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Family Vacation Leads to 'The Road to Character'

I am just finishing vacation with my family.

It is amazing how quickly life goes by, even when you are trying to pay attention.

We went to Nashville, Tennessee, and rented a house. Although I am newer fan of country music, the Country Music Hall of Fame was fantastic.

We spent a lot of time hanging out together, eating good food, and getting a lot of exercise. My wife, dog, and I walked every day – more than 12,000 steps per day – and my two boys and I played basketball together each day. It was relaxing, and for a short while, the world slowed down a little bit.

I also read a few books during this vacation.

The best is The Road to Character by David Brooks. In this book, he focuses on differentiating the generation past, or the eulogy generation, with the résumé generation. The eulogy generation served and lived their lives building their eulogies, while and the résumé generation, who work to build their own fame and success. He suggests that his father’s generation was the eulogy generation, while today’s generation is the more résumé generation.

While it may be popular to think that we should only mirror the eulogy generation, having children growing up now makes me understand that a balance of both is probably best.

He pointed out that the biggest challenge is internal; understanding yourself and your purpose is key. He argues that we seek holiness in our lives as an instinct and that humility is our greatest virtue – and can lead to wisdom. Pride and ego are our vices, and I believe our evils. Brooks goes on to observe that we are rescued by grace and that our struggle is life long. He finally states that one’s success in life is best measured by being better than he or she used to be.

I read some other good books, too, and I will blog about them the future. However, I recommend The Road to Character as one of great depth that leads to reflection.

Other books that I really like and recommend are:

  • Team of Rivals – Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • Antifragile – Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell
  • Connected – Nicholas A. Christakis
  • Linked – Albert-Laszlo Barabasi
  • Wooden on Leadership – John Wooden
  • Corps Business – David H. Freedman
  • Think like a Freak – Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
  • Disrupt – Bill Jensen
  • The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
  • Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
  • Flourish – Martin E.P. Seligman
  • The Talent Code – Daniel Coyle
  • Good Calories, Bad Calories – Gary Taubes
  • Flip Manifesto – Daniel H. Pink