The Earned Life: Lose Regret, Choose Fulfillment (Hardcover)

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Discover the steps to earning your path to fulfillment and living without regrets—from the world-renowned executive coach and New York Times bestselling author of Triggers and What Got You Here Won't Get You There

ONE OF SUMMER’S BEST BUSINESS BOOKS: Inc., Society for Human Resource Management • “My life changed for the better when I started working with Marshall Goldsmith. The Earned Life is a wonderful book.”—Dr. Jim Yong Kim, served as president of the World Bank

“We are living an earned life when the choices, risks, and effort we make in each moment align with an overarching purpose in our lives, regardless of the eventual outcome.”

That’s the definition of an earned life. But for many of us, that pesky final phrase is a stumbling block: “regardless of the eventual outcome.” Not being attached to the outcome goes against everything we’re taught about achievement and fulfillment in modern society.

But now, in his most personal and powerful work to date, world-renowned leadership coach Marshall Goldsmith offers a dazzling but simple approach that accommodates both our persistent need for achievement and the inescapable “stuff happens” unfairness of life.

Taking inspiration from Buddhism, Goldsmith reveals that the key to living the earned life, unbound by regret, requires committing to a habit of earning and, crucially, connecting that habit to something greater than the isolated achievements of careerism. By grounding our achievements in a higher aspiration, he shows, we can avoid the easy temptation to wallow in regret.

Goldsmith implores readers to avoid the Great Western Disease of “I’ll be happy when. . . .” He offers practical advice and exercises aimed at helping us shed the obstacles, especially the failures of imagination, that prevent us from creating our own fulfilling lives. With this book as their guide, readers can close the gap between what they plan to achieve and what they actually get done—and avoid the trap of existential regret, the kind that reroutes destinies and persecutes our memories.

Packed with illuminating stories from Goldsmith’s legendary career as a coach to some of the world’s highest-achieving leaders as well as reflections on his own experiences, The Earned Life is a road map for ambitious people seeking a higher purpose.

“Marshall Goldsmith is a wonderful coach, educator, and author.”—Albert Bourla, CEO, Pfizer

About the Author


Marshall Goldsmith has been recognized as the world’s leading executive coach and the New York Times bestselling author of many books, including What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, Mojo, and Triggers. He received his Ph.D. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. In his coaching practice, Goldsmith has advised more than two hundred major CEOs and their management teams. He and his wife live in Nashville, Tennessee.

Praise For…


“For anyone who wishes to align their efforts with a life of meaning, Marshall Goldsmith is a fabulous companion, guide, and cheerleader.”—John Dickerson, chief political analyst, CBS News

“A great coach.”—David Chang, chef and author of the New York Times bestseller Eat a Peach

“Filled with stories from some of the world’s top leaders, Goldsmith expertly weaves guidance and gentle nudges to get you to take the reins of your life and drive it toward fulfillment. Heart, soul, and decades of experience with top CEOs make The Earned Life the perfect blueprint for those yet to feel fulfilled.”—Ruth Gotian, Forbes

“I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have met Marshall Goldsmith. He has played a very important role in my transition from being a professional athlete to beginning the next chapter in my life.”—Pau Gasol, NBA All-Star

“Through his wonderful coaching and friendship, Marshall Goldsmith has no doubt helped me to become both a better leader and a happier person.”—Hubert Joly, served as CEO, Best Buy

“You must read this masterpiece!”—Frances Hesselbein, served as CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA

The advice in this book can help you keep on achieving and, at the same time, do a better job of finding peace and happiness in the process.”—Amy Edmonson, professor, Harvard Business School

“The Earned Life is Marshall Goldsmith at his best. Insightful, empathetic, and practical, all at the same time.”—Jeff Pfeffer, professor, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University


Product Details
ISBN: 9780593237274
ISBN-10: 0593237277
Publisher: Currency
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2022
Pages: 304
Language: English