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The Art of Work

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  2,994 ratings  ·  415 reviews
Jeff Goins, a brilliant new voice counting Seth Godin and Jon Acuff among his fans, explains how to abandon the status quo and live a life that matters with true passion and purpose.

The path to your life's work is difficult and risky, even scary, which is why few finish the journey. This is a book about discovering your life's work, that treasure of immeasurable worth we a
Paperback, 212 pages
Published 2015 by Thomas Nelson
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,994 ratings  ·  415 reviews

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Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Rarely do I breeze through a non-fiction book, especially one that's more business-minded. But that's what I love about Jeff Goins' writing. It's creative, inspiring and encouraging, and not once while reading The Art of Work did I find myself bored or the writing dull. (I received an advance PDF copy of the book as a result of preordering.)

The Art of Work will change your idea of calling and propel you toward embracing your purpose. Goins' principles and observations are so simple they should b
Dwayne Morris
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I understand that Jeff and/or publishers titled this book in such a way as to hit a larger audience. However, this book is more about finding your God-given purpose/calling than it is about your work. I get that they go hand-in-hand.

It's FULL of nuggets that you can use for conversations with others about determining what they want to do "when they grow up", even if they are 50 years old.

GREAT work, Jeff! Congratulations on another well-written book!
Mar 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes originality isn't in dreaming up something no one has ever thought of before, but in synthesizing many different pieces into a cohesive and inspiring whole. This book offers the opportunity to change your thinking about work in a similar way Steven Pressfield did with creativity in "The War of Art".

This isn't a self- help book full of celebrity heroes on seemingly special journeys unavailable to the rest of us, it is full of everyday relatable people whose lives didn't turn out as they
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: pop
Despite of the high rating, I somehow did not quite enjoy this book, let alone being inspired by it.

One of the main values of this type of writing is how the writer connect between one source to another, and then bring an interesting conclusion from these connections. To this I feel Goins did not do well enough. His points are mostly superficial, very few of them feel original or made me feel as if they came from meaningful eureka moments. Every now and then, he would quote some good writers suc
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How does one classify this book? It's equal parts self-help, inspirational, amazing stories, and heart felt passion for life. Yet, is it something so much more raw than any of these books. Within these pages you'll find a series of insights that describe every human's primal need to do something better with their life.

Goins uses a combination of stories around the world, purposely choosing "normal" folks that we do not see their faces plastered all over the internet and top news sites to weave
Tonia Harris
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I just finished crying all the way through the conclusion of this book. I joined an online writer's group reading this and it was one of the best decisions of my summer. Sometimes, it's very easy to get lost in the forest- to forget we are our own compass and that we have everything we need to commit and fulfill our life's calling. And that it never ends, not even when we die. There's this word, legacy, and what it means is how we, instead of working to live, live to work, to be our best selves, ...more
Conrad Zero
If this book doesn't change your life, then you haven't read it.

The Art of Work is an excellent book, but you should expect no less from Jeff Goins. Highly motivational, inspirational and well crafted, this is a book you'll want to keep around and read several times during your stay here on Earth.

More than just a bunch of concepts, The Art of Work contains real-life stories about real people searching for their "calling." A meaningful career path. A life well-lived. The book shows you how to fi
Emily Mills
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this fast- maybe not the best for absorbing but I will reread for sure. The writing style and content kept me interested- I didn't feel like I needed to take a break.

I feel like this was a good, gentle read. A lot of books in this genre can be so encouraging and informing that it feels fast-paced and like the author is shouting at you- "FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS ALREADY!" I feel like Jeff's writing style is more calm, collected, and gradual. Over the course of the book he brings up good points
Mar 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book far surmounted what I expected. I read it on my Kindle, highlighting countless pages. Now I'm going to print those pages, so I will have a handy reference of notes on my computer.
I'm 82... and have learned over the years about calling and how that applies in my life. However, I was surprised by what I learned from Jeff's illustrations: they enriched my own understanding, helping me think and better clarify those things I still long to do (like get my first book finished this year.)

