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Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design
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Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  424 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Zen and the Art of Making a Living is the life-changing book that revolutionized the career planning field by offering a new vision of work. This new edition has been updated throughout with up-to-the-minute contact information and hundreds of new bibliographical and Internet resources. It includes all-new sections on developing a successful home-based business and creatin ...more
Paperback, 704 pages
Published May 1st 1999 by Penguin Books (first published 1992)
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This one is really good, and the book I always want to give (and sometimes have) to some young seeker mulling over their options and how they plan to earn their crust and/(or?) fulfill their aspirations. Very much a workbooky, participatory sort of thing - a tool for living the examined life. In fact, I should return to it again myself, on the proposition that it is never too late.
Nov 29, 2007 Sally rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone trying to figure out the meaning of their life
That your work needs to be something you passionately care about. Right livlihood. One of those times a book comes along at the perfect time.
Like a bible.
Graciela Guzmán
Jun 04, 2008 Graciela Guzmán rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Graciela by: Kerrie Kephart
I receive this book from my Dearest Friend Kerrie Kephart, in a moment I loose my job and I felt hopeless. I remembered what she wrote to me: "and fly your wings my batterflie". It was like a light in a dark room for me. It helps me to discover that I love to work with people, that somehow I need the contention of a institution, the lessons from the warriors, the sage, the students and... Get into too many philosofal ideas mixed with a recipes of looking for a job, was a cool breeze in a hot sum ...more
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I learned about this book from a freshman seminar I took a few years ago. It has some wonderful insights & some great tools for making you more aware of what it is you want to do "when I grow up"... unfortunately I still do not know what I want to be when I grow up.
I read 100% of the book until page 392... then i skimmed over sections i thought were interesting and read the quotes. This book didnt tell me anything i didnt already know.
I found this to be of great help when I was finding the courage to work for myself instead of others.

Right livelihood is there for the discovery.
Quite unexpectedly, this book resonated with me. It was not full of the new-agey aphorisms I was expecting but rather a subtle examination of archetype as a guide for living - a critiqued life as it were. Joseph Campbell features prominently but also Nietzsche, CG Jung, and a host of other thinkers whose work could easily be twisted to fit a shallow self-help book, but wasn't here. I really found the first part of the book, with it's explanation of myth and zen, interesting. Especially because I ...more
In my late 20s, I got partway through the very extensive writing and reflecting that this workbook calls for, and that's it. There's only so much soul-searching that I can do.
Maybe this book would be better for people with more life/work experience -- and thus more to reflect on...?
Feb 02, 2015 Adriana rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone in the midst of a job search and is feeling overwhelmed.
Recommended to Adriana by:
Shelves: business
I remember reading this book and thinking, "Why were we not taught this before?" It made the job search, career search, more palatable. Took the stress of it and gave me a new perspective to job searching.
it was interesting
Kelli Pearson
Actually, I have not finished this book, because it's really the kind of book one takes in smaller bites. It's got a lot of stuff, and you might not need all of it at the same time. Parts of it have hit me as exactly what I need. Other parts probably would be great if I had the time to work through them. Still others, I'm just not there. I'll likely be getting it periodically from the library as needed, or I'll just buy myself a copy and carve out space on my limited shelves...
Feb 29, 2008 Kenneth rated it 5 of 5 stars
"Zen tells us that if we want to be free to play, we must be done with the agitation of envy and shame. otherwise, we can be triggered, through prize and ridicule, into performing like trained monkeys -- without ever knowing how or why"

"For good thoughts... towards men, are little better than dreams, except they be put into action; and that cannot be, without power and place." -- Francis Bacon

This book to me is about how to choose and play the "games" that's right for me.
this is a big one and i will be referencing it for a while. really great follow up/ companion to Sark's book making your creative dreams a reality. The beginning of this book really sounds a lot like Ishmael which is what drew me into it.
The first part of this book is about looking at work philosophically. The rest of the book is pretty much like most career guides, but the approach taken here resonated a little more with me than most of the others I"ve read.
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Definitely meant to be taken in small bites. I love this book, and consider it a career reference book. Great for the moments when you doubt your choices and yourself.
Nov 13, 2008 Brian marked it as to-read
rec from masala. talked about after giving a diatribe about trying to make a living as an artiste. probly should read this one. [-_-]
May 30, 2007 Pioden added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone wondering what to do with their life
A good workbook for those wondering what else they can do that allows their creativity free-reign while
getting them some money.
a lot of reading material. not simply a book
on finding a job or career. raises a lot of questions
about what we value as a society.
Jan 11, 2008 Deb rated it 5 of 5 stars
I've been reading this book for several years--a little at a time. It calms and directs me and makes me think.
Cassandra Carico
This is your usual self-help career book.In essence, find your bliss and enjoy going to work every day.
Not for me. I skimmed the first hundred pages and found it a bit too wordy and academic for my tastes.
From the same class as "Finding Your Own North Star" - Would give this 3 1/2 if they let me...
It was basically a collection of philosophy - I felt lost half the time. But it was good.
It's anything you really want it to be... reference, self help, entertaining, motivating
Such depth and great advice for creating life in general not just finding a job
one of my favorites
even if you're not looking for a new career
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“Concentrate on what you need to do... Do step one. Begin! That's the important thing- Did you do step one? Did you actually do it?... It's not a matter of 'Can you do it?' If you do it, you're doing it.” 3 likes
“One's true work is never merely 'my work,' but humanity's work. It's not really self-expression, unless by 'self' we mean it with a capital S, and that Self is the Self within all mankind.” 2 likes
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