For four years, I've been conducting a personal research project on how I can get happier as I get older. I think I found the answer, and I am sharing it with you today in a feature published by . I hope you find this essay useful and helpful.
Me, after 3 weeks off: Wow I’m so reinvigorated and ready to get back to work. My employer
People over 50 should read this ⁦ feature. Also people under 50.
“The likelihood of a major discovery increases steadily through one’s 20s and 30s and then declines through one’s 40s, 50s, and 60s.... The likelihood of producing a major innovation at age 70 is approximately what it was at age 20—almost nonexistent.”
Over time, your accomplishments hinge less on your innate intelligence and more on your earned wisdom. Invest in the next generation. Share the knowledge and skills you've gained. Be an instructor, not just an innovator. #ThursdayThoughts
Your Work Peak Is Earlier Than You Think. This piece by ⁦⁩ is so good. It’s about the psychology behind professional decline and happiness, and how to avoid feeling terrible about getting older.
This piece by on age and professional decline is amazing. I'm 58, and have been thinking about these questions for a while, and already found myself gravitating toward some of his answers. This is one to read and re-read.
“If your profession requires mental processing speed or significant analytic capabilities,” writes , “noticeable decline is probably going to set in earlier than you imagine. Sorry.”
Crystallized intelligence verse fluid intelligence Deep dive into the natural decline of your fluid intelligence (innovation) and the upswing of your crystallized intelligence with age..
Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think. Here's how to make the most of it. #sundayread
This is a really impressive and useful piece of writing from Arthur Brooks.
“If your profession requires mental processing speed or significant analytic capabilities,” writes , “noticeable decline is probably going to set in earlier than you imagine. Sorry.”
"Age is, of course, a fever chill that every physicist must fear. He’s better dead than living still when once he’s past his thirtieth year." The great Paul Dirac, quoted in this thoughtful essay on the fear of professional decline
This is *fascinating.*
Even at your professional peak, “you probably need to scale back your career ambitions in order to scale up your metaphysical ones.”
This is brilliant--not shiny brilliant, but wisely brilliant. It is a magazine article that may well affect the way you decide to live your life.
Another first-rate piece from new print issue [Subscribe! ] Hypothesis: there is a concentration, a sense of non-rushed fit + finish, that distinguishes very best print mag articles. More on why, later. For now, read!
Great article here suggests key to adjusting to “midlife fade” is reinventing your life, maybe changing careers. +1
"The lesson for you and me, especially after 50: Be Johann Sebastian Bach, not Charles Darwin"
“If your profession requires mental processing speed or significant analytic capabilities,” writes , “noticeable decline is probably going to set in earlier than you imagine. Sorry.”
Up next: His new and riveting piece in is here: His new book --a very counter-intuitive book for these times--is here:
We all decline - perhaps sooner than you’d think one big reason to have a Freedom Dividend so that we can make transitions
This is a great piece. "The biggest mistake professionally successful people make is attempting to sustain peak accomplishment indefinitely, trying to make use of the kind of fluid intelligence that begins fading relatively early in life."
"The secret to bearing my decline—to enjoying it—is to become more conscious of the roots linking me to others. If I have properly developed the bonds of love among my family and friends, my own withering will be more than offset by blooming in others."
“If your profession requires mental processing speed or significant analytic capabilities,” writes , “noticeable decline is probably going to set in earlier than you imagine. Sorry.”
“No one expects an Olympic athlete to remain competitive until age 60. But in many physically nondemanding occupations, we implicitly reject the inevitability of decline before very old age,” writes in our July issue
Decline is inevitable, and it occurs earlier than almost any of us wants to believe. But misery is not inevitable. reports on how to accept that our professional peaks won’t last forever
When Charles Darwin fell behind as an innovator, he became despondent and depressed; his life ended in sad inactivity. When J.S. Bach fell behind, he reinvented himself as a master instructor. The lesson for you and me? Be Bach, not Darwin.
Professional decline is inevitable, but misery is not—so long as we shift our attention to higher spiritual and life priorities. But such a shift demands more than mere platitudes. A starter list of commitments? Jump, serve, worship, and connect.
