The Art of Work: Book Summary

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

We are tempted to blame ourselves for not knowing exactly what we were “programmed” to do in life for a living. It seems that we pass through all the key moments, decisive ones, without paying enough attention to where we fit best. To which field we belong. And we wake up one day asking ourselves:

“What do I like the most doing in this life?”

At first sight this question may seem simple. Easy. But the answer is a long term key for our future’s door.

Jeff Goins is one of the authors that challenge our mindset on work and life itself, increasing our awareness via his ardent tone.


Discovering your calling is not a destination. It’s more about the trip, the adventure. About the trains you choose to jump in or not.

You are either brave enough to listen to what life wants to tell you, hear the calling, pay attention to the hints as they avail before us and succeed in this economy or miss the clear signs. The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do reveals the practical steps needed to discover your true vocation via real case studies.

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They serve as an inspiration and make you aware of your life’s work. And more than that: the purpose behind it and the opportunities that appear in our life. By this he makes you realize how important it is not to miss them.

“Opportunities to learn and grow are available, if we’re willing to look in the right places and humbly accept what we find”.

He has clear views on work and its true purpose, mastery-doing your absolute best, success and practice. The journey starts with awareness, and it ends with an overview of how your legacy looks like, all structured in 3 parts:


Usually we are blaming ourselves for not having already born with a clear calling in our minds.

Is the calling just a natural fact that appears suddenly?

“You don’t ‘just know’ what your calling is. You must listen for clues along the way, discovering what your life can tell you. Awareness comes with practice.”


Discovering your calling is not a destination. It’s more about the trip, the adventure. About the trains you choose to jump in or not.

'Discovering your calling is not an epiphany but a series of intentional decisions.' @JeffGoins Click To Tweet


To find out which is your calling it takes time. Usually the entire time of your life.

'Your calling is not a job. It is your entire life.' @JeffGoins Click To Tweet

Jeff Goins

Jeff Goins provides 7 stages to finding your life’s work that serve as a model to us:

1. Awareness

According to Jeff Goins, “Awareness is: a sense that something more is possible”. Our job is to realize that life is more than what beats the eye and there are clear hints along the path of discovering our true self. It is not an easy road, we have to be willing to step out of the box and see the bigger picture and start acting.

2. Apprenticeship

Jeff Goins introduces this concept by describing what apprenticeship meant in the Middle Ages, and how it has changed throughout centuries.

In the past, apprenticeship meant working for a mentor for several years and learning the skills from a mentor. Nowadays that situation is completely different and the individual is left by himself to find his calling.

“Accidental apprenticeships are everywhere you look”. You may find it in different stages from your life, and they can help you find your calling, simply by serving as a model, or by giving you an advice at the right place and at the right moment.

3. Practice

Practice is significant in our journey as:

'Practice can teach you what you are and are not meant to do' @JeffGoins Click To Tweet

The author, Jeff Goins is not afraid to say that by practicing you will find what you want to do in life. If you failed at something, it means that you were not meant for that type of activity.

4. Discovery

The journey continues with discovery.

“Any great discovery especially that of your life’s work is never a single moment. In fact, epiphany is an evolutionary process; it happens in stages.”

In order to discover our vocation, we need to keep in mind that it may take longer than we first assumed. But that does not mean that it will not happen. So be sure to take the hints that life presents and seize every opportunity, as if you will not come across it twice.

5. Profession

Profession is seen as the result of different tries that we achieve after a long and strenuous practice. It can be considered a form of mastery.

“True mastery is about greatness, about doing something that pushes the limitations of what others think is possible or even sensible”.

6. Mastery

True mastery means greatness, and breaking the limitations boundaries of what others think is possible or even sensible.

7. Legacy

Those stages are concluded with Legacy.

“What lies at the end of the road is a prize that money can’t buy and a legacy the world won’t forget.”

These views on work and life itself are quite practical in our daily lives.

He is not only providing the steps that we need to follow to achieve our life’s work. He also gives us other 7 signs that will tell us whether we found our calling or not.

You have found your own calling if it’s something really familiar to you, you are very good at it, and other people recognize this in you.

It has to be challenging. If the task is challenging, and you keep doing it, than it is more than a hobby, it’s your calling.

Jeff Goins

How challenging is your work?

If it takes time and you need to overcome obstacles in order to achieve it, it‘s definitely your vocation.

After reflecting upon your true calling you realize that it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of your community and mentors.

Do you know who your mentors are? Think about it.

All in all, The Art of Work is a down-to-earth recipe for success and finding your true calling that I highly recommend not only  because of the practical information presented, but also because of Jeff’s honest and inspiring writing style.

The Art of Work doesn’t bring the latest news in front of your eyes. After all, this is not the point at all. Through this book Jeff Goins transforms intuitive ideas in theory applicable in real life. It’s a real call for introspection.

Want to get the full book in Kindle version? Get it from here:
AmazonThe Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do by Jeff Goins from Audible

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