Jonathan Rauch | Why Life Gets Better After 50 | My Instruction Manual

Why Life Gets Better After 50 with Jonathan Rauch

Jonathan Rauch, author of The Happiness Curve, explains the science behind why life gets better in our fifties and sixties. Jonathan and host Keith McArthur each share their own happiness curve stories.

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Episode 33 Show Notes

[00:00] Welcome and Intro

[00:58] Featured interview with Jonathan Rauch

Jonathan Rauch is author of several books including 2018’s The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50. He is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

In this conversation, Keith and Jonathan discuss:

  • Keith’s happiness curve [00:58]
  • Jonathan’s happiness curve [02:31]
  • What is the happiness curve? [5:10]
  • The happiness curve isn’t an inevitability; it’s a tenancy [7;19]
  • Be cautious about making big life changes during the trough [9:05]
  • How the happiness curve is different from a midlife crisis [10:20]
  • Why the midlife trough is good for us [11:55]
  • Tips to help you get through the trough [16:45]
  • Tips for society to manage the trough [20:25]

[22:54] Jonathan’s Instruction Manual

1. What are the habits you maintain every day to stay happy and healthy? [23:20]

  • Exercise
  • Talk to someone he’ll disagree with and / or read something he’ll disagree with

2. What personal development book do you recommend? [24:45]

3. Favorite personal mantra / inspirational quote [26:08] 

  • “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit. Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.” — Omar Khayyám / Edward Fitzgerald
  • “Just remember that if you see five problems coming towards you, four of them will fall into the ditch before they ever reach you.” — Calvin Coolidge

4. What’s your one guilty pleasure? [27:32]

  • Dark chocolate

5. When your time comes, how do you want to be remembered? [28:03]

  • “As being kind and wise, and especially as being kinder and wiser than I am right now.”

[28:37] Where to find Jonathan

[29:10] Closing words

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