After studying manga, a type of Japanese comic, Dan Pink decided to deliver business wisdom to America in the manga format for a new twist on the typical business advice book. Dan discusses career planning, one of six main topics in his book. He says that although students expect their career to follow a linear path, this is rarely the case. Dan outlines two reasons we make a decision: instrumental reasons (you do something because you think it will lead to something else) and fundamental reasons (you do something because you want to do it). The people who really flourish make decisions for fundamental reasons, even though this can be very difficult. For example, if you choose a major in school thinking it will lead to one specific career choice, then you are limiting yourself. Dan asks listeners to find someone who is doing something really interesting and worthwhile and ask them how they got there, and nine times out of ten, they will not have followed a set, planned path. Dan thinks the secret to success is to use your strengths, instead of focusing on repairing your weaknesses. Career centers can play a huge role in helping people discover their strengths. Next, Dan discusses another of his theories: persistence trumps talent. A moderately talented, extremely persistent person will outperform an extremely talented person who is not very persistent. Dan’s final advice is to make excellent mistakes, meaning mistakes that come from high aspirations that provide a learning experience.
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