“Why does my life matter?” This is the fundamental question in bestselling author Wes Moore’s second book The Work: My Search for a Life That Matters.
In his autobiography, Moore traces his own journey from the White House to Afghanistan to Wall Street and finally to his life’s passion, with the hope of inspiring readers to do the same.
The crux of Moore’s thesis hinges on passion, yet he acknowledges that change can be terrifying. Just because a job is lackluster does not mean that it is easy to leave. “There’s always a reason not to make a change; it’s rare that everything perfectly aligns,” he writes.
Fear may play an integral role when it comes to actually finding and divining passion, Moore argues. He believes that “…our work finds us. When we run to the thing we fear, the problem that keeps us up at night, sometimes we find the work we were meant to do all along.”
Yet diving into fear is not easy, nor does it mean everything will fall perfectly and instantaneously in place. Even among the entrepreneurs featured in the book’s case studies, there are those who fail. However, Moore argues that there is often a larger price to pay for inaction. “Sometimes people with the most promise are also the most fearful, and in many cases fear is what keeps that promise from turning into action,” he writes. His own mentor told him, “Every day you stay [at a job you are not passionate about] longer than you have to, you become extraordinarily ordinary.”
This ordinariness drove Moore to leave the safety of his career as an investment banker and to continually question his own desires, passions and goals in life until he came to the point where he is today, working as a motivational speaker, philanthropist, and the host of Beyond Belief.
Though The Work may fall under the category of a business book, Wes Moore’s tone and narrative style are so fully engaging that they enrapture the reader as if the book were a novel. Even the case studies are told as stories, building heroic characters that are relatable, fallible and inspiring. The Work is a book “about how we come alive” while also serving as a “reminder that at every stage of our lives we must make our time here on earth matter.”
The Work: My Search for a Life That Matters
By Wes Moore
272 pages. Spiegel & Grau. 2015. $25.00