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 all long for. It’s about the task you were born to do.
As Jeff Goins explains, the search begins with passion but does not end there. Only when our interests connect with the needs of the world do we begin living for a larger purpose. Those who experience this intersection experience something exceptional and enviable. Though it is rare, such a life is attainable by anyone brave enough to try.
Through personal experience, compelling case studies, and current research on the mysteries of motivation and talent, Jeff shows readers how to find their vocation and what to expect along the way.
Jeff Goins is a writer, keynote speaker, and entrepreneur with a reputation for challenging the status quo. He is the best-selling author of five books including The Art of Work and Real Artists Don’t Starve. His award-winning blog Goinswriter.com is visited by millions of people every year, and his work has been featured in the Washington Post, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Psychology Today, Business Insider, Time, and many others. Through his online courses, events, and coaching programs, he helps thousands of creatives succeed every year. A father of two and a guacamole aficionado, Jeff lives just outside of Nashville, Tennessee.
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 be obvious but I found myself renewed and challenged by his way of thinking. Thoughts like calling being a journey and not a one-time event and how a life lived in multiple arenas is not chaotic but a portfolio. I will refer back to this book often to practice the principles and listen to my life.
If you're not sure your life has a plan, or you're following a plan and now find yourself lost, or you're facing a career transition, this is a book that needs to be in your hands, not just on your shelf. Goins lays out an easy-to-follow guide that can be tailored to whatever your life entails. It's not a how-to book in that it will give you a list of steps to follow to find your calling. It's an invitation to listen and act based on what is already a part of your life.
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!
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 such as Handy, and these are the parts where I enjoyed most.
I wonder if maybe the ideas were briliant, only that they were not being properly laid. Some parts were longwinded and there were quite a few unnecessary repetitions, especially when describing the real life stories. So many parts are quite boring.
Regardless, there are still one or two meaningful propositions, which I appreciate, and while I do not understand how it can be, I hope this book continues to inspire people.
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 expected and what they discovered when they changed those expectations.
The last reviewer, Grace, said it perfectly: "...finding our callings is not something grand, but rather something beautifully complex, somewhat accidental, and not at all contrived. It's a delicate balance that has blindness on one side and addiction on the other."
The book is organized into a series of themes that, when broken down don't attempt to define 'THE path' which doesn't exist, but a way to open ourselves up to our own unique journey.
Even if you have discovered your 'calling', Jeff offers a new way to look at what that means. It is realistic. The struggles on our journey, obstacles in practice and apprenticeship can forge our characters and highlight what is uniquely our own. A change in thinking, awareness and the reframing failure is not only a good idea, it's necessary. The book encourages us to consider redefining the meaning of success and legacy.
I find the weaknesses of the book to be in the narrative. Jeff can be a little too economical with his storytelling, making this reader's connection with his interviewees tenuous. He breaks the narratives to make a point and sometimes this is ok, but it makes some chapters too choppy. This is why I couldn't quite give it a perfect rating.The book was really a 4.5 star experience.
There are Christian overtones to the book, but they aren't intrusive or proselytizing. Take those snippets or leave them.
The Art of Work is the second book I have read from Jeff Goins and he is living up to his potential. I am going to be reading this book again when my print copy arrives and getting out the old school highlighter and writing in the margins. The "Art of Work" can remind us to open our minds, be willing to let go of our expectations and LISTEN to life.
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, and how this can impact others. Well, Mr. Goins, you're leaving a fine legacy. It's touched me and I hope I can utilize all I'm learning to do the same.
I had already been part of a group building a library for our small communities, but the day to day grind, the red tape, the politics, the trying to share the vision with others who can't believe in something so large- I was overwhelmed. This book broke it down for me. That it's all a process and calling is not about doing something on your own, and how much impact we can have by living our daily lives the best way possible.
It also helped me to say, "I am a poet." That may sound like such a small thing to many, but knowing this clarified so many things for me and now I feel like I'm on the right path. The path may throw me for a loop or several, be hard, scary, uncomfortable, but I know it's the true path. I'm not just a poet with words, but with my life. Sometimes, a book like this can open you up to what was already there, obvious to perhaps many but yourself.
I am on fire again. Only it's not a consuming fire. It's life-affirming and my hope is I leave behind a legacy of light and warmth for many others.
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 through the lessons he has learnt from them about the nature of finding our calling and vocation in life. He choose these people by design to show us that finding our callings is not something grand, but rather something beautifully complex, somewhat accidental, and not at all contrived. It's a delicate balance that has blindness on one side and addiction on the other.
Goins takes us on a trip through the stages that one usually goes through to find their vocation, see it through, and leave a legacy. From wishing, to listening, to discovery, to doing, and finally to legacy, the whole story of "how to be great" is there. The point that impressed upon me the most is how we all need to be great in our own way, not in someone else's way. What is "great" for one is not necessarily the "greatness" for another. And, oddly, it's rarely what we think it should be.
