Bringing Your Soul to Work: An Everyday Practice
by Cheryl L. Peppers & Alan Briskin, Berrett Koehler Publishers, 200 Pages, $16.95 Paperback, September 2000, ISBN 1576751112
In the past, I have talked about how I choose the books for Jack Covert Selects, noting such key things as the pedigree of the author, the track record of the publisher, etc. With Bringing Your Soul to Work, I confess that what first drew me to this particular book was the cover. Books are piled all over my desk, often indistinguishable from one another. But after having an unusually stressful day, this book reached out to me. It has one of the most peaceful, serene covers I have ever seen. Imagine my surprise when I started to read it and couldn't put it down.
First, let me ask you a couple of questions. Do you have days when your job is just a job, and you dream of that tropical island, a fruity drink with a little umbrella, and the sound of the surf? Does the end of the workday simply remind you that there is another workday ahead? Have you ever sat in your car in the office parking lot, wondering if you have enough energy (or enthusiasm) to put your feet on the pavement and walk through the office door? I have. Maybe we all have. So, if something just doesn't seem right in your work life, then you need to read this book. Ideally, it will help you define the role work has in your life, and the role your life has in your work. Bringing Your Soul to Work is extremely well-designed and intended to be "user-friendly." After you have read the introduction and the first chapter, "The Inner Wilderness of Soul," you can pick and choose which sections you wish to concentrate on. The authors call it: determining your "own best rhythm." The authors then help you along with icons denoting any questions that could use deeper reflection, or should be put into a journal. Oh, and don't be put off by the references to "soul." I was concerned that this book may contain a religious agenda, but the authors add a great chart in the early part of the book that shows you what they mean by the word "soul"- the word has mixed Hebrew, Gnostic, Christian, Taoist, Greek and African philosophies.
This book is on par with some of my favorite books of the '90s: Repacking Your Bags
by Richard Leider, and Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.