I’ve been following Jeff’s blog since I started blogging myself back in 2012. I’ve always loved his style of writing and the content he produces. It isn’t only helpful, but also very inspiring. His newest book is very helpful and inspiring, too.
The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do tells us that we are meant to do more than just a job, or career, that we are meant to to follow a passion-fueled calling. And that fnding and following your calling will make your life far more exciting, more adventurous, and in the end it will most likely leave a positive mark on the world.
Goins leads the reader through seven steps involved in not only discovering our calling, but living it, too. Those steps include: awareness, apprenticeship, practice, discovery, profession, mastery and legacy.
“A calling is what you have when you look back at your life and make sense of what it’s been trying to teach you all along.”
I love that Goins includes many different real life stories from people he’s interviewed. Each story is different, different people who do different things, but all of them are examples of people who found out what their calling is and how they decided to go about making that into a reality.
“What it takes to become great at your craft is practice, but not just any kind of practice – the kind that hurts, that stretches and grows you.”
His advice is honest, without any of that fluff that simply makes you believe anything is possible. No, Goins doesn’t get your hopes up only for you to discover it’s not that simple. He constantly reminds the reader that following your true calling can be difficult, and that sometimes you get it wrong and have to move on to something different, and that’s okay.
He also lets us know that it can be a lot of work, a lot of trial and error, and that you can’t just sit idly by waiting for your dreams to come true.
“Dreams are powerful. They are fuel for change. But by themselves they do no good. Hanging out in coffee shops and talking about one day being a writer or an activist or an entrepreneur is just about the worst thing you can do.”
I know for a fact that I have fallen victim to that exactly; I have often talked the talk without walking the walk.
“So what do you do? Stop talking and start doing.”
But my favourite chapter is chapter six, The Portfolio Life.
“Your calling is not just one thing: it’s a few things. The trick is to not be a jack-of-all trades but to become a master of some.”
For a long time I have been having this feeling that although I desperately want to be a writer, it’s not the only thing I want to do. And I kept thinking that I had to choose one thing or the other, that I couldn’t do three things, or four; I couldn’t be a writer and an artist, or a photography and a coach. I had to pick one thing and stick to it. I now realize that’s completely untrue. Although I do plan on dedicating most of my time and energy towards becoming a better writer, I know I will still have time and energy left for my other passions.
Then, Goins also reminded me that not only that I can do more than one thing, but I should.
“The basic idea of a portfolio life is that instead of thinking of your work as a monolithic activity, what if you chose to see it as the complex group of interests, passions, and activities it is? And what if instead of identifying with a job description, you began to see the whole mass of things you do as one portfolio of activity?”
Overall, I really enjoyed The Art of Work. It’s one of those books I am ecstatic to have on my bookshelf and will refer back to time and time again.
Have you read The Art of Work? If you did, did you like it? And if not, will you now?