The Art of Work | Jeff Goins

Summary of: The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do
By: Jeff Goins


In ‘The Art of Work’, author Jeff Goins takes us on an inspirational journey to discover our true calling in life and build a fulfilling career. The book sheds light on the critical importance of embracing life’s challenges, cultivating self-awareness, and seeking support to uncover one’s true purpose. It emphasizes the significance of practicing one’s craft while always striving for self-improvement, emphasizing that failure can be a stepping stone leading to success. Through this book summary, you will delve into the fascinating concept of a ‘portfolio life’ – where one balances work, home, play, and purpose – and how our legacies are built upon the entire body of our work, transcending self-serving goals.

Finding Your Call

Happiness in the workplace cannot be found by merely seeking pleasure or avoiding discomfort. Instead, it is achieved by discovering your calling, a force larger than yourself that gives your life meaning. Viktor Frankl, the renowned psychologist and Holocaust survivor, believed that everyone needs a reason to keep living, a cause to push them forward. To discover this cause, one needs to be aware, recognizing it when some event or feeling triggers awareness of it. Keeping an eye out for moments that bring fulfillment, happiness, or a sense of accomplishment can also lead to discovering your calling.

Finding Success Through Mentorship

The journey to finding and following your calling is personal but requires support from others. Successful people rarely achieve their goals alone but with the help of coaches and mentors, who guide them along the way. Life is a school, and every experience is an opportunity to learn. Steve Jobs, for example, left college to pursue his dream, learnt from experiences and working with people outside the school. The practice is a crucial part of mastering one’s calling, but it requires pushing oneself to new frontiers and learning from mistakes. Building on one’s skills is like building muscles, which grow by getting pushed a little too far, tearing, and rebuilding themselves. Finally, it’s essential to recognize that we can’t achieve everything on our own, and that’s okay. If you can’t make progress, you might need to rethink your calling and find the right mentor to guide you towards success.

Keep Climbing

Pursuing your dreams requires continuous improvement, accepting setbacks, and never giving up. Failure doesn’t take you away from success; it leads you there. Always keep climbing.

Life is a flight of stairs, not an escalator. Pursuing our dreams requires continuous effort and improvement. Once we identify our calling, we must keep working toward our goal every day. If we stop, it can be challenging to start again. Failure is not the end; it leads us to success. We must accept setbacks and use them as opportunities to learn and better ourselves. Steve Jobs was kicked out of Apple, but instead of dwelling on his misfortune, he got involved with Pixar and turned it into a highly profitable business. He then returned to Apple and turned it into one of the biggest companies in the world.

Our mistakes are our pivot foot, like in basketball. It allows us to move around and look for chances to pass or shoot. In other words, we can still act when we think we’ve come to a stopping point. No roadblock is the end. We must take ourselves where we want to go. Keep climbing the stairs, step by step, until you reach the top of your dream.

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