Build the Life You Want || Arthur Brooks

September 14, 2023

Today we welcome back Arthur Brooks to the podcast. ​​Arthur 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. He is also a columnist at The Atlantic, where he writes the popular weekly “How to Build a Life” column. A world-renowned speaker, he talks about human happiness, and works to raise well-being within private companies, universities, public agencies, and community organizations. His latest book, which he co-authored with Oprah Winfrey, is called Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier. 

In this episode, I talk to Arthur Brooks about building the life you want. People often think that happiness is a static end goal. But in reality, life will always have its ups and downs. According to Arthur, we can make choices that can improve our well-being despite the presence of challenges. He talks about how to find satisfaction through family, friends, meaningful work, and faith. Arthur also shares actionable steps around managing emotions and habits that can help us create a better life. We also touch on the topics of neuroscience, transcendence, evolutionary psychology, and love.

Website: arthurbrooks.com

Twitter: @arthurbrooks


  • Build the Life You Want
  • Writing the book with Oprah
  • Extremes are unhealthy
  • Unhappiness is not your enemy
  • Faith and transcendental experiences
  • Look for real friends, not deal friends 
  • Work is love made visible
  • Love your enemies
  • Conflict is not hatred
  • Patterns of happiness vs individual variation
  • Family as a source of growth
  • The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS)
  • Emotional substitution
  • Overcoming the negativity bias
  • Keep it simple

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