The Longest Way Round is the Shortest Way Home

Everything Worthwhile Takes a Long Time

The Longest Way Round is the Shortest Way Home                                     Everything Worthwhile Takes a Long Time                                                       WorkLife Lessons Through Real-Life Stories
WorkLife Lessons Through Real-Life Stories

A WorkLife Lesson: Tom’s Story: Develop the Art of Insightful Questions and Effective Feedback:

Tom loves quotes. They have helped shape his thinking. They have helped him to understand and navigate through his WorkLife struggles and success. And the timeless ones have become ways to articulate his values. 

One such quote is a line from James Joyce’s Ulysses, which Tom considers to be:

Words of Wisdom

“The longest way round is the shortest way home.” The meaning that line holds for Tom is that: “Everything worthwhile takes a long time.” This quote has been his mantra throughout his WorkLife.

A mantra that had helped him through the decade from his early 20s into his early 30s, when following his long-held passion for theatre, on completing his degree in Drama and Theatre Arts, he began his WorkLife by following the traditional straight and narrow path to auditioning for this play and that film, this commercial and that VoiceOver. A path along which he faced rejection after rejection after rejection. 

His mantra had gotten him through those tough times. He would tell himself that every dream he ever had about who he could be would be possible if he wanted it badly enough. And if he wanted it badly enough, he needed to work as if his whole WorkLife depended on it because it did. And then it would be. And it was to be. And so, even though every single one of those rejections hurt like hell, he somehow knew he needed to go through them to get to where he wanted and needed to be in his WorkLife. He also knew he needed to be open to discoveries along the way.

Book Wisdom

A book that helped Tom through this difficult time in his WorkLife was The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. In her introduction to the book, Rand said; “being rejected by twelve publishers, some of whom declared that it was “too intellectual,” “too controversial” and would not sell because no audience existed for it – that was the difficult part of its history; difficult for me to bear. I mention it here for the sake of any other writer of my kind who might have to face the same battle – as a reminder of the fact that it can be done.”

These words, this wisdom, gave Tom the impetus to continue to follow his dream.

Tom formed his own theatre company and was involved as an actor, a writer and a director. With his team, he created a community hub that brought people from all walks of life together. Through their productions, they gave people a voice, a unique voice that allowed them to express their identity and connect to their audience from a truthful place and also share unique aspects of their culture. Together with his team, Tom found an audience for their work.

Through his work, Tom discovered he had a natural ability to help people connect to self-growth at different stages of their WorkLife. It came from a place of managing his own learning. 


In this lesson, you will learn how Tom’s ability to ask himself insightful questions and to give himself effective feedback helped him to fine-tune his powers of self-awareness and observation, which enabled him to make the changes and take the steps needed to live a more fulfilled WorkLife. 

You will learn how his mantra, together with his character traits, helped him to navigate through the struggles and successes he experienced in his WorkLife.

In this lesson’s WorkLife Learning Assignment, you will learn to Develop the Art of Insightful Questions and Effective Feedback to fine-tune your powers of self-awareness and observation. 

In this lesson’s Continuous WorkLife Learning Assignment, you will first identify your personal character traits. You will then learn how to apply the 4 Steps to Improve, Simplify and Refine Your Personal Character Traits as You Move Forward in Your WorkLife.

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Published by Carmel O' Reilly

I'm Carmel O’ Reilly. I'm a writer and learning practitioner. My books and learning resources are designed to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning. As founder of School of WorkLife, my guiding statement is to help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, passion, purpose and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes that are accessible to everyone.