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The Road to Character by David Brooks Book Summary


The Road to Character by David Brooks Book Summary

The Road to Character by David Brooks and i'll be sharing some valuable insights i got after reading it the first idea is don't ignore adam two david brooks points out that in the book of genesis 

There's two opposing sides to adam and these two sides represents the sides of human nature adam one is basically our ego side the side that is ambitious and career oriented 

The side that wants to be a winner with high status our other side adam two is more inwardly focused this side wants to live out our morals and know the difference between right and wrong our conscience usually speaks to us when we're living outside of our atom2 values it does seem that today's society values atom 1 over atom 2. 

I'm not going to say that our atom one desires are evil and worthless as adam one ambitions can push ourselves farther than we ever thought we could go i'm more so saying we need to have the awareness to know that the atom2 part of ourselves can be silenced and our character development can suffer because of it the author would also add it's only by muting the sound of our ego 

I.e our adam one side that we see the world clearly the second idea is look outward for your calling the author explains that nowadays we tend to be advised to look inside ourselves to find out what to do with our lives but he argues that you'd be better off finding your vocational calling not by asking 

What you want from life but what does life want out of you for example the ego adam one side of ourselves may want a position in life that has the spotlight on us where we get fame and admiration but the calling we're here to live where our true gifts and talents lie may not lie

In the limelight it may receive little fanfare but living out that calling makes a better impact on the lives of others and being humble and brave enough to live out that calling is where you'll find your most fulfilling life idea 3 avoid small compromises david brooks says 

In the book small moral compromises on monday leads to bigger ones on tuesday i love this because it emphasizes the importance of not compromising on your values even the small ones we can use extramarital affairs as an example people rarely ever enter a marriage expecting to cheat on their spouse 

But why does it happen so often through small moral compromises maybe it starts by messaging a co-worker on facebook you find attractive then you're having lunch with them during your lunch breaks then you're exchanging numbers and sending flirty texts 

Then you're meeting up with them outside of work and lying to your spouse about it then eventually before you know it you find yourself cheating on your spouse and you have no clue how it would ever happen part of making progress on the road to character is realizing it happens through daily effort look at every lie and every dishonest act as a stepping stone down the path to destruction and do whatever you can to avoid that path idea 

Number four avoid inadequate ideals when we act cowardly or give into selfishness it's easy to believe it's because we are weak but english scholar richard nguyen livingston believed moral failure is not due to weakness but an inadequate ideal for example 

If a person holds the value of comfort and pleasure as the highest ideal they are likely to act in ways that get them more of what they value most you'll be less likely to work harder to add value to others because it would make your life less comfortable and if pleasure is a high ideal 

You'll be less likely to develop self-discipline and delay immediate gratification because doing so is not very pleasurable so instead of relying on willpower to have better character it may be wiser to shift your ideals and values to nobler ones it will be tough to shift those values and ideals and live them out and that's why you need others to help you which leads to idea 

Number five community is crucial some may say you don't need help from others you just need to trust your inner voice because it has all the answers but your inner voice can be deceitful author david brooks argues that our power of self-deception is 

So profound that we rarely are fully honest with ourselves this isn't a new concept as it even says in the bible from thousands of years ago the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick who can understand it the author explains to grasp anything you need to see it at all its vantage points 

I think an easy way to see all the vantage points of your character is having a community of people who care about your personal growth and want you to develop into a better person there are many more valuable ideas in this book.

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