My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Those looking for the work they were meant to do, will find a meaningful guide in The Art of Work. Not the usual book about how to follow your dream, author Jeff Goins shows that your calling isn’t a destination, but steps on a life-long journey. Giving examples of others who have found their calling in various ways, he shows the reader that success is rarely if ever a straight line. And the definition of success can vary depending on the person. Being on your path and living your purpose may include a red carpet and all the external trappings of success, or it may be a much simpler life outside of the spotlight. It all depends on the person.
The book includes sections which divide the chapters into Preparation, Action and Completion, and detail the journey through answering the call, becoming the apprentice, practice, mastery and ultimately legacy. In the introduction, Goins makes clear that he’s not referring to finding your dream job, but finding your vocation–which is your calling. It’s not just about showing up at a job and going through the motions, but stepping into the work you were meant to do. The thing that fits you, fills your dreams and your desires.
As the old way of working disappears, taking with it things like job security and pensions, a new way of looking at the work you were born to do has emerged. As Goins observes, with longer lifespans, it’s no longer a matter of your work life ending at retirement. A calling isn’t about punching a clock, it’s how you express yourself in the world.
Sometimes you know what you’re called to do, or you may discover it after a set-back, a loss, or a course correction. Based on what Goins calls, an ancient path followed by master craftsmen and artisans, it’s not meant to be a blueprint that everyone must follow exactly. Instead he urges the reader to be open to what shows up, and be mindful of how you respond to it. You may be led to places you never expected, and discover that all along you were being led where you were supposed to be.
He’s also included an Appendix with items such as, “Your First Steps Down the Path,” “Seven Signs You’ve Found Your Calling,” and “Next Steps.” No matter your age or stage of life, you’ll find something here to guide and support you along your life’s journey.