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A Life at Work: The Joy of Discovering What You Were Born to Do Paperback – January 6, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“Over the years, Thomas Moore has taught us how to discover the holiness concealed in the ordinary. In this very useful book, he shows us how to search for the sacred dimension of our work and find our life’s meaning in the process.”
—HAROLD KUSHNER, author of WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE
“Forget about the color of your parachute, here is a book that teaches you how to fly. Through ancient parable, contemporary therapy, personal vignette, and, above all, an uncommon sapience, Moore deftly guides through life’s greatest quandary: Why have I been created? Give this book to yourself.”
—Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, author of Kabbalah: A Love Story
And Praise for Care of the Soul
“From time to time, I’ve been jolted by an extraordinary book that stops my world. It forces me to look at reality in a different way—a more expansive and meaningful way. It has provided a missing piece for me.”
—John Bradshaw, author of Homecoming
“The sincerity, intelligence, and style—so beautifully clean—of Tom Moore’s Care of the Soul truly moved me. The book’s got strength and class and soul, and I suspect may last longer than psychology itself.”
—James Hillman, author of Re-Visioning Psychology
“The book just may help you give up the futile quest for salvation and get down to the possible task of taking care of your soul. A modest, and therefore marvelous, book about the life of the spirit.”
—Sam Keen, author of Fire in the Belly
“Thoughtful, eloquent, inspiring.”
—Alix Madrigal, San Francisco Chronicle
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Moore's book is about transformation rather than transition. Indeed, his core metaphor is based on the medieval art of alchemy. He offers a number of important insights, based on life experience and his work as a therapist. He reiterates some ideas that have been developed elsewhere. For instance, Rick Jarow emphasized the role of family and early childhood history in career decisions. Others have emphasized the importance of listening to signs, experimenting with different options and combining diverse career interests serially or simultaneously.
The chapters on the daimon and on dreams are more original. He suggests unique approaches to dealing with dreams and interpreting the daimon in one's life.
On the other hand, Life at Work will be frustrating to many readers. For instance, Moore describes an incident where a dedicated retail salesperson was undermined by his boss. It's not clear what lesson we're supposed to learn or what the man can do.
And Moore seems curiously naive about some elements of the workplace. Describing a company retreat, he wishes for more silence and more sense of community. But in today's corporate environments, you can't afford to be open and you can't trust your sense of community. You have to keep your game face and protect yourself. The employer-employee relationship is ultimately an economic one.
Ultimately, though, readers may be most frustrated because Moore seems to be an exceptionally gifted and wise therapist. We're on our own on this one.
The author has a very pleasant and engaging writing style that I enjoyed. He uses the metaphors of alchemy to explain the path to creating your life work. He also discusses the belief in the ancient world of us all having an Animus or Daimon that drive our passions and influence us. He also draws on the bible, Buddhism, and ancient mythology along his path to lead us to doing what we were born to do. I liked the fact that he took the focus on simply working and expanded the fact that our life work could be parenhood, our family, our hobbies, our religion, our whatever engages us and enables us to lose our sense of self in something bigger than we are. Beginners will find this book useful, but those of us that have been searching for meaning and a life work for years will likely be disappointed.
The grand secret seems to be that by focusing on the success of the world and happiness of others, we find both in our own lives. But Moore teaches this in a deep and at times profound way that is moving as well as instructive. For me, Moore's book is more a work of art than a simple how-to.
For example, Moore teaches the difference between soul and spirit, and how both are part of our lives. Both are too often ignored in our modern world (to our own painful detriment). Also, he shows how the Greeks taught the difference between the eros (the things we love) and psyche (the person we are) parts of us and the real me in each of us. And he shows us how to bring these together in the practical, real world of everyday life.
Perhaps most importantly, Moore uses all this background to help us have better lives---especially at work, where most people spend over half of their adult lives. Too many people find success but not happiness; or, perhaps more commonly, struggle and don't even find the success they seek. Moore teaches us how---in basic, practical and effective ways---to live lives of success that are happy and deeply meaningful.Read more ›
Bottom line is, in this world you may or may not get to do work you like. The business of having money to eat, to provide shelter, speaks to raw survival, not to the etheral ideas in this book. If you are looking for something practical or useful this is definately not the book for you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I could identify with nearly every case study. It is helpful to see the common thread woven throughout the tapestry of individual and collective life. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Linda Burandt
Great to find a book that's easy to read and at the same time invites to make a deep reflexion on life's direction. I believe it can be very useful at any age and stage of life.Published 5 months ago by Patricia P. Burguete
Anything that Thomas Moore writes is packed with gentle wisdom .Published 14 months ago by Albert Farthing
Great perspective on work life. I got it for my daughter as a high school graduation gift.Published 14 months ago by Kim Engel
I adore this book. I adore Thomas Moore. he is very intelligent and holy. This book is motivational. I recommend it to anyone.Published on January 14, 2014 by rosemarie henry
This book is a must read for anyone who is discerning or even reviewing their life's journey and how their vocation in life provides them with a sense of meaning and purpose. PaulPublished on November 8, 2013 by Paul Fitzpatrick
The book was different than I had expected, but it was still good. The author repeated himself sometimes. Read morePublished on October 18, 2013 by brandy