Book Club October Week 3:The Art of Work

by Diane Wolf in Blog, Book Club
October 17, 2017 0 comments

I’m beginning to question the title of the book, but not in a negative way. This is far more than “The Art of Work”. It really is the “art of figuring out what you are supposed to be doing with your life and allowing yourself the luxury of making some wrong turns on the way”. But I suppose that title would have made the publisher crazy.

I love the quote at the beginning of Section Five— Pivot Points: Why Failure is your Friend

“It will take a few tries before you get your calling right. Failure isn’t what prevents us from success then. It’s what leads us there.”

Wow. This is actually very powerful. All those times we were working on things and finding out later we needed to pivot and go in another direction, were actually steps on the path to helping us figure it all out… not detours.

I love the way Goins shares real-life stories of people whose ‘failures’ ended up being important lessons on the way to success.  He goes on to state,

“In the pursuit of our life’s work, we will encounter obstacles and challenges that we think are a disruption to the course, something to overcome. But in fact, these very obstacles are sometimes the means to success.”

The older I get, the more I appreciate this. I’m a grandma, so I have lots of things in my past that ‘didn’t work out’, but I love being able to see these events through fresh eyes as steps on my path to success. Even some of the times I’ve been treated badly by co-workers, for example, have led me to be a more compassionate person. A small example, but one that is personally meaningful. I recognize now that not everyone shares my desire to build others up, and that those who tear others down are likely hurting themselves. This is a valuable lesson that was hard to learn. And sure enough, Goins addresses this kind of thing as well, as he states,

“Every calling is marked by a season of insignificance, a period when nothing seems to make sense. This is a time of wandering in the wilderness, when you feel alone and misunderstood. To the outsider, such a time looks like failure, as if you are grasping at air or simply wasting time. But the reality is this is the most important experience a person can have if they make the most of it.”

I’m going to stop here for today so we can all take some time to really think about this. Are there times in your life that you THOUGHT represented failure, that you can now reframe and see as really valuable lessons? I would urge you this week to spend some time reflecting on this.



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