We recently shared a blog on Todd Henry’s terrific book Die Empty. We love this book because it encourages each of us to make a contribution, the unique contribution that only we can make. Henry describes what he calls the Siren Song of Mediocrity as “a compromise of abilities and potential; a negotiation between the drive to excel and the biological urge to settle for the most comfortable option.” It takes intentional effort to make our unique contribution which Henry describes as “unleashing your best work every day.”
This intentional effort and focus is increasingly hard to achieve in a world of distraction. As we were talking through tools that might help us and our clients, an e-mail from Dan Pink arrived with a link to a terrific blog by Eric Barker featuring the work of Cal Newport. Cal Newport provides a framework and practical advice for minimizing what he calls “shallow work” and maximizing “deep work.” His book Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World provides just the tools we were looking for.
Deep work keeps us on the path of unique contribution and off the slippery slope of mediocrity … allowing us to have an authentic impact.