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On the value of giving yourself away

I read a great book the other day. The Second Mountain by David Brooks.

You should add it to the 10 other books you haven’t read on your Kindle.

Brooks creates an inspiring vision for how to live the second half of your life with joy and without regret.

His main point being that you should give yourself away.

What he means by this is that real meaning and fulfillment will only come when you commit to a purpose bigger than yourself.

There’s no question this approach feels intuitively right to me. I totally want the second half of my career to be about sharing what I’ve learned, helping others and contributing what I can.

What’s the other choice: to hunker down, become a hoarder, and start reading the Daily Mail?

No thanks.

Brooks’ message reminds me of the immortal words of George Bernard Shaw.

“This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognised by yourself as a mighty one. Being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”

He certainly set the bar high, old George. 

And I’m not saying I’m anywhere close to meeting it. 

To be honest, there are still many days I feel more like a selfish clod of ailments than someone imbued with a mighty purpose. 

But recently, in coaching and mentoring leaders, creatives and career changers, I’m starting to see the value in what I can offer and the prospect of more fulfilling, other-centred days ahead. 

How about you? 

Have you considered what you want to do with the rest of your career? 

Have you thought about the value you could create by giving yourself away?