This is a book by a Harvard Business School professor/ entrepreneur.
I heard him interviewed on NPR and was fascinated by how he illustrated his points with contemporary business stories, so I bought the book.
He begins by pointing out that when we start life on our own, none of us expect to end up with broken families, alienated from our children or in financial ruin.
He shows how life never turns out as expected, but mixed with the right response, it can usually turn out better.
He makes the case well for how our deepest joys in life come from intimate, loving and enduring relationships with family and close friends
I appreciated his point about how the time to invest in relationships is when it seems most unnecessary.
His chapter entitled "Planting Saplings When You Need Shade" explains how when times of crisis hit, many people complain that their friends abandoned them, but they also might be asking for a return on an investment they never made.
His big point is that very best thing for a person to do is to find their purpose in life.
You figure out your purpose by examining what kind of a person you want to become.
He talks about a spiritual experience being necessary for keeping your commitment to that.
He ends by making a good point about how to judge if you are living up to your purpose by giving a example from church life.
His big finish is about how a focus on self depletes life of energy, while a life focused on others energizes life.
The author is a Mormon but it is not too noticeable or distracting for an evangelical to read. I agree it is a tired theme but he certainly approaches it in a fresh and helpful way. I have used his business examples in many conversations and sermon illustrations since.
I'd recommend it for a fresh way to present what might otherwise by a boring retelling of a classic principle in meaningful living.