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A Life at Work: The Joy of Discovering What You Were Born to Do

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  448 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
Best-selling author and internationally known lecturer Thomas Moore finds people everywhere he goes who express unhappiness with their work lives. In A Life at Work, Moore takes listeners through the transformative process of discovering their deepest purpose in life.
Audio CD, 5 pages
Published March 1st 2008 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published February 26th 2007)
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You know, I have never made it through an entire book by Thomas Moore, despite feeling that his books are the sort of thing I should be interested in. His rambling musing style just doesn't do it for me. I thought maybe this book would be different, but it's just not keeping my attention. I'm halfway in, and I doubt I'll finish it.

My biggest problems:

1) I was tired of his alchemy analogy before he even used it. Is your life work like alchemy? But alchemists were idealistic, deluded idiots who be
Mar 15, 2015 culley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I plowed through this one in audio format for a class. Moore has a background in the priesthood, music and Jungian psychology. This book is an exploration of self-actualization as a function of work. It is really about much more than vocation. The book seemed so deeply influenced by the theories of Jung that I question how accessible this book would be to someone not interested in psychology. Other reviewers on this site have raised issue with the Alchemy metaphors— this is straight out of Jung ...more
Jan 23, 2011 Christy marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Part of Oliver DeMille's review of this book is this:

"Above all, this is a book about depth. So much in life is shallow, but your life itself must find real depth in order to find true success, happiness and meaning. There are so many books in this genre, but this is certainly among the very best! Whatever you do, be sure to read pages 91-95, and study the section on how our most important answers in life don't come rationally (p. 122-140)! Finally, what are the phases of your life so far? And a
Aug 05, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am going to credit this book mostly with the fact that it helped me to understand that I have been on the correct and most fulfilling life path all along. In other words, Thomas Moore once again helped me to see that sometimes in our modern society we have a tendency to think too much and expect way too much of ourselves in our life quest. We tend to see life as more a battle to be fought rather than a journey that must be deep and enriching and meant for us and who we are as individuals. I ma ...more
Feb 04, 2009 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely one to pass around, given to me for Christmas by my parents. Explains why many people are dissatisfied with jobs/work and how that permeates into other areas of life and personality. Also relates finding your purpose to the practice of alchemy - got me interested.
Moore explains how to care for your soul and spirit and how to encompass your past/bad times to make that fuel who you are now/who you will become (meant to be).

Finding your purpose is not a one step easy process and Moore us
Aug 02, 2016 Lilly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting examination of what makes up one's life work, how to bring inspiration to the daily grind and how to make room for your passions. I also found it fascinating that he brings up how much job mismatch can depress people. I read it at an interesting juncture in my career and it was a good reminder that, despite the fact that many people's jobs and passions are one, it doesn't have to be that way for everyone. Takes the pressure off. Moore writes beautifully. I can see this being a boo ...more
May 26, 2009 Maggie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
p. 2 "creativity is an instinct, not an optional gift granted to a lucky few."
p. 10 "the point is not merely to succeed but to become a deeper, more complex,more mature person through your struggle."
p. 11 "Pay attention to your deep and complex interior life, become more sensitive about your relationships, consider your past thoughtfully, and use your imagination at its full power. Work from the ground up toward finding the work that will make your life worthwhile."

best parts of the book... t
Nov 28, 2016 Dana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are no accidents. I truly believe this. I purchased this book, not for its title, but because of the author. It sat on my bookshelf for a few years, and then in a "to read" pile next to the chair in my den for a couple of months before I actually picked it up to read. I had no way of knowing how its message would resonate with me.

