The Art of Work
Updated: Dec 15, 2019
I've spent the past two days with my nose buried in The Art of Work by Jeff Goins. I originally heard of Goins in episode 28 of The Learning Leader Show. I enjoyed the interview immensely, and I added his book to my book list, which is largely populated with work that I learned about while listening to the previously mentioned podcast hosted by Ryan Hawk.
Of the books I have read this year, The Art of Work is at the top of my favorites list. I couldn't put it down.
The theme of the book is centered around finding your vocation. Goins' definition of vocation comes from breaking the word down into its original form. Your vocation is more than your work, it is your life's calling. That thing that you were born to do.
"...a calling is not just a position; it's a life well lived."
"Life is not a support system for your work; your work is a support system for your life."
A calling is more obvious to some than others. Some find it early on in life, some find it nearer to the end, and others hear the call during the time in between. Many never find it at all.
We all have one. Some of us are living in it already, even though we might be unaware. And "...sometimes it takes a wake-up call for us to see that this work that we're doing is more significant than we realize."
Those of us that haven't found it yet, I urge you to keep searching. Sure, it might find you, but those are the rare cases. You might even think you've found it, only to realize that what you've found is a path, and your true calling exists down one of many forks.
It's there to be found. It's more than just work. It's bigger than you.
"A calling isn't something new and shiny. Often it's something old and predictable, a familiar face that's easily taken for granted, an old habit or hobby that comes back into our lives. It's our true self, shared with the world."
Be still and listen for the call, or search the ends of the Earth (or the internet) if you have to. You might find it where you least expect it. You might find that it's been right in front of you the whole time. However, and most importantly, when you hear the call, you have to listen to it, and answer it. That part of the journey is often the most difficult.
"Finding your life's work is not easy. It may, in fact cause you more pain than comfort, but it will be worth the cost."
Within the pages of The Art of Work are numerous examples, not of glitz and glamour, but of everyday people who found and continue to find fulfillment in answering the call. Through their stories, Goins provides a framework to help you find the answers that you might not even know you're seeking.
For my next book...I'm going to read The Art of Work again.