Book of The Month – June 2022 : From Strength to Strength

From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life by [Arthur C. Brooks]
The roadmap for finding purpose, meaning, and success as we age, from bestselling author, Harvard professor, and the Atlantic’s happiness columnist Arthur Brooks.

Many of us assume that the more successful we are, the less susceptible we become to the sense of professional and social irrelevance that often accompanies aging. But the truth is, the greater our achievements and our attachment to them, the more we notice our decline, and the more painful it is when it occurs.

What can we do, starting now, to make our older years a time of happiness, purpose, and yes, success?


At the height of his career at the age of 50, Arthur Brooks embarked on a seven-year journey to discover how to transform his future from one of disappointment over waning abilities into an opportunity for progress. From Strength to Strength is the result, a practical roadmap for the rest of your life.

Drawing on social science, philosophy, biography, theology, and eastern wisdom, as well as dozens of interviews with everyday men and women, Brooks shows us that true life success is well within our reach. By refocusing on certain priorities and habits that anyone can learn, such as deep wisdom, detachment from empty rewards, connection and service to others, and spiritual progress, we can set ourselves up for increased happiness.

“To the overachievers, success addicts, and tired strivers who are fairly confident you can’t keep it up forever but will try anyway—this book is for you. Arthur Brooks shows you it’s possible to build a life that really does get better with age.” —Simon Sinek, optimist andauthor of Start with Why and The Infinite Game 
 
From Strength to Strength is a wise and inspiring guide to reimagining the rest of your life. If you’re a striver tired of striving, this remarkable book is for you.” —Daniel H. Pink, author of DriveWhen, and A Whole New Mind 
 
“Brooks appears to have a clear strategy here: first he horrifies you, then he bucks you up. An alternate title for this book could be The Good News About Your Inevitable Decline. Most of us strivers believe we can keep racing until we run out of road. Arthur is trying to save us pain and maximize our contributions to the species. Every ambitious person should read this.” —Dan Harris, author and former ABC News anchor 

Have a complete break with the past and see what happens…..

A black and white portrait photo of J. Krishnamurti
J Krishnamurthi

I think it is essential sometimes to go into retreat, to stop everything that you have been doing, to stop your beliefs and experiences completely and look at them anew, not keep on repeating like machines whether you believe or don’t believe. You would let fresh air into your minds. Wouldn’t you? That means you must be insecure, must you not? If you can do so, you would be open to the mysteries of nature and to things that are whispering about us, which you would not otherwise reach; you would reach the god that is waiting to come, the truth that cannot be invited but comes itself. But we are not open to love, and other finer processes that are taking place within us, because we are all too enclosed by our own desires. Surely, it is good to retreat from all that. Stop being a member of some society. Stop being a Brahmin, a Hindu, a Christian, a Muslim. Stop your worship, rituals, take a complete retreat from all those and see what happens. In a retreat, do not plunge into something else, do not take some book and be absorbed in new knowledge and new acquisitions. Have a complete break with the past and see what happens. Sirs, do it, and you will see delight. You will see vast expanses. When your heart is open, then reality can come. Then the whisperings of your own prejudices, your own noises are not heard. That is why it is good to take a retreat, to go away and to stop the routine, not only the routine of outward existence but the routine which the mind establishes for its own safety and convenience. Try it sirs, those who have the opportunity.

Madras Jan. 5th, 1952, The Collected Works, Vol. VI

a humble heart draws the heaven to itself….

Have you ever seen a pigeon’s nest? Broken, messy and sometimes it’s not even there, have you wondered why it is so?

There was a time when pigeons used to lay eggs in the bushes; fox would come and eat the eggs. When pigeons couldn’t find a way to guard the eggs they went to the sparrows for help. 

Sparrows said, ‘There is no other option but to build a nest on the tree.’

Pigeons made a nest, but it wasn’t done properly. Finally, they decided to take help from the sparrows to build the nest.

The birds were happy to teach the pigeons to make a good nest. When they had just begun to build the nest, pigeons said.. ‘Even we know how to build it like this, we will make it on our own.’

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The Seven Habits that Lead to Happiness in Old Age 

Using data from the Harvard study, two researchers showed in 2001 that we can control seven big investment decisions pretty directly: smoking, drinking, body weight, exercise, emotional resilience, education, and relationships. Here’s what you can do about each of them today to make sure your accounts are as full as possible when you reach your later years:

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