How to Quit Social Media and Master Your Focus | Cal Newport on Impact Theory

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Best-selling author Cal Newport literally wrote the book on how to “Get so good they can’t ignore you.” Instead of looking inwards and trying to find your one true passion, he advises lowering the bar and finding a few decent interests. Then, raise the bar for skill acquisition and mastery. Anyone feeling “stuck” in life will find his approach challenging and refreshing. So tune into this episode of Impact Theory with Tom Bilyeu, and listen to Cal Newport discuss why you should not necessarily follow your passion, why you should disconnect from social media, and why sacrifice promotes the good life.


[2:42] Cal explains why you should not follow your passion.
[4:52] Cal shows what actually matters: impact, mastery, and connection.
[6:08] Cal and Tom discuss becoming so good they can’t ignore you.
[8:07] Cal explains the role of initial interest in job satisfaction.
[9:39] Cal and Tom discuss apprenticeship and the importance of knowledge and connections.
[13:13] Cal illustrates using disciplined practice to get impossibly good.
[15:18] Cal explains the difference between mere repetition and disciplined practice
[17:39] Cal talks about deep work and how to get good at it.
[19:35] Cal describes sustained thinking by showing how unnatural reading is.
[21:41] Cal defines Solitude Deprivation Syndrome
[23:40] Cal discusses the consequences of social media addiction.
[25:32] Cal advises doing something without your phone on a regular basis.
[26:26] Cal talks about technology detox and digital minimalism.
[28:11] Cal explains how focus is disrupted by even brief attention shifts.
[29:50] Cal illustrates how best to get into a state of flow.
[32:46] Cal describes productive meditation.
[33:55] Cal jumps into a discussion of what’s so terribly wrong with social media
[35:02] Cal explains why we know social media is causing the problem.
[37:15] Cal compares social media to cigarettes.
[38:34] Cal considers the good life, fulfillment, and human flourishing.
[40:56] Cal explains why service and sacrifice are so important.
[42:15] Cal discusses a world without email.
[44:25] Cal describes what a world without email would actually look like.
[48:10] Cal shares the impact he wants to have on the world.


[7:54] Put your head down and go into apprentice mode. I’m going to master something that is unambiguously valuable.
[12:02] Everything that’s worthwhile is really hard, and it’s often really specific
[37:38] We’ll probably look back at giving a 13 year-old social media the same way we look at giving a 13 year-old a pack of cigarettes.
[45:47] Business is not about convenience. It’s about value production.



[2:27] So good they can’t ignore you
[2:28] Digital minimalism