An outstanding weekend read, this essay by deals with aging, success, transition & more. & for those of us from the subcontinent, a delicious twist near the end, on ancient wisdom about these very same challenges still being relevant🙏🙏🙏🙏
“If your profession requires mental processing speed or significant analytic capabilities,” writes , “noticeable decline is probably going to set in earlier than you imagine. Sorry.”
Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think
The data are shockingly clear that for most people, in most fields, decline starts earlier than almost anyone thinks. Read on how to come to terms with inevitable professional decline
Whole sections of bookstores are dedicated to becoming successful. There is no section marked “Managing Your Professional Decline.”
“No one expects an Olympic athlete to remain competitive until age 60. But in many physically nondemanding occupations, we implicitly reject the inevitability of decline before very old age,” writes in our July issue
“If your profession requires mental processing speed or significant analytic capabilities,” writes , “noticeable decline is probably going to set in earlier than you imagine. Sorry.”
How can remain so blind to the forces that shape our #aging and profit from age bias? Perhaps because it's the first form of #discrimination that many white men encounter? #Aging isn't the problem. #Ageism is.
"The secret to bearing my decline—to enjoying it—is to become more conscious of the roots linking me to others. If I have properly developed the bonds of love..., my own withering will be more than offset by blooming in others."
"If you reach professional heights and are deeply invested in being high up, you can suffer mightily when you inevitably fall."
"The data are shockingly clear that for most people, in most fields, professional decline starts earlier than almost anyone thinks."-- on how to make the most of your career decline.
An inspiring piece from about happiness, connection, and what to do when work is no longer the main focus of your life (via )
The nice thing about being a pessimist is you're always fully prepared for news like this
Arthur Brooks on the inevitable decline in productivity with age, told with sympathy as is characteristic of him I think (still new to reading him). Ironically, this was actually one of the main themes in Tarantino’s new movie.
“Unhappy is he who depends on success to be happy. For such a person, the end of a successful career is the end of the line. His destiny is to die of bitterness."
Nothing like opening your employer’s homepage to see “Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think.” Thanks for the heads up,
Arthur Brooks has written an amazing essay about inevitable mental decline in even our creative, professional and scientific pursuits. But somehow pivots and makes this about finding true meaning in the wake of those declines.
"What I need to do, in effect, is stop seeing my life as a canvas to fill, and start seeing it more as a block of marble to chip away at and shape something out of."
4/ Decline is inevitable, and though it occurs earlier than almost any of us wants to believe, misery doesn’t necessarily have to follow. reported on how to accept that our professional peak won’t last forever
This times 1000. As your skill set changes and evolves, accept it and adapt. And focus on what really matters. Required reading for those of a certain age. Thank you .
Great plug for one of the most important books I’ve done, ’s HAPPINESS CURVE, in the wonderful piece by .
Your Work Peak Is Earlier Than You Think - The Atlantic —Sobering piece by that includes a chat with Nochur Venkataraman, in Palakkad!
Your professional decline is coming (much) sooner than you think, writes #AtlanticAgingUp speaker . On 10/30, The Atlantic will explore aging and what it means to plan for the long-term. Read more of his piece here:
On the downsides of reaching professional heights, success and recognition "Unhappy is the person who depends on success to be happy ... "
“If your profession requires mental processing speed or significant analytic capabilities,” writes , “noticeable decline is probably going to set in earlier than you imagine. Sorry.”
This piece from demonstrates the importance of social capital ⬇️
A bit late to plugging this essay on peaking but it’s just so damn good all of you should read it.
This author would, I believe, support an age cap and a transition of such PIs into a strictly mentorship and teaching role. Great article to read in any case
Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think - Here’s how to make the most of it. "If decline not only is inevitable but also happens earlier than most of us expect, what should we do when it comes for us?"
About to start in on this much-lauded piece but as a certain birthday is approaching am struggling to make it past the opening graphic....
"senior citizens who rarely or never 'felt useful' were nearly 3 times as likely as those who frequently felt useful to develop a mild disability, ^ were more than 3 times as likely to have died" Humans really do want to work.
"According to research by Dean Keith Simonton, success and productivity increase for the first 20 years after the inception of a career. So if you start a career in earnest at 30, expect to do your best work around 50 and go into decline soon after."
