Home Podcast Arthur Brooks: Why You Don’t Need To Have a Midlife (Ministry) Crisis

Arthur Brooks: Why You Don’t Need To Have a Midlife (Ministry) Crisis

“The other way that people can do this is to think about how they can be more of a historian because a historian is somebody who has pure crystallized intelligence. Historians, on average, do half of their professional work after the age of 65, and the better half is the second half.”

“There is no midlife crisis necessary. When you see a midlife crisis, it is because people hold on to the fluid intelligence curve too long and then have to climb up out of the basement to get on a new curve, if they can ever find it at all.”

“The second curve actually requires a lot of humility. The first curve is the star curve…The crystallized intelligence curve isn’t like that. And the reason is because you’re making stars.”

“People who actually start to dig in on the humility of that second curve start to see other people in terms of what they can create for them. These are the people who succeed the most spectacularly.”

“I talk to so many people who are struggling, struggling, struggling to get into a second period of their life, and they’re struggling to stay on that first curve because that’s how they understand themselves. It’s an incredible threat to their self-identity to not do something they once were good at.”

“It’s hard to live up to your own expectations if you need to be number one.”

“​​Happiness is not feelings. Feelings are evidence of happiness. The truth of the matter is that real happiness is a combination of enjoyment, satisfaction and meaning. And all three of those things require that we actually experience some unhappiness as well.”

“The goal is never happiness. It’s happier-ness. It’s actually getting happier by living in a particular way where you’re communing with the emotions that God gives you.”

“If you can emotionally self-manage to not be distracted, you need to put basically your energy into four accounts every day: your faith, your family, your friendship and work that serves other people. That’s it.”

“Every time that you’re not on your faith walk, it’s because you’re pursuing one of these things: They are money, power, pleasure and honor.”

“Everybody has one idol more than the other. Every time you do something where you’re not the person you want to be, you’re not the Christian you want to be, it’s because you’re pursuing that idol.”

“Fame is very, very local. It’s the admiration of the people who matter. And if there’s only 10 people who matter, being famous means you have their admiration.”

Mentioned in the Show

Psalm 84

Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier” by Dr. Arthur Brooks and Oprah Winfrey
From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life” by Dr. Arthur Brooks

Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think” by Dr. Arthur Brooks in The Atlantic

Check out Arthur’s website
Follow Arthur on Facebook, Instagram and X/Twitter

Johann Sebastian Bach
The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas” by Thomas Aquinas