Written simply, its message touched a ready spot in my soul. While reading, I felt that glimmer of a spark of !Ah Ha! I get it!! A revelation that was quite timel
Nov 07, 2016 Kenzie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: depth-psychology
For readers familiar with Thomas Moore, this book's themes are not surprising--connecting with one's soul, applying principles of alchemy to address one's needs, incorporating arts and pleasure into something we associate with drudgery, and so on. What I liked about this book in particular was his continuous exortation to live a full, multi-valent life, and not worry about vocation as a singular pursuit. Overall, I found this book helpful and encouraging, and I will probably return to it when I ...more
Jan 17, 2017 P.a.jayaprakash rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Some are born authors, they know the knack of communication
He is one among the such...
A poetic way of writing a dry concept.
a real enlightener,
every chapter read twice to taste the last dip of the nectar
Thanks sir
Lindy MacLaine
Dec 06, 2016 Lindy MacLaine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking, helpful, a kind book. I filled it with sticky notes marking memorable passages.
Mme. Bookling ~
Nov 16, 2008 Mme. Bookling ~ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone searching for meaning
What has currently been sticking with me as I seek to understand the mysterious turns life brings, specifically in finding a life work that brings meaning.

"It may take some magic to find the work that heals you and makes you feel alive. If you are not grafted onto your nature and to the source of your life, you may be doing work that is dry and infertile. You don't feel good doing it because it isn't part of the system that includes all three parts: you, nature, and work. It is cut off and doesn
Dec 12, 2009 Lorna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read several of Thomas Moore's books over the last 20 years. I never fail to take something away from them to help me be at a higher level of peace in my own life. I set this book down for many months and just picked it up again to finish. The last few chapters are helping me to ground in my life now, enjoy the work I do now and look forward to where it will lead me, what I will learn from it to take on to the next part of my journey in my life's work. I have always admired the peace monk ...more
Jun 29, 2014 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
from Chapter Four, Reconciling with the Past, pp. 46-47 //////

"When we want to get on with the alchemy of our life work, we might look into the vessel that holds the raw material of our lives. In it we can find our painful memories: people who got in the way, experiments that failed, hopes and promises that didn't work out, losses and failures, rejections and interrupted careers.
All of this "bad" stuff from the past is like compost. We have to go and gather it and place it in the pile that wil
I'd already read one of Thomas Moore's books before reading this one. I think this book would've been the better book to start with. Although it focuses on work--both in the sense of your daily job and of your life's Work--it also covers topics Moore probably makes in all his books. There was a bit on the soul, on the spirit, on love and sex, on being open to experience and to foolishness. Since this is a skinny book, he doesn't go into any of these topics all that deeply, making it a good intro ...more
Jun 23, 2016 Ari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Good thinking material"

To admit out front, I am a big fan of Thomas Moore. A few years ago I had the opportunity to read his work on the care of the soul, although I have to admit that I do not take all the information presented to heart literally (the critical scientist in me keeps me skeptical, whereas the learner in me keeps me open-minded), I find the idea of the soul and the use of mythological stories in learning about our true selves and lives meaningful and effective. In "a life at work
Nov 25, 2009 Mandy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
This is a self-help book, about how to find out what you were born to do. I found it very inspiring, and so interesting to read that I gulped it down. I intend to read it again much slower, highlighter pens in hand.

And I did re-read it! Actually there were chunks of the book where I really did wonder what Moore was on about. He talked a lot about mythological Gods and Goddesses, and I didn't quite see how that related to the rest of the book.

This book isn't about choosing a career - it's suppos
Feb 15, 2013 Metta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: care-of-the-soul
"Alchemy offers a model for finding your life work. It teaches that the search is not just about the product but also the process. It offers rich metaphors for the many changes you go through, the moods and emotions you experience, and the repeated failures and successes that are a natural part of the process. Most of all, alchemy takes the search out of the realm of the heroic, where you are desperate to succeed and despair when you fail, into a complex process where the search is a lifelong pr ...more
Apr 21, 2009 Phyllis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Thomas Moore is my "go to" guy. When I am feeling particularly lost, I seek him out for guidance. Moore does not offer platitudes or quick solutions or even solutions to life's dilemmas. Instead he reminds us of life's many mysteries and of the human need to live life soulfully, spiritually, and honestly. This process is not necessarily easy nor painless. It takes a certain amount of courage and risk.

