Episode 78 – Against popular wisdom, your best or most satisfying days are ahead of you. Jonathan Rauch delves into the science and the data of happiness, in this discussion.
Jonathan Rauch, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute in Washington, is the author of six books and many articles on public policy, culture, and government. He is the contributing editor of The Atlantic, and recipient of the 2005 National Magazine Award, the magazine industry’s equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. His latest book is The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50.
[1:08] Marc welcomes you to episode 78 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Marc
invites you to share this podcast with like-minded souls. Please subscribe, share it on
social media, write an honest iTunes review, or tell your neighbors and colleagues.
[1:39] Next week, Marc will discuss the next steps the Millers will be taking in their move
to Mexico planned for early 2019.
[1:48] In this episode, Marc interviews Jonathan Rauch, author of The Happiness
Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50. Before the interview, Marc announces plans for
another “Can You Repurpose Your Career?” series, similar to Episodes 48-51 from
[2:20] If you would like to go through this process anonymously with Marc on the
podcast, please email Marc at Podcast@CareerPivot.com.
[2:49] Marc gives an introduction for Jonathan Rauch and welcomes him to the podcast.
[3:39] How do you measure happiness? How satisfied are you with your life?
[4:22] Since the 1950s, millions of people in virtually every country have been surveyed
about how contented they are with what’s going on in their lives. People are reliable in
gauging their happiness. There is amazingly good data on life satisfaction.
[4:43] What is the U-shaped happiness curve? Jonathan explains what the data means.
As we age, our outlook changes. We cope with stress better. We focus more on family
relationships. We feel more contented.
[8:37] What is the difference between a mid-life reboot and a mid-life crisis? Jonathan
tells a personal story about his own dissatisfaction in his mid-forties. In his book,
Jonathan shares stories from many people he interviewed. The experience is normal
but it is not something to confront alone.
[11:05] Marc refers to Episode #075, with Dr. Joel Dobbs, who climbed the ladder of
success, to find it was against the wrong building. Jonathan talks about the mid-life
feedback trap. Find out where your unhappiness originates before making a change you
won’t like. (It might not be the building that makes you unhappy.)
[12:54] Jonathan endorses the idea of a career pivot for the second half of life. We
should expect to want change. As we get older, we age out of the standard ambition
and we age into mentorship and giving back.
[13:30] Jonathan likes the CareerPivot concept. You keep one foot on the ground. Marc
looks back at his seven career changes by half-steps.
[15:55] Society is not prepared to adapt to our 20 additional years of active life on the
upswing of the U-Curve. There needs to be social and institutional change.
[17:42] Marc has no intention of retiring.
[18:03] What everybody wants is freedom. They all know they need to keep working, but
it’s probably not punching in and out for a paycheck.
[18:32] Jonathan suggests institutional and intellectual changes that would help, such
as different workplace roles not working toward advancement. People don’t want to
retire, become pathetic, and then die. Change the way we think of elders.
[22:04] Marc talks about an interview he had last year where the discussion turned to
the kinds of work we will do in our 70s, and how we need to start preparing for those
roles in our 50s.
[23:24] Jonathan’s book looks at the Transition Network of professional women age 50
and up who help women coming along behind them to prepare for repurposing their
lives. It’s so much easier to transition with a support network.
[23:54] Marc has an interview coming up with Carol Fishman Cohen, the CEO of
IRelaunch. They help people who have big career gaps.
[24:34] What about people who want to have everything continue as is? Portfolio
careers are becoming normal. Many jobs are going away. There is not a job that is not
affected by technological changes of the present and future.
[26:32] If you’re a highly-successful, achievement-oriented person; life has been good to
you, you’ve hit mid-life and you can’t figure out why you’re dissatisfied, don’t be alarmed
or ashamed. There is nothing wrong with you. You are preparing for more satisfaction
than you have known before. The best thing to do is wait it out.
[27:28] This is a ‘we’ issue, not just a ‘me’ issue. There is likely somebody in your life
right now who is going through the trough of the U-Curve. Be the support for someone
going through it.
[28:54] Marc really enjoyed this book and learned a lot about his own life. Marc highly
recommends this book to you.
[30:51] Check back next week, when Marc will be talking about next steps in their move
Mentioned in This Episode:
The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50, by Jonathan Rauch (Affiliate Link)
CareerPivot.com/Episode-48 “Can Tim Repurpose His Career? Part 1”
CareerPivot.com/Episode-49 “Can Tim Repurpose His Career? Part 2”
CareerPivot.com/Episode-50 “Can Tim Repurpose His Career? Part 3”
CareerPivot.com/Episode-51 “Can Tim Repurpose His Career? Part 4”
Please pick up a copy of Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of
Life, by Marc Miller and Susan Lahey. The paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats
are available now. When you have completed reading the book, Marc would very much
appreciate your leaving an honest review on Amazon.com. The audio version of the
book is available on iTunes app, Audible, and Amazon.
Marc has the paid membership community running on the CareerPivot.com website.
The website is alive and in production. Marc is contacting people on the waitlist. Sign up
for the waitlist at CareerPivot.com/Community. Marc has three initial cohorts of 10
members in the second half of life and they are guiding him on what to build. He is
looking for individuals for the fourth cohort who are motivated to take action and give
Marc input on what he should produce next. He’s currently working on LinkedIn,
blogging, and book publishing training. Marc is bringing someone in to guide members
on how to write a book. The next topic will be business formation and there will be lots
of other things. Ask to be put on the waiting list to join a cohort. This is a unique paid
membership community where Marc will offer group coaching, special content,
mastermind groups, and a community where you can seek help.
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