This professional advice makes a lot of sense for anyone who is building a career from scratch. But during a recent re-read of the book I found myself asking…how might this advice change for people who are at an inflection point in their career, not the beginning?
Think about it. What’s the last time you were truly a beginner at your professional craft? Honestly, try to remember. Close your eyes and think back to your earliest attempts at whatever you do for a living today. If you’re like 99.9% of humans, you weren’t instantly good on your first try. In fact, you kinda sucked at it. But if you got good, you did it like everyone does: through deliberate practice (one of Newport’s key strategies) applied over time.
And as time passes, if you continue practicing, you got even better.
But what nobody talks about — including Cal — is what happens when you forget what it’s like to be a beginner. About what happens — psychologically speaking — when an “expert” chooses (or needs) to become a Beginner Again.