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Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design [Paperback]

Laurence G. Boldt
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 25 2009
The most innovative, unconventional, and profoundly practical career guide available?newly revised and updated

With today?s economic uncertainties, millions of Americans realize they must seize control over their own career paths. They want work that not only pays the bills but also allows them to pursue their real passions. In this revised edition, Laurence Boldt updates and revises his revolutionary guide to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century workplace. The first part of this book helps readers to identify the work that they really want to do, while the second provides practical, active steps to finding or creating that work. Zen and the Art of Making a Living goes beyond inspiration, providing a proven formula for bringing creativity, dignity, and meaning to every aspect of the work experience.

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Product Description

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The bad old days of multiple-choice-test career counseling are over. It takes more than a #2 pencil and a computer to find your life's work, as career consultant Laurence G. Boldt tells us in Zen and the Art of Making a Living, a hefty but lighthearted tome that will help you find yourself and your place in the world. Boldt is quite up-front about it, though: it's a long, hard journey to get there. But his uplifting prose and liberal doses of inspirational quotes from wise men and women provide support for the weary traveler. Indeed, in between learning how to find the kind of work that strikes the right chord for you, figuring out what skills and talents you'll need to succeed at it, and righteously persisting until you get your reward, you may find lapses and stumbling blocks you hadn't expected--but Boldt has seen them all and finds the right words at the right time to keep you moving. Like a traditional career book, Zen and the Art of Making a Living includes résumé advice and worksheets for narrowing down and sticking with your goals; however, it takes off from there to guide the reader on a quest for spiritual fulfillment through work, something you won't find elsewhere. This updated edition contains plenty of Internet-related information and other resources unavailable in 1990 and is invaluable for anyone concerned about his or her future in the world of work. --Rob Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Laurence G. Boldt is a writer, career consultant, and lifetime student of Eastern philosophies, with more than a decade of experience helping people shape their dreams into practical realities. He is the bestselling author of Zen and the Art of Making a Living, How to Find the Work You Love, and Zen Soup. He lives in Santa Barbara, California..