Katie M.  Reid
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is not just for writers, it’s for all those who want to pursue work that matters

Throughout this book Jeff shares accounts from around the world of those who live(d) their callings. A common thread appeared through these accounts: mistakes were made, they learned to pivot when things didn’t go as expected, they kept going and were true to their convictions.

The Art of Work is interesting, practical and inspiring.

My favorite sections came at the end—so be sure to read it all the way throu
Bethany Michelle  Planton
I read Jeff’s blog and listen to his podcast, so when the opportunity came to pre-order this book I took it. "The Art of Work recaptures the ancient understanding of vocation as more than a job, or even a career, but as a passion-fueled calling that makes each day an exciting adventure."
This book won’t give you the answer to what your calling is, but it sure helped me think through my calling and life in general. And I am adding it to my must read every year list.
"Your calling is not a single
Kressel Housman
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had low expectations going into this book. I dream of being a writer, but I can’t afford to quit my secretarial job, and I thought this book was going to advise me to throw caution to the wind and live out my dream anyway. Luckily, it was not as impractical as I thought. The book was filled of inspiring stories about successful people living out their dreams, but nowhere does the book advise people to take uninformed leaps. It’s much more about gradual steps, which works well for me. And since ...more
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Art of Work was referenced in a SHRM article that I read and I decided to borrow it from my local library; and I'm so glad that I did. What I appreciated the most about the book is that Jeff Goins doesn't pretend to have the answer to figuring out what your calling in life is and how to pursue it. Instead, he draws on the experiences and revelations of different people from all walks of life and weaves together a book that makes you want to step back and take a good, hard look at your own mo ...more
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Instead of pushing you to complete lists and brainstorming sessions in the search for your calling, Jeff takes a more introspective and relaxed approach. Encouraging readers to listen and observe, find common threads in tasks they enjoy, and not feel like a failure for changing tracks, it's a refreshing read.

The stories are of 'normal' people, not the usual famous names seen in many of these books. This makes the search for a calling seem more realistic.

There are religious threads, and one 'ill
Nancy H Vest
May 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I had high hopes when I started this book. I've read books by this author before, and I have enjoyed many of his blogposts.

The part of the introduction where the author talks about letting go of what could have been led me to write of list of what to let go of and what to embrace instead. It was cathartic. Then came a brick wall.

I was dragging myself through the first chapter which is entitled Listening to Your Life. It all seemed rather touchy-feely, vague, and 'out there' to me. I was about r
Jun 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Jeff Goins writes a book with a compilation of melancholy stories to elicit sentimentality from the reader along with to mollify and reassure the reader that mistakes are fine to make and that everything we do add's up to what our "calling" is.

He then redundantly reiterates the word "calling" throughout the book emphasizing that what we are meant to do in life has been a unique characteristic in us all along.

While maintaining this romanticized undertone he still does manage to give some pragma
Leah Good
Oct 18, 2015 rated it liked it
After seeing a friend frequently retweet the author of this book and then review the book itself on her blog I decided to read it myself. Since I am currently between jobs and finding it difficult to determine what's next, it seemed especially applicable.

The Art of Work is an encouraging book. It pulls "pipe dreams" down from their lofty but unreachable heights and encourages honest evaluation and planning to make dreams a reality. "Anything less than such proactivity is a cheap imitation of the
Mighty Rasing
I actually 'read' the audiobook of this book, read by Jeff himself. It's a book full of anecdotes and carefully crafted thoughts on calling and work. As somebody who also follows Tim Ferriss' concept of the "Jack of All Trades, Master of Some", this book spoke to me. We're not really called to only ONE calling, as if we were meant to do one thing and one thing only throughout our life.

