The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement


The unconscious is impulsive, emotional, sensitive, and unpredictable. It has its shortcomings. It needs supervision. But it can be brilliant. It's capable of processing blizzards of data and making daring creative leaps. Most of all, it is also wonderfully gregarious. Your unconscious, that inner extrovert, wants you to reach outward and con-nect. It wants you to achieve communion with work, friend, family, nation, and cause. Your unconscious wants to entangle you in the thick web of relations that are the essence of human flourishing. It longs and pushes for love, for the kind of fusion Douglas and Carol Hofstadter shared. Of all of the blessings that come with being alive, it is the most awesome gift.

Excerpted from 'The Social Animal' by David Brooks Copyright © 2011 by David Brooks. Excerpted by permission of Random House Group, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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