Now, I should warn those of delicate sensibilities that cannot tolerate anything with a religious content. On pages 91 - 97 Goins uses a bible story to illustrate a particular point he's trying to make about listening to the cue of your life to figure out what your calling and vocation is. Sometimes it's obvious, but sometimes it is not. For those of you that can't stomach a little of this sort of discourse, feel free to skip these pages; it will be a great book without them.
The book ends with a summary of sorts, which I must say, is an asset to the book as you can get overwhelmed in reading it, then want to go back to your notes and be out of sorts. The appendices do a great job of summarising everything, giving actionable steps, and getting you going after the entirety of the book has made you restless and wanting to hear your own calling.
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 find that path and walk it, all the way from Preparation through Action to Completion. The highly useful Appendix has lists of exercises and discussion questions for you to turn theory into practice.
I don't like the cover. Crashed paper airplane? Representing boredom in a dead end career, I guess? And the title is sure to get this book lost in a sea of all the other "Art of..." books. Should have used "calling" or "purpose" or "meaning" in the title instead, as they have more to do with the content than either "art" or "work." A book about your calling sounds better to me than a book about work. At least it doesn't have the world "girl" in the title.
Covers and titles aside, nothing can tarnish the 5-star content inside this book. If nothing else, you'll buy this book thinking it's going to get you out of your drab cubicle and into a corner office. But instead... you'll be amazed.
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 which build on each other. Segues from one point to the next are intuitive.
The questions at the end- I thought they were wonderful. Too often books preach great content but then leave you hanging as to how to apply the concepts to your own life. Some readers might not even know how to do that without a prompt. Helping readers evaluate their own lives is an important step too many authors overlook or choose not to do.
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.)
Jeff is strengthening and encouraging thousands of everyday people as he shares what he is learning. His writing style makes me think he's sitting at our table with a cup of coffee in his hand, talking, as I listen and understand.
Keep writing, Jeff - and come sit at our table anytime.
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 the author’s dream is the same as mine - to become a writer – he speaks to the very thing I want. So I’ll be reading more from him. I like what he had to say.
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 pragmatic advice in the book rather than deluding the readers that they're special by saying they have a "calling."
He introduces the idea of taking a risk with our vocation; he also clarify's in "The Portfolio Life" that we are the actions we make; composing ourselves in Work, Home, Play, and Purpose. He lastly provides the reader with the simple though annually overlooked fact that mastery at anything requires work and that we cannot accurately anticipate mastery with talent alone -- we must have some effort intertwined with our natural capabilities.
My prominent reason for rating this book a three (almost a two) is for Jeff's redundant use of the word "calling." When in reality, we do not have a calling. We have enjoyments and pleasures and avocations and vocations that are enjoyable at certain era's of our life and not enjoyable at others. We are made up of our genetics and our experiences -- and no calling is found in either of those two.
Wow, where to start? Perhaps with the title, or rather, the subtitle, since this book does not live up to it in the slightest. There is no path, proven or unproven, described in this book. It's basically just an endless string of references to things that other people wrote, or sang, or thought. There are no original ideas in these pages. I guess if you like lots of stories about American Idol contestants, late 1980s business books, and YouTube "research" then this is for you.
His main message: don't just dream about what you want to do, do it! Combine all your skills in a creative and original way! Failure is just a way to success! Maybe you don't have one calling, but several! None of this is provided with any path or plan, you just get the platitudes.
The last section was representative of the whole book - it read like a school paper by a teenager who waited until the last minute to start and downed a bunch of energy drinks to write it overnight. Seriously, in just a few pages he provides a lengthy rundown of the plot of the movie Mr. Holland's Opus, tells a story of a school teacher, quotes Ezra Pound, then John Lennon, then Oliver Wendell Holmes, then back to movies - Finding Forrester this time - moves on to reference Stephen King's memoir and caps it off with a lesson from The Simpsons.
I wish I could provide some insight as to the type of person this book might help but I really have no clue. Ugh.
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 through. In fact, as you will see below, page 167 spoke the loudest to this try-hard woman.
“Sometimes all the little things in life aren’t interruptions to our calling. They are the most important part.” (The Art of Work, pg. 167).
As I write this post little ones are interrupting and I’m not handling it well—not handling their hearts well as I snap and say, “Quiet! I’m trying to work here.” But, as we talked about before, maybe the small things are the most important after all.
“As you endeavor to do something amazing with your life, don’t forget that without people to support your dream, your work will always be incomplete” (The Art of Work, pg. 167).
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 event in your life; it's the whole body of work you make - including your job, your relationships, and the legacy you leave behind."
Wow folks, I don't use all caps a lot, but SERIOUSLY HOW DID ANYONE LET A BOOK GET PUBLISHED IN THIS CENTURY that literally says that Asians are better at math for some kind of inborn reason? No joke. I read that part like four times because I thought it must be wrong. He used that and Kenyans and running in the same thought. Just...what? Also used thugs in a really uncomfortable context around prisons. Also runs a writing group with "tribe" in the title.
So um yeah, this guy is white, and that's my review.
a real dud in my opinion. advice is mixed into not that illustrative stories. Cal Newport's "So Good They Cant Ignore You" and Barbara Sher's "Wishcraft" are much better. I would advise not reading this book.
