Summary of Zen and the Art of Making a Living

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

Zen and the Art of Making a Living book summary


7 Overall

9 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


The scene is repeated at 7 a.m. every morning. Millions of people roll over and hit the buttons on their alarm clocks, dreading the fact that they will soon be heading off to jobs they consider drudgery, mere vehicles for paying their bills. The lucky ones will only dislike their jobs a little bit. If they're really fortunate, they'll find work tolerable, even though it falls short of satisfying their yearnings. A handful of blessed individuals will actually feel happy as they walk into their jobs, knowing they're heading for work that brings them fulfillment. But once you've committed 40 hours a week to something, shouldn't it give you joy? In this comprehensive, revealing - though excessively long - tome, Laurence G. Boldt proposes that everyone has the power to choose a satisfying career. By taking a spiritual approach (that's the Zen message) and embarking upon real self-examination, you can discover your true interests and free yourself to pursue your passion. Boldt offers concrete suggestions for success, such as how to write a convincing resume, weigh the pros and cons of entrepreneurship, and conduct a successful interview. He provides pages of exercises, resources and questionnaires. Plenty of books provide such tips, but this may be the only one that dishes them up along with ancient Chinese proverbs and Japanese calligraphy. So getAbstract suggests that if you're just starting out or stuck in an unsatisfying job, find a comfortable chair, light a stick of incense and take a journey within yourself. You may be surprised at what you find - your life's work.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the philosophy of Zen can help you find a career you love and deserve;
  • How to listen to your deepest yearnings;
  • How to tune out the voices of doubt; and
  • How to integrate emotion and spirituality with practical career advancement.

About the Author

Laurence G. Boldt is a career consultant in the San Francisco area. He is the author of How to Find the Work You Love and Zen Soup. He has been featured in national publications and has given speeches and conducted workshops across the U.S.



Zen Self-Examination
Even though you might think the ancient Asian philosophy of Zen would be irrelevant in the modern Western world of, Blackberries and text messaging, Zen is applicable to every aspect of your life. It can infuse spirituality into your day-to-day existence...

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category