Are You Climbing a Ladder of Success That’s Leaning Against the Wrong Building?

Matt Karamazov
9 min readFeb 15, 2024

The higher up you go, the more the fall will hurt

📚 The Reading Life 📚

So I’m 33 years old and my dad is turning 86 this year.

And today I just watched an old, grainy, hard-to-see family video where he’s laughing — in 1957!!

33 years before I was born, which is just…

Oh man, the red hair! (His hair is white now). The old cars! My grandparents — whom I’ve never met!

In the video, my hometown actually looks like that photo of Dubai you may have seen, with the 26-year difference side by side:

Image: Living Nomads

It’s just incredible how much things have changed between 1957 and now, and it’s got me thinking that I should take a LOT more videos from now on.

I want to be able to remember my parents and the rest of my family 67 years from now…in 2,091!

I’ll be 101, and it will seem like yesterday.

I’d hate to miss it, you know?

And I’d especially hate to find out that I missed it because I spent my life chasing the kind of success you find at the top of “the first mountain,” which is what the author of today’s book calls the ladder of career success and achievement.

One of the worst things that can possibly happen to you in life is that you spend huge chunks of it climbing the ladder of success, only to find out that it’s leaning on the wrong building.

The Second Mountain, by David Brooks, is about consciously creating a life of deep commitment, fulfillment, and meaning, and it’s a great book that I highly recommend reading before it’s too late.

Below, I share a short summary of The Second Mountain, as well as my best book notes, along with some additional recommended reading.

If you’re looking for a book that will help you keep perspective in a world that so easily causes you to forget about what’s truly important in life, then you might want to read…



Matt Karamazov

🥇 The Most Disciplined Man on the Planet 📚 Read 1,197 Books in Just 10 Years 💪🏻 Strong Believer in Human Potential ⤵️