Kony’s review of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Andy (new)

Andy Stager This book is less useful for people whose priorities include critiquing/reforming elitist institutions [No, he'd say that you need to be laser focused to make these reforms)
], cultivating deep and meaningful relationships (and not sacrificing these for worldly success) [no, he'd say that his distracted colleagues are the ones who struggle to have deep relationships because they're taking work home and flitting around on Facebook], practicing forms of love that don't necessarily advance one's career [see above], and mentoring others who have grown up with fewer privileges than your typical "knowledge worker" [this type of mentoring is knowledge work, and such a worker can always have a higher impact.] The author isn't offering advice about how to keep and nourish the relationships that, for some, make professional "success" worth pursuing [maybe not directly, but he is building a case with his whole string of books that if you want to make a disproportionate difference in the world and enjoy a more meaningful life, his approach may help.]

* Look, I'm in a highly relational field helping people intimately with deep problems. I could be the first to say that a computer science geek is out of touch with my life and work. But I find a hundred ways in which this book challenges me to be a more caring and relationship-nurturing individual BY practicing deep work, especially in quitting at 5:30 and focusing on the people that are actually in my life.


message 2: by Kony (last edited Mar 13, 2016 01:36PM) (new)

Kony "Less useful," not completely useless.

I too found plenty of valuable insights in this book, but it doesn't speak directly to the kind of career where the deepest learning comes from actually being in the trenches (e.g. community lawyering, which requires both high-caliber research and writing, AND genuine relationships and frequent interruptions).

Never said it was a bad book for all that, just that it's less explicitly on-point for some people.

Also, the book pretty much assumes a capitalistic framework of success. There are at least 2 spots where he more or less says as much. That's fine, and it's also a valuable signal about how many grains of salt I want to take with this book.


message 3: by Dawn (new)

Dawn You're reading what you want to read into the book, re: capitalistic success. Much of the success the author achieved was not directly related to money. Being able to spend more time with his family, for example, because he was *less engaged* in the "capitalistic" rat race. He also emphasizes that downsizing the amount of time people spend indiscriminately "helping" or connecting with a lot of people via online social media networks is balanced by being able to make a deeper, more meaningful connection with smaller groups (in the author's case, with his students). In this way, Deep Work can have a profound impact on *anyone,* and not just those who would benefit the most from the stated theses.

That you assume the book is less valuable because of a perceived emphasis on "capitalistic success" says much more about your mindset and outlook than it does about the book, as does your failure to understand that this kind of narrowly defined mentoring (and work) is much more useful than broad, shallow, and, ultimately, meaningless relationships and careers.


message 4: by Kony (last edited Jun 12, 2016 10:16AM) (new)

Kony Actually, in at least two places, he was quite explicit about assuming the capitalist framework of success. Not so much about becoming a millionaire, but about surfing the current trends of supply and demand and turning oneself into a highly marketable commodity. For all I didn't like about the book, I found it strikingly helpful that he was up-front about this point.

You're quick to cast judgment on my critical mindset and belittle my capacity to understand, simply because you love the book and don't buy my critique. (As opposed to stepping back and asking whether I might have in mind certain contexts that are unfamiliar to you, that may make my critiques valid.) Perhaps this tendency demonstrates something about *your* mindset as well. Cheers. :)


message 5: by Greg (new)

Greg "Capitalism bad! Waaaagh!" -Kony


message 6: by Kony (new)

Kony Work on your reading comprehension, Greg.


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