I wanted to like this book, to be inspired by it, nevertheless upon finishing it, only one word seemed fitting to describe The Art of Work and that was, empty.
This is a book that sets out to serve as a stepping stone on your path to live your best life with true passion and purpose. Rather than give you a step by step roadmap, it goes through several people's stories on how they found their calling.
Whilst well intentioned, The Art of Work ultimately falls flat due to several reasons. The most obvious ones are that the parables are not that interesting and for most people they won't be relatable or offer any practical advice, and lastly because the chapters seem like individual sections that were put together rather than a cohesive body of work, with consistent and strong themes throughout.
اگر به دنبال پیدا کردن رسالت شخصی خودتون هستید دنبال این هستید که بدونید معنای زندگیتون چیه برای چی به دنیا اومدید کتاب خوبیه زبان بیانش روونه و تمرین های عملی هم به ما میده خوبی کتاب اینه هر بحثی که گفته با یک مثال عملی بیان شده یه بخشی از کتاب رو براتون پایین میارم گاهی اوقات رسالت به معنای زندگی راحت تر نیست. گاهی در جهت موفقیت شخصی تعادل ایجاد نمی کنیم بلکه حتی به سمت دردی عظیم تر می رویم. اما معما از این قرار است: رسالت همیشه شما را به زندگی ای رهنمون خواهد کرد که با ارزش است، زندگی ای که می توانید به آن افتخار کنید. هرچند، شیوه دسترسی به چنین زندگی ای، همیشه به اختیار ما نیست. بعضی وقتها مسیر می تواند پرهزینه، حتی مرگبار باشد. اما چیزی که در انتهای جاده وجود دارد غنیمتی است که با پول نمی توان آن را خرید و میراثی که جهان فراموش نخواهد کرد.
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 motives for working.
I really enjoyed reading this book and would highly-recommend it to anyone that wants to use their God-given gifts to serve others.
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 note. For me, that means I've just read a dud.
Esse livro foi uma das indicações que a gente pega no ar, ouvindo uma palestra ou participando de uma live ou outra coisa qualquer. No caso, eu estava mediando uma live com um ex-orientado que me é muito caro. Ele citou esse livro, anotei, vi as referências aqui mesmo no GoodReads e em outros sitios, e mandei para o Kindle. A princípio me pareceu um livro de auto-ajuda, que eu raramente (ou nunca) leio. Fui me surpreendendo na medida em que fui avançando na leitura, e embora possa até ser considerado auto-ajuda, o livro é muito mais que isso. É um depoimento de vida do autor, que descreve sua trajetória profissional até tomar coragem e "pivotar" (termo originado do basquete) na carreira, partindo para o que realmente era o seu caminho iluminado. Bons exemplos, livro bem construído e organizado, não tem exageros e nenhuma pretensão de influenciar ninguém, é apenas uma descrição de trajetória. Que serve muito de exemplo para qualquer um de nós. Para mim particularmente, que já estou com quase 10 anos de aposentado, e sentindo necessidade de "pivotar" e enfrentar novos desafios com meus 69 anos bem vividos. Recomendo sim, vale a leitura.
Grabbed randomly from the library. Yes, maybe it will tell you "nothing new" but I think it's a good book to ground yourself and inspire hope as to what your life can become. It summarizes how to pursue a calling even if you don't know what you want to do yet.
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 ready to put the book down and stop reading altogether, but an acquaintance who'd finished the book encouraged me to read on. I'm glad I listened. The parts that were bothersome in this chapter were completely clear by the end of the book.
This book delves into the why's and how's of meaningful work in ways I hadn't considered. The author provides real world examples to illustrate his points, and he uses people from all walks of life. He helps readers to see that there is value in nearly any kind of work, and the value isn't necessarily a money thing. (What work doesn't have value?...illegal things,stuff like that. My assertion here, not anything the author blatantly says in the book)
I underlined and highlighted again and again, and if a friend wanted to borrow my copy of this book I would instead buy him a copy of his own. I wouldn't want to risk losing the notes, etc, that I made while reading.
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 life you were meant to live," the author encourages. This is a book that redeemes confusion and failures and turns them into stepping stones on the path to reaching your calling. When presenting one man's story, Goins summaries, "He didn't come to his life's work by success. He found it through failure."
Because I read most of this book while tired and a bit discouraged, I found it a little hard to focus and some of the stories difficult to relate to. However, there were a lot of encouraging nuggets that I tucked away into my memory vault to draw continued inspiration from.
If you're thinking of reading this book, check my friend's review out. It's a very well thought out summary of the positive aspects of the book.
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; those who chased after passions and failed, only to rise up in some other realm.
The book tackles calling as this multi-faceted thing, and the process of its discovery is not as neat as we would like it to be.
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 direction helps you attack your goals just like eating an elephant... one bite at a time.
I've read worse motivational books. Not many, but I have.
This is clearly a self-promoting bit of motivational writing intended to secure motivational speaking gigs. It has all the trite advice one would expect from books of this ilk. The only thing this book does to motivate me is make me want to write one of my own with just a bit (OK, a LOT) more substance to it.