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A Life At Work: The joy of discovering what you were born to do [Paperback]

Thomas Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 April 2009

The majority of us will spend longer each day in our respective workplace than we will at home. We all want to enjoy our professional lives, but many people feel dissatisfied at work and are asking 'Why am I doing what I'm doing?'.

In A LIFE AT WORK bestselling author Thomas Moore uses his famous blend of spirituality and psychology to address the strong desire all of us have to feel fulfilled and satisfied by our work and careers. He explores the often difficult obstacles, road blocks and hardships of our own making that we go through on our way to discovering our deeper purpose. He also shares the struggles of great thinkers and artists who grappled with their own uncertainty before finding their calling, highlighting the timelessness of every individual's quest to find happiness in their career.

For anyone who is questioning the professional path they have chosen, this poignant and practical meditation will help them discover the answers.

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Frequently Bought Together

A Life At Work: The joy of discovering what you were born to do + Dark Nights Of The Soul: A guide to finding your way through life's ordeals + Care Of The Soul: An inspirational programme to add depth and meaning to your everyday life
Price For All Three: 19.57

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Piatkus (2 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749939974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749939977
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 294,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


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)

Book Description

A job is never just a job. It is always connected to a deep and invisible process of finding meaning in life through work.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book 12 Jan 2010
I love this book, it puts my questions into perspective about my life and work. Thomas Moore writes in such a warm, accepting way about life, and how our work life is such an important part of our whole life. I've already given this book to several friends who are also searching for ways to make what they really love doing a part of their work life. And how to find out what they really love doing!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Thomas Moore's books ! 2 Nov 2013
By Mrs.B
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Tom Moore has a 'song to sing' and it is something about allowing your soul to have life and breath - to grow, deepen and be enriched by whatever comes your way on the journey of life. He is a master guide who writes with love and compassion for his readers and an integrity and honesty about himself. In our family, we all say he is 'permission-giving'. I have had this book for a while now, but recently rebought it for my daughter(another fan !) who has reached a stage in life where she is making major new starts and struggling to work out what direction she wants to take, jobs to apply for etc. She found Moore's approach so helpful for regaining perspective and giving herself space to reflect on what matters to her - what is her life 'opus' as he calls it. He is able to bring his unique slant to an area of life that can often get left out of the spiritual arena and breathe new life into our understanding of what we mean by 'work'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It engaged me 2 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I liked this book. Much more engaging than Care of the Soul. Whether he meant to or not, the author summed up the whole message of the book in three criteria - ie. work needs to be meaningful, ethical and carried out ethically. However I liked the person who was speaking to me through the book, and the anecdotes from therapy held my attention. An original thinker, whose take on one of the parables switched my mind around. I totally get what he is trying to say about bringing the "kingdom of God" into the workplace. It has made me think deeply and is now one of my favourite books - the sort I will dip into again and again.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A way to think about work 29 Mar 2008
By Dr. Cathy Goodwin - Published on Amazon.com
It's not clear who will be the audience for this book. In my experience, people turn to career books when they face challenges in their own careers. They want a step-by-step guide, or at least some direction.

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.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice book to read along your journey 8 Jun 2008
By Steve Burns - Published on Amazon.com
While this is a nice spiritual book to read along your journey to finding your passion and life work, I did not find it to be very helpful or pragmatic for me.
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.
31 of 40 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Calming and Spiritual, but ...Useless 20 Mar 2008
By Butterscotch - Published on Amazon.com
This was a nice book if you're interested in thinking about your problems but not actually doing anything to solve them. The author, a former minister/preacher/theologian has a very calming and insightful way of presenting his outlook and information, but he does nothing in terms of offering practical advice. The problems that he touches upon are centered mainly around work - finding your calling and happiness in your job. I thought he did a great job of explaining the problem, and drawing examples from real life, but he didn't offer any solutions. And, if you're reading a book like this it's probably a safe assumption that you're searching for answers. You won't find them here. There are a lot of other books that deal with similar topics: finding happiness in general, finding happiness at work, etc. and I'd suggest venturing into those because they offer useful/useable advice. Some suggestions: Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar, or
Now what? : 90 days to a new life direction by Laura Fortgang.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Live Your Mission! 17 Jan 2010
By Oliver Demille - Published on Amazon.com
What is the difference between success and happiness; and how can we attain both? These questions, and his answers to them, are the essence of Moore's book. He pulls from ancient and current sources, from business to art, and from family life to career, and gives insight to all of these and many other facets of our lives. Through it all, one theme repeats itself: We were each born with a purpose, a mission---a calling that matters to our own happiness and also to the success of the world.

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.

He teaches the reader to build effectively on the past, use inspiration and imagination to engage the future, and acknowledge dreams and signs in our lives that may be trying to tell us something important. All of these are about possibilities, which is vital to both success and happiness. By living strongly in the realm of possibilities, we naturally choose better, happier, more meaningful lives.

As Moore wrote: "Sometimes what life throws us as we try to find our way is not chaos but order. While it's true that many people can't find a direction for all the confusion around them and inside them, others are deeply unhappy because their lives make so much sense on the outside" (p.78). He quotes Heracleitus in saying, "The Lord whose oracle is in Delphi neither indicates clearly nor conceals but gives a sign" (p. 12). In the twenty-first century, what are the signs? What are yours? Are you being given signs that you don't notice or purposely ignore? What is your mission in life? What is your great calling to bless the world? Are you doing it? How is it going?

Above all, this is a book about depth. So much in life is shallow, but your life itself must find real depth in order to find true success, happiness and meaning. There are so many books in this genre, but this is certainly among the very best! Whatever you do, be sure to read pages 91-95, and study the section on how our most important answers in life don't come rationally (p. 122-140)! Finally, what are the phases of your life so far? And ahead? What are the most important passages you've been through? What inspires you the most? And who?

The message of this book is a must in our generation---a call to become who we really are, to do what we were born for. In a world of career path and limiting structure, this book is a call to be ourselves. and a guide on how to do it. Whether you agree or disagree with the specifics (and I did both), the general ideas are considered and discussed far too little in our society. This book is a remedy! I highly recommend it.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Useless if you are searching 6 Dec 2010
By Anna Katerine - Published on Amazon.com
This is one of the most useless books I have ever read. Thomas Moore talks about the philosphy of finding work you love, and tells stories and uses religious metphaor alot. a Daimon of work? Thie is described as a primal, creative urge. Yeah, so? What if you can't figure out what that Daimon is? If I'm having a problem figuring out what I like or what I want to do, digging deeper within myself is not helpful. If it were I would not be reading this book. As a therapist he falls into the trap of having you endlessly hash over your past, no, go digging into it. He also leans heavily on this idea of alchemy. Well, since this guy taught mythology and archetypal psychology in his many different careers that would explain most of this book. There are also times I think his interpretation of what happened in someone's life is a leap, and this deal he launches into with dream interpretation is too fluffy for me.

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.
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