Since I am not a writer like Moore, it is difficult to articulate the depth to this book. The c
May 30, 2011 Brendan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moore does a good job distinguishing between getting a job versus finding ones calling. To some extent he builds upon the excellent foundation he set in his popular book, Care of the Soul, and applies it to "nurturing" our soul in conjunction with earning a livelihood. Moore writes with a casual, conversational manner and is not at all preachy! He does not hesitate to draw from his own personal experiences to illustrate his points. Although I've been waiting for my "burning bush" moment of clari ...more
Jun 25, 2015 Laurali rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 04, 2012 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not what I was expecting. After being hooked by both the title, the back cover description and then also enjoying the first page I was severely disappointed by the actual contents of this book.
I kept waiting for there to be some hint or suggestion on how to discover exactly what the book claims to be about - yet there is nothing here that even remotely guides you in that direction.
I still haven't finished this book - I may at some point finish it after I find someone else to help me discover wha
Mar 26, 2012 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: career, non-fiction
This wasn't really what I expected it to be, or even what the author proported it to be throughout the book. It doesn't really teach you HOW to discover "what you were born to do" as much as repeat variations of telling you to listen to your intuition, find your "daimon," etc. There are a few good morsels scattered throughout, but mostly this book is filled with examples of Moore's personal contacts and how he has seen them jump from seemingly odd jobs to finally end up happy....and of course, h ...more
Lisa Pletz
Jun 04, 2008 Lisa Pletz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Moore has held any number of work titles throughout his life, but the two that seem to have the most influence are "monk" and "psychotherapist." I don't know if it's my age or the point I'm at in my search for what I lovingly refer to as "a real job," but Moore has articulated so many of the things that I've been considering for the last 2 or 3 years, that I really feel validated in my thinking. As long as the basic needs are covered (and let's redefine those, please), it really isn't all about ...more
Jun 05, 2010 Polina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent look at finding one's life work centred around analogy with the alchemists work of transforming raw material into spiritual gold. Raw materials being our deep roots, past, heritage, soul longings. Final spiritual gold, multicoloured pheasant's tail, being a life work that is multifaceted like the individual himself.
I have noted my most significant quotes from the book here
Lizzie Sloan
I really enjoyed this book - lots to ponder on regarding how we tend to separate work from the rest of our life and not realise the effect it has on our relationships and creativity. It raised lots of good points about why we choose the type of work we do and how we can embrace work as a form of 'prayer' to connect us to our purpose in life.

I'll have to buy a copy to keep on the bookshelf for the amazing quotes that can be taken from it alone!
I especially enjoyed the chapters on the daimon energy/force/archetype that pushes within us to achieve/produce/excel. I would like to read more about this, and it surprised me that Thomas Moore included so much about this in this book. Also, his chapters on the importance of "work" throughout our entire lives as the notion of "work" changes in retirement years are important to motivate all of us to work toward fulfillment of out life's purposes.
Aug 26, 2009 Mical rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've always found Thomas Moore's work to speak directly to the deepest part of my soul in a healing way, and he has done it once again. To read about his soulful journey that meanders about as my own, is quite inspiring, more than likely because he is such a good writer and his is intensely successful by our world's standards. However, he makes you feel like that's not what matters . . . which is good, right? Kind of a dichotomy in values, which works for me.
Feb 17, 2009 Anders rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
Moore's most disappointing book to date. It feels contrived and a bit like the author is just trying to ride the wave of success of his other books and maybe make some pocket money. This book is not good enough and does not seem to have been really worked on with care and attention.
Sorry, Dr. Moore.
Pam Cipkowski
Mar 07, 2010 Pam Cipkowski rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
WHY did I pick this up?! It's utter SCHLOCK!!! I didn't finish it. Total Joel Osteen/The Secret/spirituality-but-not-religious kind of crap. Reminded me of The Alchemist, which I absolutely hated. Bypass this garbage and go to the root of what all these has-beens have borrowed from: Ignatian Spirituality.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Thomas Moore is the author of the bestselling book Care of the Soul and fifteen other books on deepening spirituality and cultivating soul in every aspect of life. He has been a monk, a musician, a university professor, and a psychotherapist, and today he lectures widely on
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“Love doesn't demand perfection, but it does ask you to give yourself with less reserve than you'd prefer.” 22 likes
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