"The biggest mistake professionally successful people make is attempting to sustain peak accomplishment indefinitely."
"What I need to do, in effect, is stop seeing my life as a canvas to fill, and start seeing it more as a block of marble to chip away at and shape something out of. I need a reverse bucket list."
"For most people, actively contemplating our demise so that it is present and real...can make death less frightening; embracing death reminds us that everything is temporary, and can make each day of life more meaningful."
I’ll be joined by this hour to talk about response to Iran’s act of war, and by in the third hour to discuss his new article in The Atlantic
“If your profession requires mental processing speed or significant analytic capabilities,” writes , “noticeable decline is probably going to set in earlier than you imagine. Sorry.”
This article really struck me and gives me pause to reflect: “If your profession requires mental processing speed or significant analytic capabilities,” writes , “noticeable decline is probably going to set in earlier than you imagine. Sorry.”
“If your profession requires mental processing speed or significant analytic capabilities,” writes , “noticeable decline is probably going to set in earlier than you imagine. Sorry.”
“This probably explains the professional longevity of college professors, three-quarters of whom plan to retire after age 65—more than half of them after 70, and some 15 percent of them after 80. (The average American retires at 61.)”
Cool article - what I took from it is it that as you progress from your 30's/40's to 50's and beyond, it may be time to transition from being an innovator or researcher to an educator!
Great conversation with and on about my essay on professional decline and happiness as we grow older. Check out our segment below, and read the piece here:
Valuable insights for living well at each phase of life, and embracing the natural arc one's career and mortality. This touched me deeply.
Fascinating read on maintaining your #happiness as you age -- or not. #aging
"I need a reverse bucket list. My goal for each year of the rest of my life should be to throw out things, obligations, and relationships until I can clearly see my refined self in its best form."
I really enjoyed this story - the Principle of Psychprofessional Gravitation - maybe because I identify with much of it :) A great read
Extraordinary piece from my friend Arthur Brooks on aging, happiness and what you should be doing over your lifetime
Many thanks to and for having me on to discuss my new essay on professional decline (it's not all bad news!). Listen to our conversation, and read the piece here:
“If your profession requires mental processing speed or significant analytic capabilities,” writes , “noticeable decline is probably going to set in earlier than you imagine. Sorry.” (Sounds depressing. But the article isn't.)
"...poets—highly fluid in their creativity—tend to have produced half their lifetime creative output by age 40 or so. Historians—who rely on a crystallized stock of knowledge—don’t reach this milestone until about 60."
This article will hit you hard. I fear the psychological state of professors reading this while on shrooms. Too many people are writing entire books when really they only have a long form article like this.
‘If you enjoy your work, its ok to do it all the time. It isnt work’. Sure, if you want to be a unidimensional person whose identity is tied to one thing only and perhaps struggle letting it go when the time comes, sooner than you may think.
“The aim and final end of all music,” Bach once said, “should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.” Whatever your metaphysical convictions, refreshment of the soul can be the aim of your work, like Bach’s.
"Call it the Principle of Psychoprofessional Gravitation: the idea that the agony of professional oblivion is directly related to the height of professional prestige previously achieved, and to one’s emotional attachment to that prestige."
Your Work Peak Is Earlier Than You Think - The Atlantic. Must read from ⁦⁩ , an affirmation, a refocusing, a resignation letter, a reminder to listen closely to the people talking in the row behind you. They may be talking to you.
Your Work Peak Is Earlier Than You Think
“If your profession requires mental processing speed or significant analytic capabilities,” writes , “noticeable decline is probably going to set in earlier than you imagine. Sorry.”
Last week in The Atlantic, I published an essay about how most people to see a decline in their professional abilities earlier than they thought they would. (1/6)
"If your profession requires mental processing speed or significant analytic capabilities—the kind of profession most college graduates occupy—noticeable decline is probably going to set in earlier than you imagine." Great essay from
No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anyone but oneself.
Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think
Your Work Peak Is Earlier Than You Think - The Atlantic
"Unhappy is he who depends on success to be happy,' Alex Dias Ribeiro, a former Formula 1 race-car driver, once wrote."
