I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Author August Turak about the business lessons he learned from monks and how that translates into his latest book,
Brother John: A Monk, a Pilgrim and the Purpose of Life.

More about August and his journey

In 1996, Turak was the CEO of his own company when a skydiving accident triggered the emotional crisis. He refers to this as the“Dark Night of the Soul” that sent him to Mepkin Abbey in search of the spiritual solace that he so desperately needed and that the monks so graciously provided.

In 2004, Turak decided to enter the John Templeton Foundation’s Power of Purpose essay contest by answering the question in 3,500 words or less: “What is the Purpose of Life?”  Though he had never written anything for publication before, his essay, Brother John won the $100,000 grand prize. Brother John is an essay about an actual Christmas Eve encounter at Mepkin Abbey.

When an article he wrote for Forbes.com called Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks went viral. It led to an invitation to become a leading contributor at Forbes as well as an invitation from Columbia Business School Publishing to turn his article into a book.

That book, Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks: One CEO’s Quest for Meaning and Authenticity uses 1,000 years of Trappist business success. In addition, it uses Turak’s own experience as a highly successful entrepreneur to demonstrate that Trappist monks are not successful in business despite adhering to only the highest ethical values but because they do.

Turak’s latest book,Brother John: A Monk, a Pilgrim and the Purpose of Life,  combines his Templeton Prize-winning essay with the illustrations of the award-winning artist, Glenn Harrington. Glenn offers an inspirational message of meaning and purpose to a world that for so many seems to lack meaning and purpose.

When Turak is not hanging out with Trappist monks or working with his nonprofit, he lives and works on his 75-acre farm just outside Raleigh, NC.

About his latest book:

Recipient of the prestigious Templeton Prize, Brother John is the true story of a monastic encounter between August Turak, going through a midlife crisis, and an umbrella-wielding Trappist monk: a magical Christmas Eve encounter that eventually leads the author and us all to the redemptive power of an authentically purposeful life. Uplifting, deeply moving, and set in the magnificent Trappist monastery of Mepkin Abbey, Brother John is dramatically brought to life with over twenty full-color paintings by Glenn Harrington, a multiple award-winning artist. Brother John works equally well either as a Christmas gift or all year long, and the book’s inspirational message and rich illustrations are sure to bring the reader back again and again.

Connect with August

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Watch our interview with August on Facebook.