Jeff's book presents stories of people who chased after their passions and discovered that it is their calling;
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I admit that I'm a fan of Jeff Goins' writing style and approach to community and to life, so I went into this book expecting to like it. The stories included just blew me away. I wasn't prepared to see the lives of others unfold in such a way when it's a book about finding your life's work or vocation. It definitely goes deeper than most life/career guides. The writing style makes the book's topic very approachable. It's challenging without feeling like you are climbing a mountain. Instead, his ...more
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Meh. I read the whole thing because it was quick and I was hoping to glean something from its entirety. However, it was just a disjointed collection of stories about people the writer found on the internet whose "callings" ended up being vapid, self-indulgent, or something they couldn't sustain long-term. I appreciated the lack of "entrepreneur" and rags-to-riches stories and that Goins attempted to include real-life examples but, ultimately, they fell flat.

Let's just say I didn't take a single
Tasha Seegmiller
Inspiring motivation

It's quite possible that I highlighted more in this book than most others I've read. Point after point resonated with my own recent journey to discover passions, learn more about a craft, and expand my vision to have more meaning in what I do. I would highly recommend this book to everyone.
Rob Thompson
About the book: The Art of Work is about finding your calling – that special goal that brings you joy and imbues your life with meaning. These blinks will teach you how to find your calling and how to live by it once you've found it. Your calling is the secret to living a fulfilling life – so don't let it get away!

About the author: Jeff Goins is the bestselling author of The In-Between, Wrecked and You Are A Writer. His work mostly deals with pinpointing your dreams and turning them into a reali
Sachin Prabhakar
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
It is time to find your true calling! The book begins with a broad view of the stages one passes while living their calling and then delves deep into each of these stages- awareness, apprenticeship, practice, discovery, profession, mastery, and legacy.

We all grow up and look back on the dreams that we had in the past and dismiss them off as childish, but were they? Most of the crowd out there feels they are without any purpose, in the dark of the night when the noises are down and they are lef
John Blackman
Nov 22, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a pretty quick read on why we work. I had high expectations going into this one. I expected some sort of formula for determining what the perfect thing for me to do in life was. I was secretly hoping it lined up with what I am actually doing.

Instead it focuses more on how you are living and thinking from the end of your life. I'm in a phase of life right now where my intensity for work is higher than ever, but I also now have a family. Time is so precious. 30 minutes is now a real gift w
Sep 11, 2017 rated it liked it
I found some golden nuggets in this book that I liked a lot. I love the overall message. Where the book really came together for me is at page 135 and on when a "Portfolio Life" is mentioned. I won't give it away. It's quick to get through and I liked the flow of it, especially toward the end. No ah ha moments for me but worth a read.
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An authentic and enlightening book. I have read many books that talk about taking the leap into doing what you were meant to do, but this book sheds new light on the idea of your calling in life and what that means in more detail than any other I’ve read. I read so much of it aloud to my husband because I found it absolutely worth sharing. I will read it again, for sure. Excellently written.
Hasil Sharma
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Doesn't begin on a great note though gets better as you read.
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Every now and then, I get asked to be a part of something special that changes my life. For me, being asked to be a part of Jeff Goins launch team for his new book, The Art of Work, was one such experience. I was first introduced to Goins writings through the Influence Conference and my friend Amy. His easy to follow style and “this is what has worked for me” attitude kept me reading his works. (For an insight, check out his I am a Writer ebook).

The Art of Work is the latest in a series of books
Deborah Bailey
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 in ...more
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Jeff Goins is the author of four books, including the national best seller, The Art of Work. He is also a full-time blogger, speaker, and entrepreneur.

Originally from Chicago, Goins graduated from Illinois College and spent the next year on the road with a band. After that, he moved to Nashville to chase a girl and spent the next seven years working at a nonprofit. He now writes and speaks for a l

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“I used to think that your calling was about doing something good in this world. Now I understand it’s about becoming someone good—and letting that goodness impact the world around you.” 5 likes
“Where does motivation come from? “It starts with a spark,” Daniel Coyle told me in an interview. “You get a vision of your future self. You see someone you want to become. . . . It’s a very mysterious process.” 4 likes
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