This is the best piece in career trajectories I’ve read! “If your profession requires mental processing speed or significant analytic capabilities,” writes , “noticeable decline is probably going to set in earlier than you imagine. Sorry.”
"The worst moment in my career came at age 22, at Carnegie Hall. While delivering a speech about the music I was about to play, I lost my footing and fell off the stage into the audience. I mused darkly that the experience was surely a message from God."
“Your Work Peak Is Earlier Than You Think” ⁦⁦⁩ . Nice #MondayMorning “long” read courtesy of ⁦⁩ ....makes me think how to diversify interests all along!
"I had started to wonder: Can I really keep this going? I work like a maniac. But even if I stayed at it, at some point my career would slow and stop. And when it did, what then? Would I one day be looking back wistfully and wishing I were dead?"
It’s very hard to be #3 on ⁦⁦⁩ ‘s list of most popular stories when you are 57 years old and #1 is a report on your imminent professional decline.
Past my peak, and attempting transition to fairy godmother...
“If your profession requires mental processing speed or significant analytic capabilities,” writes , “noticeable decline is probably going to set in earlier than you imagine. Sorry.”
Thanks to and for highlighting my essay in on professional decline and happiness later in life! Read the piece here:
Over 50? Your professional peak is sooner than you think. Here are the secrets to gracefully navigating the decline (obviously our parents disagree with this one).
Interesting that of builds part of his argument on 'a consensus [having been] developed in the field of "happiness studies"'. The same organization that rejects consensus as a dirty word when it comes to climate change. h/t
“If your profession requires mental processing speed or significant analytic capabilities,” writes , “noticeable decline is probably going to set in earlier than you imagine. Sorry.”
“So if you start a career in earnest at 30, expect to do your best work around 50 and go into decline soon after that”. Your Work Peak Is Earlier Than You Think. #medicalresearch Another good reason to encourage the best young minds and pay it forward
But who was the man on the plane?
The title of ⁦⁩ essay sounds pessimistic, but his message is hopeful: recognizing that our strengths may change over time is the key to staying “relevant” ⁦⁩ cc: ⁦
“If your profession requires mental processing speed or significant analytic capabilities,” writes , “noticeable decline is probably going to set in earlier than you imagine. Sorry.”
“If your profession requires mental processing speed or significant analytic capabilities,” writes , “noticeable decline is probably going to set in earlier than you imagine. Sorry.”
This is a great essay for those of us who have peaked but want to keep rolling...
“If your profession requires mental processing speed or significant analytic capabilities,” writes , “noticeable decline is probably going to set in earlier than you imagine. Sorry.”
How to be happy in later life
On the last episode of brought up this article. It is spellbinding. Like much great nonfiction. Confirms thoughts I had all along
I found this piece on aging and happiness moving, tho I would point out that the author rejects "resume virtues" just as he is going off to teach at Harvard.
Your Work Peak Is Earlier Than You Think - interesting essay on finding life satisfaction after 50. #middleage
Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think Here’s how to make the most of it - The Atlantic
“My Olympic self would ruin my marriage and leave my kids feeling inadequate,” she told me, because it is so demanding and hard-driving. “Living life as if every day is an Olympics only makes those around me miserable.” #AcademicMedicine
“Unhappy is he who depends on #success to be #happy ,” Alex Dias Ribeiro, a former Formula 1 race-car driver, once wrote. “For such a person, the end of a successful career is the end of the line. In this case, there will not be #life after #success.”
"What I need to do, in effect, is stop seeing my life as a canvas to fill, and start seeing it more as a block of marble to chip away at and shape something out of." Excellent essay!
I'm pretty sure it already done came.
Your Work Peak Is Earlier Than You Think - fantastic article by Arthur Brooks in ⁦⁩ a while back. Delighted to have shared a meal with him yesterday, now that he’s on the faculty of Harvard Kennedy School and HBS. Welcome to our community
Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think. || And this is a good essay to help you cope with it.
"Whole sections of bookstores are dedicated to becoming successful. There is no section marked 'managing your professional decline.'"
"At 19, I left college to take a job playing professionally in a touring chamber-music ensemble. But then, in my early 20s, a strange thing happened: I started getting worse. To this day, I have no idea why."