A reading club with a view to the future

545 Marshall Goldsmith, Mark Reiter: The Earned Life

“The Earned Life” explores how individuals can find fulfillment and meaning by focusing on what truly matters and embracing personal responsibility.



"The Earned Life" by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter is a thought-provoking book that challenges individuals to live a life of purpose and personal accountability. It emphasizes the importance of aligning one's actions with their core values and priorities, leading to a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. Through insightful anecdotes and practical advice, the authors guide readers on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth. They encourage readers to let go of external expectations, embrace vulnerability, and take ownership of their choices and actions. "The Earned Life" serves as a guidebook for living intentionally, making meaningful contributions, and creating a life that is authentic and fulfilling.


  1. Title: The Earned Life 
  2. Authors: Marshall Goldsmith, Mark Reiter 
  3. Publishing Year: 2022 
  4. Publisher: Random House 
  5. Length in Hours: 8 hrs and 23 mins


5 main ideas

  1. Discovering Core Values: The book highlights the significance of identifying and embracing one's core values as a guiding compass for decision-making and prioritization.
  2. Owning Personal Responsibility: The authors emphasize the importance of taking full responsibility for one's choices, actions, and outcomes, rather than blaming external factors or circumstances.
  3. Embracing Authenticity: "The Earned Life" encourages readers to embrace their true selves, including their strengths, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities, to cultivate genuine connections and relationships.
  4. Pursuing Meaningful Goals: The book explores the process of setting and pursuing goals that are aligned with one's values, passions, and purpose, fostering a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.
  5. Letting Go of External Expectations: The authors challenge readers to release societal pressures and expectations, focusing instead on what truly matters to them and aligning their actions accordingly.

5 funny quotes

  1. "Life is too short to spend it living someone else's dream. Go chase your own!"
  2. "Remember, nobody has it all figured out. We're all just making it up as we go along."
  3. "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And then invite some friends over for a refreshing drink."
  4. "The secret to a happy life? Surround yourself with good people and good pizza."
  5. "Life is like a box of chocolates. Sometimes you get the caramel-filled ones, and sometimes you get the ones nobody likes. Embrace them all!"

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "Living an earned life means taking full responsibility for the choices you make, the actions you take, and the impact you have on others."
  2. "Authenticity is not about being perfect; it's about embracing your imperfections and being true to who you are."
  3. "When you align your actions with your core values, you unlock a sense of purpose and fulfillment that can't be found elsewhere."
  4. "Don't let external expectations define your life. Focus on what truly matters to you and build a life that reflects your own definition of success."
  5. "True success is not measured by external achievements alone but by the degree to which you live in alignment with your values and make a positive difference in the lives of others."

5 dilemmas

  1. Balancing personal aspirations with the expectations and demands of family, society, and professional life.
  2. Navigating the tension between financial success and pursuing a purpose-driven life.
  3. Choosing between short-term gratification and long-term fulfillment.
  4. Resolving the conflict between individual desires and the collective well-being of communities and the environment.
  5. Managing the challenge of maintaining authenticity and personal values in the face of societal pressures and norms.

5 examples

  1. "Jane, a successful entrepreneur, realized that her pursuit of wealth and recognition was not aligned with her values, leading her to start a socially conscious business."
  2. "John, a renowned musician, decided to step away from the spotlight and focus on teaching music to underprivileged children, finding a greater sense of purpose in giving back."
  3. "XYZ Corporation, known for its cutthroat corporate culture, shifted its focus to employee well-being and work-life balance, resulting in increased productivity and employee satisfaction."
  4. "Sara, a high-profile CEO, recognized the importance of work-life integration and implemented flexible policies that allowed employees to prioritize their personal lives while still achieving business success."
  5. "Famous actor Tom chose to use his platform to advocate for environmental conservation, leveraging his influence to raise awareness and support for sustainability initiatives."

Referenced books

  1. "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor E. Frankl
  2. "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey
  3. "Daring Greatly" by Brené Brown
  4. "Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action" by Simon Sinek
  5. "The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work" by Shawn Achor

Share a quote

"Life is like a box of chocolates. Sometimes you get the caramel-filled ones, and sometimes you get the ones nobody likes. Embrace them all!"

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