In Whistle While You Work
, Richard Leider and David Shapiro counter the clichéd query about what you want to be when you grow up with a more intriguing question: "What is your life's calling?" The authors define calling as "the inner urge to give our gifts away in service to something we are passionate about in an environment that is consistent with our values." Drawing upon psychologist James Hillman's metaphor of the acorn programmed to grow into an oak tree, Leider and Shapiro guide readers to discover their "core gifts" and the work they were born to do. Each chapter describes a conversation with a cabdriver in a different city to introduce a key idea about the process of heeding your life's calling. These lively conversations are followed by stories of individuals--from a Motorola executive to a building security guard--who have identified their calling. The stories are paired with bulls-eye exercises that allow readers to discover their calling. Tools include "calling cards" to identify core gifts, a "calling journal" and the "calendar/checkbook" exercise to align values with time management.
The book would have been strengthened with more narrative about the relationship between choosing a calling and maintaining a positive cash flow. Yet the clarity and conviction of its approach sets this book apart from other do-what-you-love career books. It is an eloquent and practical blueprint for being at home in the world by making a living with your uniqueness. --Barbara Mackoff
From Publishers Weekly
"If we're spending our precious hours feeling half-alive as we drag ourselves through tasks that we abhor, then we're wasting our most precious commodity of all: time," warn Leider and Shapiro, coauthors of the bestselling Repacking Your Bags, in this intelligent and inspirational guide to discovering meaningful work. For those stuck in a job rut, they propose self-directed exercises to assess personal gifts and aptitudes, passions and values, so that readers can define their "calling," which the authors define as "the inner urge to give our gifts away." They also provide engaging stories of a wide variety of workers who have found ways to express their individual callings within conventional job titles. Leider and Shapiro maintain that when a calling serves to promote one of our passions in an environment consistent with our core values, we maximize our chances for infusing work with joy and meaning. Despite their enthusiasm, Leider and Shapiro acknowledge that all workers have to take responsibility for having "courageous conversations" with themselves, and they do not downplay readers' resistance to confronting tough realities, change and risk. Emphasizing their own successes and those of the others who have found their callings, the authors remind readers that "the only regrets we really have are the risks we didn't take." (Apr.)Forecast: With workplaces growing more impersonal, job-satisfaction ratings sinking and the economy stagnating, this lively and commonsensical guide, with its hopeful message and lack of jargon, could prove irresistible to readers who pick it up and its attractive price makes it accessible to workers at all salary levels.
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