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The wisdom in these pages is vast Nov. 30 2003
By A Customer
This book certainly guides the reader effectively through the self-exploration necessary to find a new career direction. But beyond this, is does far, far more.
The author is deeply insightful in a whole spectrum of matters that would improve anyone upon the reading. The book discusses issues at the deep roots of the problems that Americans find themselves facing today, the problems that they may not have even realized were there, but upon reading this book say: "Ah. Yes, that's it, exactly." This book answers questions you didn't realize you were asking.
To be fair, it is possible that some may not understand everything in the book upon first reading -- many of the ideas are far more sophisticated than what we're used to hearing, and one may need to become more aware before realizing the wisdom in these pages. Yet a 15-year old would vastly benefit from the reading, if only to place the idea in her mind that there are possibilities in her life beyond the ones she's most-likely been told about.
Even if you already have chosen a career, or think you're too young to begin thinking about one, you should read this book. You will not fail to benefit from the reading. Many people do not have this kind of understanding within their lifetimes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 99% Zen - 1% career planning Sept. 17 2002
This book is very long winded. I started from the first page a preface that lasted some 50 pages. I then had to waded through 37 more pages of social history and philosopy to get to Chapter 1. I thought the theme of the book is to plan your career and life with methods from Zen. Instead, I get all these wordy pages that says nothing. A great deal of the over 100 pages I got through could have been sumed up in 15 pages. It remainded me of a teacher in an electronic class I took who would always stray off the subject matter and talk for hours about old sea stories or the chemical compounds in food instead of the matter at hand. If the author's job is to help me plan my life; he's failed miseribly. I've NEVER came across a book that had a Preface that's 52 pages long. I read prefaces to maximize the use of the book. Yes, the author gave 5 ways to use the book but to start off with this universal study of man's place in the cosmos isn't my ideal of how to get my career planned. My advise to him is take this book and rewrite it. Shave off 50 - 60% of it and try again. If there's any useful tid bits in the book why should I waded through 700 pages to find those few pages of interst. I'm planning a career not taking a Social Studies class. I'm disappointed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Making a living VS. having a *life* Dec 9 2002
Boldt's little subsection about "The Little King" complex/ideal that Western society tends to program us to pursue (ie. the TRUE "American Dream:" every person a compulsive control-freak striving to make himself master of his own little universe, vis-a-vis the cookie-cutter tract home in the suburbs and the endless remote controls and the children/spouse to lord over) is simply dead on and worth the price of the whole book!
Boldt prepares us for the inevitable "know thyself" component with an incisive but admittedly lengthy section on "knowing thy environment, from which ye are produced"---excellent social history and cultural analysis, guided by a fair bit of Eastern philosophy. This is the foundation, from which self-knowledge and thereafter self-guidance can grow.
It's not a quick or easy process, so those of you with your TV-lobotomized 15-second attention spans who are looking for a quick fix in career planning should probably look elsewhere.
This book excels mainly in helping you figure out how to *have a life,* rather than how-to-make-as-many-bucks-as-possible-in-today's-corporate-jungles-without-turning-yourself-into-a-hopelessly-miserable-wreck-of-a-human-being, which is unfortunately what most people hope for when they turn to a "career guidance" resource. Which is the only reason I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5.
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4.0 out of 5 stars How to describe this book? April 8 2001
I ordered this book years ago through a mail order company and have used it many times. This is just an impressive book on what Boldt has called creative career design. It inspires,it instructs, it guides and uses many sources,insights and philosaphies to do so. It is replete with inspiring quotes from philosaphers,poets, and sages and goes into the practical as well as the spiritual aspects of work. I have shared this book many times with others because it is a wealth of information on every aspect of work. But what I love most about this book is that it frees its readers to do some soul searching and discover what his/her own purpose is in life instead of trying to fit square pegs in round holes as it were. Browning pages and creases in my copy of this book are a testament to how well it has been used by me and how often I have returned to it for various reasons. I have even copied parts of it for friends and other people who I thought the information would help. As George Bernard Shaw has once said "I hope to be thuroughly used up". Well this books is very useful and sure has demonstrated what Shaw meant. There is also an updated version of this book out complete with email addresses for us computer users to look into if we so desired. You will find many uses for this book and I highly recommend either version to people who take their lives and their purpose seriously or who are in the process of searching for purpose.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good product
I was weary about ordering this book because of the low price. I thought the book might not be in good condition. I WAS WRONG. Read more
Published 24 months ago by gzenmaster
5.0 out of 5 stars To Have Life Well-lived: Read
Shoved into square peg, deadened, working for money. --Or Doing work that is not work, Real fun. --There IS No finer, better book on this subject. Author truly Brilliant. Read more
Published on Sept. 22 2003 by Baygell
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fresh Perspective on Career Building
Like other career books, this one was most valuable to me in the questions it posed (much like "What Color Is Your Parachute? Read more
Published on July 1 2003 by Paulindc
5.0 out of 5 stars How anyone could give this less than 5 stars is beyond me...
By far, the best career "Bible" I have ever seen. I refer to it regularly, as I shape my life as a self-employed person. Read more
Published on March 19 2003 by Mimi Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource!
Zen and the Art of Making a Living is a great, insightful resource for exploring, and working towards, meaningful career goals. Read more
Published on Dec 2 2002 by "kelloggvalerie"
5.0 out of 5 stars Want to live the life you were born to live? Read this book!
After reading many career planning guides, I have found that "Zen and the Art of Making a Living" is perhaps the most thoughtful, life-changing book ever written on the... Read more
Published on June 25 2002
2.0 out of 5 stars long-winded
Like some of the other reviewers, I didn't make it through the first part of the book -- too much long-winded pseudo-mystical rambling. Read more
Published on May 30 2002 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars An Incredible "Life" Tool
There are self-help books...and then there is the "Zen" book. As a writer, teacher and consultant, I am always looking for good information to pass onto the people I... Read more
Published on April 5 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Like Life, you get from it what you put in
If your looking for a quick fix, for a guru to take your hand and bring you to the promised land, you need to look elsewhere. Read more
Published on March 9 2002 by Ron
2.0 out of 5 stars Almost painfully difficult to read.
Although I have a four year degree in English, I felt strained trying to read this book. Everything is so long and drawn out - by the time I finish a paragraph, I forget where we... Read more
Published on Dec 8 2001 by "justiss"
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