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The Second Mountain (Book Review)

I just read The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life by David Brooks.

The author explains how life’s defined by two mountains. The first mountain is about tackling our personal goals. The second mountain is when we start looking beyond ourselves and start serving others.

It also mentions four commitments that define a life of meaning and purpose:

  1. To a spouse and family
  2. To a vocation
  3. To a philosophy or faith
  4. To a community

There are a TON of great takeaways and life lessons tucked into this book.

Here are my highlights: 

  • Your first job out of college is likely going to suck so use this period to widen your horizon of risk. 
  • There’s nothing intrinsically noble about suffering.
  • See what suffering has to teach you. 
  • The moment you are most confused about what you should do in life, go out alone into the wilderness. A DIFFERENT physical place will help you gain a new way to taste, touch and feel your way to a new being. 
  • Everything that has truly enhanced and enlightened my existing has been through affliction and not through happiness.
  • Most people seek in life an intensity that reaches into the core. Mentors who were really hard on us, set the right example and have high standards. 
  • Apply the 10-10-10 rule. How will this decision feel in 10 minutes, 10 days and 10 years?
  • Fear is a pretty good GPS system; it tells you where your true desires are. 
  • Have a bias towards action. This is the best way to help find your vocation.
  • Recommitment often means putting your own sins on the table. 
  • Who you marry is the most important decision you will ever make.
    • When you choose to marry someone, you had better choose someone you’ll enjoy talking with for the rest of your life. 
  • What are the ways you are crazy? What parts of your life have been blocked by fear?
  • With your partner ask yourself:
    • Do I like the person I am when I’m around them?
    • What’s my core issue, and does this person fill it?
    • How high is my bar? Never settle; you had better feel insanely lucky.
  • If you marry without total admiration and rapture, you will not have enough passion. You’d think that schools would provide a course on marriage decisions. 
    • Would I enjoy talking with this person for the rest of my life.
  • Marriage isn’t there to make you happy; it is there to make you grow.

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