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Image of the book cover for "From Strength to Strength" by Dr. Arthur Brooks next to text that reads "1-Minute Book Review." The cover features a view looking up through trees with green leaves. A small "10 almonds" logo is in the bottom right corner.

From Strength to Strength – by Dr. Arthur Brooks

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For most professions, there are ways in which performance can be measured, and the average professional peak varies by profession, but averages are usually somewhere in the 30–45 range, with a pressure to peak between 25–35.

With a peak by age 45 or perhaps 50 at the latest (aside from some statistical outliers, of course), what then to expect at age 50+? Not long after that, there’s a reason for mandatory retirement ages in some professions.

Dr. Brooks examines the case for accepting that rather than fighting it, and/but making our weaknesses into our strengths as we go. If our fluid intelligence slows, our accumulated crystal intelligence (some might call it “wisdom“) can make up for it, for example.

But he also champions the idea of looking outside of ourselves; of the importance of growing and fostering connections; giving to those around us and receiving support in turn; not transactionally, but just as a matter of mutualism of the kind found in many other species besides our own. Indeed, Dr. Brooks gives the example of a grove of aspen trees (hence the cover art of this book) that do exactly that.

The style is very accessible in terms of language but with frequent scientific references, so very much a “best of both worlds” in terms of readability and information-density.

Bottom line: if ever you’ve wondered at what age you might outlive your usefulness, this book will do as the subtitle suggests, and help you carve out your new place.

Click here to check out From Strength To Strength, and find yours!

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