Read: February 2022

Inspiration: Saw the book in my office at work


Written with the help of ChatGPT, below is a brief summary to understand what is covered in the book.

“The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life”, published in 2019 by author and journalist David Brooks, explores the idea of leading a life of purpose and meaning. Brooks argues that many people go through life pursuing success and achievement, only to find that these things do not bring lasting happiness or fulfillment. He suggests that the key to a fulfilling life is to focus on the second mountain, which represents the deeper, more meaningful aspects of life such as relationships, community, and serving others. Brooks discusses the various challenges and obstacles that people face on the path to the second mountain and offers practical guidance for overcoming them. The book offers an inspiring perspective on the pursuit of a meaningful life.

Unedited Notes

Direct from my original book log, below are my unedited notes (abbreviations and misspellings included) to show how I take notes as I read.

Happy vs joy–happiness is fleeting and from individual accomplishment, joy is long-lasting and a part of all aspects of life when focused on others, not self, first mountain is to accomplish for self, second mountain is larger purpose to life of joy found through others, joyful people are infectious/radiate/want to be around, commencement speeches use those distinguished by career success to claim career success not key, who cares if life is limitless if you don’t know what life is for, grads are in limbo/uncertain—not help to say on your own, out of the approval bath and short term checkpoints, tempting to be random adventurer post grad but can lead to never diving deeply anywhere—end in a ditch, freedom can lead to no direction, passion/engaging deeply means not weighing costs and benefits—do for others/feels right, life changes often due to experiences (not things/purchases), 10-10-10 rule: how feel in 10 mins-months-years for big choice, intuition only good when in experienced situations, think about what interests you and what you’d do if not afraid, marriage used to be formative (become disciplined and change through marriage), now marriage waits until establish self (social script flipped), when someone makes a bid (start convo topic, no matter how mundane)—kindness and turning into it 5:1 ratio vs turn away/scoff is key (lean in), no such thing as truly thinking for yourself—thinking is communication from other thinkers, religion more about experiencr/ritual/actions than theology and thought, second mountain is not seeking higher status but seeking humbling/service, is there a connection between new isolation even in neighborhoods (don’t talk to neighbors) and political polarization/isolation?—lack of community in favor of “individual and self-sufficient”, important to see neighborhood as unit of change—not just bring up one individual, make conversations about possibility not problems, second mountain is move from individualistic worldview to relationalist, hyperindividualism of today lead to isolation and rebel vs isolation via tribalism based on distrust of others

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Welcome to JeffReads, where I share summaries of the best books I’ve read on business, politics, science, technology and more.




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