Episode 60

The Happiness Plan for the Second Half of Life

With Arthur Brooks
Episode 60

The Happiness Plan for the Second Half of Life

With Arthur Brooks

Harvard Professor. Bestselling Author. Happiness Expert. Keynote Speaker. Columnist for The Atlantic. Podcast Host.

Arthur C. Brooks is the William Henry Bloomberg Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and Professor of Management Practice at the Harvard Business School. Before joining the Harvard faculty, he served for ten years as president of the Washington, D.C.-based American Enterprise Institute, one of the world’s leading think tanks. Arthur is the author of 12 books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller From Strength to Strength, and national bestsellers Love Your Enemies and The Conservative Heart. He is also a columnist for The Atlantic, host of the podcast How to Build a Happy Life with Arthur Brooks, and subject of the 2019 documentary film The Pursuit, which Variety named as one of the “Best Documentaries on Netflix” in August 2019. Arthur gives more than 100 speeches per year around the U.S., Europe, and Asia; has been selected as one of Fortune Magazine’s “50 World’s Greatest Leaders,” and was awarded six honorary doctorates.

In this episode of Intersections, Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa has a conversation with Arthur Brooks on the topic “The Happiness Plan for the Second Half of Life.”

When we imagine a happy and successful life, the portrait that’s often painted before us includes someone who is dynamic, engaged and achieves success upon success. And yet, in a time like today when lifespans continue to lengthen, there’s a whole period to life that goes beyond our peak performance days, far from the limelight we once had, unnoticed and forgotten.

What then is the definition of success and happiness in this second half of life? Do people get happier or unhappier as they age? What happens when our professional decline sets in earlier than expected, and what self-correcting mechanisms can we put in place to avoid its negative consequences? Does happiness take care of itself or is there a formula we can use to maximize our flourishing, in not just the second half, but in every chapter of our lives?

“If you are going to be bathed in the cosmic light at the end of your life...you've got to train for it. That's like the Olympics.”
Arthur Brooks

This episode offers key insights on:

  • Why happiness doesn’t take care of itself and how to craft a 401K happiness plan for the rest of our lives
  • Two key reasons why our professional decline starts earlier than we think and the self-correcting mechanisms we can put in place now to avoid its negative consequences
  • Why faith and reason are not mutually exclusive, and how to integrate multiple viewpoints and ideas to arrive at our own truth
  • The wrong and the right formula for happiness in seven words
  • And many inspiring stories and timeless wisdom drawn from both eastern and western cultures that illustrate the human capacity for transformation

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