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Ep. 27: A Conversation with Arthur Brooks on Reimagining the Second Half of Life

“The second curve is all about sharing. It’s all about putting wisdom together in people’s lives, that can create value in their lives.”


For many, finding meaning in the second half of life can feel like a challenge when so many of life’s more notable accomplishments happen in the first half. 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.

In this episode, Cathleen speaks to Arthur Brooks, a prolific author and social scientist. At the height of his career at the age of 50, Arthur embarked on a seven-year journey to discover how to transform his future from one of disappointment over waning abilities into an opportunity for progress. Drawing on social science, philosophy, biography, theology, and eastern wisdom, as well as dozens of interviews with everyday men and women, Brooks shows us that true life success is well within our reach. By refocusing on certain priorities and habits that anyone can learn, such as deep wisdom, detachment from empty rewards, connection and service to others, and spiritual progress, we can set ourselves up for increased happiness.

Show Notes:

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”, will be available this February 2022.


Arthur’s Book: From Strength to Strength

Facebook: Arthur Brooks

Twitter: @arthurbrooks

Podcast: How to Build a Happy Life

Podcast: The Art of Happiness


What’s Next?

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Cathleen Toomey

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