Article36 PHOTO1-The Work

Wes Moore’s THE WORK, the follow-up to his bestselling debut memoir, The Other Wes Moore, is already on the New York Times’ bestselling list.

By most people’s estimation, Wes Moore has met his quota of accomplishments—a Rhodes Scholar, combat officer in Afghanistan, special assistant to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Obama campaigner, Wall Street banker during the crash and author of a bestselling book,  The Other Wes Moore. But something was missing; he hadn’t yet found his “work.”

“My definition of work is where your greatest promise and your greatest gifts begin overlapping with the world’s greatest needs and you decide to do something about it,” Moore said in an interview with the AFRO.

Of course, for some, the word “work” has a negative connotation, but Moore said it is anything but. “I try to be very clear that there could be a difference between your occupation and your work. Work is the most positive thing you have because you’re fulfilling the reason you’re on the Earth in the first place,” he said.

In his newest best-selling tome, THE WORK: My Search for A Life That Matters, Moore puts a mirror up to himself and offers real-time insight into his search for a life of purpose.  “I wanted to tell my story with transparency to say it is not an easy process; this is not a 10-step guide,” Moore said.

Baltimore native Wes Moore details his search for a life of purpose in his newest book, THE WORK.

During that self-exploration, Moore said he discovered, among other things, “there is no job title that really drives me. The thing that drives me is impact.”

As a result, the social entrepreneur and community activist has found his work to be that of a “problem-solver,” who is not circumscribed by issue, geography or specific community. Among the groups he serves are veterans, many of whom have trouble reintegrating into American society after returning from combat. “It started early when I was going through my own reintegrating,” Moore said. And one of the lessons he learned and now tries to impart to other veterans trying to find their way is that “there is no normal. There is only a new normal.”

Moore has also been working to revitalize his hometown of Baltimore and to reverse college dropout rates through the creation of BridgeEdU, an innovative program that seeks to reinvent the first year of college by engaging students in real-world internships and service learning opportunities and otherwise equipping them to succeed at the higher education level. He is also the host of “Beyond Belief” on the Oprah Winfrey Network and executive producer and host of “Coming Back with Wes Moore” on PBS.

In THE WORK, Moore not only shares details of his personal journey, but also the stories of those who inspired him along the way, other “changemakers,” who are transforming the world through their work, including  Daniel Lubetzy, the founder of KIND and Esther Benjamin, a former director of the Peace Corps.

Those stories inspired the social campaign “Champions of #THEWORK,” in which people were invited to share how they used their passions to address the world’s needs.

“You can’t read these bios and profiles and not be incredibly grateful that you share the planet with these people,” Moore said. “That’s what keeps me excited about my work.”

On Feb. 28, Moore will team up with PHILANTHROPIK to host the inaugural Champions of #THEWORK Celebration, a red-carpet affair where five changemakers – including U.S. Marine Corps veteran Christopher Manaya and founder of The Youth Dreamers Kristina Berdan – will be honoured for their significant contributions and dedication to their local communities.

“It’s really been pretty remarkable,” Moore said of the campaign. “This is not a celebration of THE WORK but a celebration of the people who are, everyday, making themselves matter in their individual ways and on their own individual platforms. We’re very clear that this is not just about a book; this is about starting a movement.”