#419. The Good News About Your Inevitable Decline | Arthur Brooks
The unavoidable truth is that our skills change as we get older. We invest so much in our professional success, and then at some point, things change. But there’s good news. While certain abilities and mental capacities erode with age, others get stronger. With some foresight, planning, and good habits, you can make the second half of your life way better than the first.
Arthur Brooks is the author of a new book called From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life. Arthur has seen the themes of this book play out in his own life. He started his career as a classical French horn player, then got his PhD in public policy analysis, and went on to run a think tank called the American Enterprise Institute. He then left that to be a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School. He also does work with The Atlantic , where he writes a column and hosts a podcast called How to Build a Happy Life.
This episode explores: success addiction, and how to avoid it while still being successful; what it means to “live like Bach;” fluid intelligence vs. crystallized intelligence; what investments we can make now to increase the likelihood of more happiness later; the four most important habits of the happiest people; a workable definition of happiness; and how he feels about his own shifting capacities, having researched the subject for many years.
Where to find Arthur Brooks online:
Books and Media Mentioned:
- From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life
- How to Build a Happy Life - The Atlantic
- All Stories by Arthur C. Brooks - The Atlantic
- Arthur Brooks previously on TPH
- How to Be Self-Aware - Dan Harris on How to Build a Happy Life - The Atlantic
Other Resources Mentioned:
- TS Eliot | Poetry Foundation
- David McCullough
- Amanda Gorman
- Anna Lembke, MD, Dopamine Nation
- Jocelyn K. Glei, on the TPH podcast
- Wayne Oates
- Simon Sinek
- Johann Sebastian Bach | Biography, Music, Death, & Facts | Britannica
- Saint Thomas Aquinas, “To love is to will the good of the other.”
- "Loving Your Enemies," Sermon Delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church | The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute
- Maranasati - Encyclopedia of Buddhism
- The Overstory, Richard Powers