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Love's Labor Found

Writer and physician Sherwin Nuland on finding the work of our lives

Boomers@65Sigmund Freud usually gets the credit, but it was probably Leo Tolstoy who first told the world that the real secret of happiness is knowing how to love and how to work. Looking back from the perspective of my recent 80th birthday, I understand — as I have with increasing clarity since my mid-40s — the truth of that advice.


Not only have I made Tolstoy's maxim my credo, but it expresses one of the few nuggets of real wisdom on which I have ever been able to rely. Through eight decades marked by various periods of joy and difficulty, triumph and failure, I have come to believe that this brief series of words is, to appropriate Keats, all I know on earth, and all I need to know. … Back to Article

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