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, blogs and groups I’ve been reading about finding the balance between work, art, life and passion. What I’ve discovered is nothing terribly profound, but yet something I need to remember: Life is about so much.
Live is about active participation.
Life is about risk.
Life is about trusting when it’s hard.
Life is about finding the thing that makes you feel alive and then doing it.
Life is about this brief period we have between birth and death to do something that matters.
There are literally dozens of quotes from The Art of Work that I could share, but the one that made me keep reading is right in the introduction:
No matter how noisy the world got, no matter how busy you became, there would always be something inside you – a small voice that whispered in the quieter moments of life, taunting you with the shadow of an unloved life. If you listen hard enough, you can still hear it. – Jeff Goins, #theartofworkbook
I had never thought of not following my dreams as an “unloved life,” but that phrase has stuck with me between two separate readings of The Art of Work now. The unloved life. The thought that what you are doing isn’t fulfilling the deepest parts of who you are. Goins then goes on to say,
Listen to your life. #artofworkbook
Your dreams, your calling, that thing that you just cannot stop thinking about – that is your calling. That is where your passion and your ability meet to make an impact in the world. That is where change happens. That is where fear and risk stare down each other and one comes out the victor.
Now, I have come to realize, not surprisingly, that I can easily be swayed by fear. I am not a risk-taker. I am not someone who likes to upset the status quo. I am a person who plays by the rules. Risk has always been scary to me. As an adult, I am learning there is truth to the no risk/no reward scenario. It’s easy to stay right where you are, where you’re fine, and know what is coming tomorrow. To risk means the possibility of failure, and that’s not something that I have ever dealt with well. But, without risk comes complacency and the realization that you only get out of life what you put into it.
Failure is a friend dressed up like an enemy. #artofworkbook
Failure helps you see where your strengths lie. Failure helps you find yourself in your dreams. Failure directs your path. You just have to learn to trust it and to accept that no great things happen without risk. You don’t live the life you dream of without risking the life you have. You don’t leave a legacy without creating something worth leaving.
The Art of Work is about finding your calling. It’s about learning to hear the voice directing your path. It’s about embracing the struggles. It’s about not giving in when it seems to hard. It’s about knowing, without a doubt, that you have a great story to tell and your life is important. It’s about the never-ending pursuit of leaving this world better than you found it.
The journey is bigger than you expected. #artofworkbook.
PS: Jeff uses both Stephen King and Mr. Holland’s Opus as examples. You know it’s a solid book just by that.
PPS: Get a free copy of The Art of Work: