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Arthur Brooks: Cracking The Code To Happiness

By May 30, 2022January 5th, 2023No Comments
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Episode #683



Last week we dove deep into the value of wisdom accrued with age. Extending that conversation, today we deconstruct how to make the second half of life better than the first.

My guest for this exploration is Arthur C. Brooks.

A professional French horn player turned social scientist, Arthur served as president of the American Enterprise Institute think tank in DC for a decade—and is currently a professor of public leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School.

In addition, Arthur writes the popular How to Build a Life column at The Atlantic, which is also home to his popular podcast, The Art of Happiness.

The bestselling author of 12 books, Arthur’s latest—an instant #1 NYT bestseller—is entitled, From Strength to Strength. A ​​roadmap for finding success, happiness, and deep purpose in our later years, it provides the framework for today’s discussion on how to reframe aging—and is very much of a piece with last week’s podcast with Chip Conley.

“The secret to satisfaction is not having more, it’s wanting less.”


Topics covered in today’s discussion include:

  • how to define happiness and strategies to cultivate it;
  • the role that negative emotions play in living a meaningful life;
  • the crisis of meaning that visits people as they age;
  • the ‘Striver’s Curse,’ or what happens when we prioritize specialness over happiness;
  • the difference between fluid and crystallized intelligence;
  • how to confront your inevitable decline;
  • the increasingly important role that friendship, family, faith, and service play in finding happiness as we age;
  • and many other topics.

The visually inclined can watch it all go down on YouTube. As always, the podcast streams wild and free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Arthur is as charismatic as he is whip smart. This one is packed with priceless wisdom and actionable takeaways for everyone regardless of age.

I hope you learn as much from Arthur as I did.


Peace + Plants,

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