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Take It From David Brooks: Career Success 'Doesn't Make You Happy'

Stashed in: #happiness, Character, Humility, Give and Take, Bucket List, Morality, David Brooks

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The day after Japan surrendered in 1945, and World War II ended, singer Bing Crosby appeared on the radio program Command Performance. "Well it looks like this is it," he said. "What can you say at a time like this? You can't throw your skimmer in the air — that's for a run-of-the-mill holiday. I guess all anybody can do is thank God it's over."

New York Times columnist David Brooks cites this and other aspects of that 70-year-old radio program as evidence that America once marked triumph without boasting.

"I was really struck at this supreme moment of American triumph that they weren't beating their chests," he tells NPR's Audie Cornish. "They weren't super proud of themselves; they were deeply humble. And I found that so beautiful and so moving. And I thought there's really something to admire in that public culture."

It's a culture Brooks says is lost today. In his latest book, The Road to Character, the columnist goes on a personal journey in which he tries to apply the lessons of history to himself.

If you like this article turn you'll like his moral bucket list.

Here's a lot more discussion of the moral bucket list:

No one says on their deathbed they wish they had worked more. 

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