bound to be assets ? Would an introverted individual be better off putting the same effort in some other profession where personality did not matter as much ?
2. Next, what if perseverance were linked to the amount of commitment a person had for a particular job ? A people person may not like code, and a programmer may not like a lot of seemingly boring administrative meetings . Forcing them to excel over years will lead to some success, but would the same effort yielded more gains somewhere else ?
3. Third, at one point Cal talks of doing only things which will have monetary value in the market. This is a sad reflection of what consumerism has done to us. Van Gogh did not sell a single painting in his life ( outside of 1 to family). Viktor Frankyl writes in his introduction to "Man's search for meaning" that he never wrote that book for money, but of all his books, this was the most successful.
The author assumes perseverance and passion seeking are two extreme alternative choices. A person could have made a calculated decision to follow their passion AND also agree to put in all the effort possible.