#692: Arthur C. Brooks — How to Be Happy, Reverse Bucket Lists, The Four False Idols, Muscular Philosophies, Practical Inoculation Against the Darkness, and More
Arthur C. Brooks (@arthurbrooks) is the Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Public and Nonprofit Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and Professor of Management Practice at the Harvard Business School, where he teaches courses on leadership and happiness. He is also a columnist at The Atlantic, where he writes the popular “How to Build a Life” column. Brooks is the author of 13 books, including the 2022 #1 New York Times bestseller From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life and his newest Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier with co-author Oprah Winfrey. He speaks to audiences all around the world about human happiness and works to raise well-being within private companies, universities, public agencies, and community organizations.
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[07:10 ] The reverse bucket list.
[13:00 ] Intention without attachment.
[14:49 ] Writing Thích Nhất Hạnh’s obituary.
[17:30 ] Buddhist views through a Catholic lens.
[20:43 ] Blood occlusion training and physical fitness over 40.
[24:22 ] Arthur’s semi-mystical teenage experiences in Mexico.
[30:30 ] Arthur’s academic dad on complex vs. complicated.
[33:35 ] Happiness hygiene for genetically baseline gloominess.
[36:19 ] Happiness and unhappiness: hand in hand.
[39:31 ] Being effective with one’s affects.
[42:53 ] The three macronutrients of happiness.
[51:21 ] Identifying (and learning to live with) our idols.
[1:03:48 ] Secularly securing transcendent perspective.
[1:10:32 ] Money doesn’t buy happiness — it lowers unhappiness.
[1:15:17 ] Tithing and adoption.
[1:18:43 ] How Arthur and his wife met, and how their values aligned over time.
[1:25:58 ] Advice for seeking love in the modern world.
[1:33:06 ] Death meditation.
[1:42:54 ] Finding personal purpose and meaning.
[1:56:50 ] Four fundamental micronutrients of happiness.
[1:59:53 ] Translating a need for change into action.
[2:07:13 ] Aristotle’s secrets to happiness.
[2:11:57 ] Real friends help us put the kibosh on self-deception.
[2:19:13 ] Reflecting on the repercussions of living for the mirror’s approval.
[2:22:46 ] Collaborating with Oprah on Build the Life You Want.
[2:28:14 ] The point Arthur hopes people don’t miss in Build the Life You Want.
[2:31:54 ] Reading recommendation: The Noonday Demon.
[2:33:32 ] Exposure therapy: making pain part of one’s medicine.
[2:38:15 ] A practical way to be grateful for life’s bad things.
[2:41:12 ] Parting thoughts.
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