In your whole life, you might have met many people who radiate a sense of fulfillment and joy. They depict good energy and all the good vibes and they seem full. Certain people bring out certain kinds of happiness. Have you wondered why this happens? Their secret of happiness and how they become the way they are?

The Author – David Brooks

David Brooks is a political and cultural commentator who writes for The New York Times. He has worked as a film critic for The Washington Times, a reporter and later op-ed editor for The Wall Street Journal, a senior editor at The Weekly Standard from its inception, a contributing editor at Newsweek, and The Atlantic Monthly, and a commentator on NPR and the PBS NewsHour. David wrote his first book in 2000 Bobos in Paradise: The Upper Class and How They Got There which was a bestseller, followed by his second book in 2004 On Paradise Drive: How We Live  Now(And Always Have) in the Future Tense, then Social Animal in 2011, The Road to Character in 2015 and The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral life in 2019.

The Second Mountain by David Brooks – in review

Why should we read it?

It’s found out that going through different walks of life each person has gone through different mountains, each different from one another finding one true goal, happiness!

David Brooks walking through a similar path of happiness believes otherwise, going through a rough patch of his divorce, he was on the quest and finally, he found the answer to his question. He explains many details in his book.  It gives the explanation why is it a satisfaction to help humanity and to fill the lack of happiness that we can see in almost everyone’s lives these days.

The main key ideas

The book is divided into five parts and the mountains are the individuality of the key ideas

The first mountain is the war for individual freedom and bravery how with power and individualism you can be anything, but the result eventually becomes the difference between either good or bad! Society is plagued by widespread selfishness, which is making us all lonely and ultimately unhappy.

The second mountain being freedom becoming irrelevant. Instead of living a purpose-driven life, here we are depressive and detached from every emotion. In other words, most of us are neither brave nor brave enough to write our own stories down. Our minds always wander from the meaty big questions. Nobody told anyone that [as the author says] ‘freedom actually sucks.’

How these thoughts are summed up, according to Brooks? He believes that serving the people around us is the greatest focus we can have in life and brings not only happiness but joy as well.

Is there something for me?

Now, before you start frustrating at how difficult it can be to lose yourself in the care of others, it’s not all so terrible. It is wise to begin your ascent up the second mountain by asking yourself, “What’s in it for me?” You don’t have to give up your goals entirely to help other people. It’s not about avoiding happiness as much as not making it your sole focus. It is like experiencing it for others more than yourself. Moreover, Joy is a more constant and profound sense of emotional well-being.

Love yourself as a habit

Another point that focuses that loving those you seek to help is not enough to keep you going when it gets hard to continue; you must be committed to working hard. Decide on your personal agreements, protocols, or rituals that you will execute when it gets tough to endure on that path. If you make pattern habits it will help you in your tough times!

David Brooks says, “The universe is alive and connected, these moments tell us. There are dimensions of existence you never could have imagined before. Quantum particles inexplicably flip together, even though they are separated by vast differences of time and space. Somehow the world is alive and communicating with itself. There is some interconnecting animating force, and we are awash in that force, which we with our paltry vocabulary call love.”

Brooks’s handling of words is giving, it becomes profound. He takes significant risks in finding a better way of understanding his existence. To make sacrifices even before begin to prepare yourself for one is profound! This makes this whole book a special one as this feels like a travelogue of interior life. On one simple notion, happiness for others!


If you like this Book review you can also check these

BOOK REVIEW: Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky 

– BOOK REVIEW: Atomic Habits by James Clear 

– BOOK REVIEW: Pocketful of Do by Chris Do 

Goodreads 3.8/5