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David Brooks Quotes

"When you are young and just setting out into adulthood, you should, by this way of thinking, sit down and take some time to discover yourself, to define what is really important to you, what your priorities are, what arouses your deepest passions."

"If you define a  realistic purpose early on and execute your strategy flexibly, you will wind up leading a purposeful life."

"Your job is to figure certain things out: What does this environment need in order to be made whole? What is it that needs repair? What tasks are lying around waiting to be performed? As the novelist Frederick Buechner put it, “At what points do my talents and deep gladness meet the world’s deep need?”"

"Giving becomes cheerful giving because you are so eager to see the things you love prosper and thrive."

"One of the things that this year in the hospital made me realize is that one of the hardest things in the world is to
organize ourselves and discipline ourselves"

"Just as failure is sometimes just failure (and not your path to becoming the next Steve Jobs), suffering is sometimes just
destructive, to be exited or medicated as quickly as possible. When it is not connected to some larger purpose beyond itself, suffering shrinks or annihilates people. When it is not understood as a piece of a larger process, it leads to doubt, nihilism, and despair."

"Writing,” she wrote in one column in 1950, “is an act of community. It is a letter, it is comforting, consoling, helping, advising on our part as well as asking for it on yours. It is part of our human association with each other. It is an expression of our love and concern for each other.”"

"Proper behavior is not just knowing what is right; it is having the motivation to do what isright, an emotion that propels you to do good things."

"Love depends on the willingness of each person to be vulnerable and it deepens that vulnerability. It works because each person exposes their nakedness and the other rushes to meet it."

"A successful marriage is a fifty-year conversation getting ever closer to that melding of mind and heart."

"Self-control is like a muscle."

"There are limits, she teaches, in how much we can change other people or how quickly we can change ourselves."

"Left to ourselves, we often desire the wrong things."

"There must be a higher power, an eternal moral order."

"By another definition, pride is building your happiness around your accomplishments, using your work as the measure of your worth. It is believing that you can arrive at fulfillment on your own, driven by your own individual efforts."

"If you work hard, play by the rules, and take care of things yourself, you can be the cause of your own good life."

"He told himself that to envy another is to admit one’s inferiority, and that it is better to insist on one’s superior merit than to succumb to envy. When tempted to envy another, he persuaded himself of his own superior position."

Quotes of wisdom by David Brooks
The Road to Character

Motivating Quotes

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  • When we have purpose, our task is never quite complete so it always needs attention. It’s a lifelong goal or way of living that we aspire to.
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  • Pay attention to the movie showing in your life right now. Notice the plot. It might be an adventure, a tragedy, a romance, a soap opera, or a battle. “All the world’s a stage,” wrote Shakespeare.
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