64 minutes | Feb 3, 2022

Arthur Brooks || Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life

In this episode, I talk to prolific author and social scientist Arthur Brooks about finding meaning in the second curve of life. According to Arthur, the world and our biology urge us to relentlessly chase after the next win. This flawed formula for satisfaction ultimately leaves us unfulfilled. To find true purpose, we must break our addiction to success and confront life’s hard truths. We also touch on the topics of motivation, relationships, aging, transcendence, and love.


Arthur C. Brooks is the 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 in July of 2019, he served for ten years as president of the Washington, D.C.-based American Enterprise Institute (AEI), one of the world’s leading think tanks.

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”. Arthur has written 12 books, including the national bestsellers “Love Your Enemies” and “The Conservative Heart”. His most recent book is “From Strength to Strength”, available this February 2022.. 

Website: arthurbrooks.com

Twitter: @arthurbrooks



02:18 The plane ride that changed Arthur’s life

08:46 Transcendence as the reward of life

13:11 The addiction to success

17:52 Motivated by why

21:20 From success to freedom 

28:45 Arthur and Scott’s shared values 

33:18 The Harvard Grant Study

36:33 Love, worship, and commitment

41:24 Vanaprastha: retire to the forest

45:01 What it means to be fully alive

52:42 The Dalai Lama’s pen

56:59 Liminality and the magic of transitions

1:01:25 Being happy vs. the need to feel special

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