The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life by David Brooks

The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life by David Brooks

In exploring how to lead a meaningful life, David Brooks uses the metaphor of two mountains.

The first mountain represents the part of life (often referred to as the first half of life) where activities focus around building a life, making a living, making a mark, establishing a home, and acquiring what’s needed. This mountain defines the self. It may have characteristics of ambition, strategy, and independence.

The second mountain is defined less by those outer activities that were so important at earlier stages of life. It beckons to a more meaningful life. David Brooks explores commitments that define the second mountain phase of life. These include: vocation, marriage, philosophy & faith, and community.

Between the mountains may be valleys of personal challenge, loss, disappointment, and disorientation. Values and perspective change. Lessons are learned. Brooks shows how to move from the first to the second mountain in pursuit of a life filled with joy and meaning.

David Brooks talks with Oprah about The Second Mountain.