Entrepreneurship, Key to Lifelong Happiness.

“The idea of opportunity and boundless adventure, that’s central to entrepreneurship. And, I think one of the most important characteristics, the most important ingredient of entrepreneurship is happiness.”

Bestselling author and acclaimed social scientist Dr. Arthur C. Brooks had just started detailing how Babson College students, staff, faculty, parents, alumni, and entrepreneurs of all types can maintain happiness throughout their lives when he began talking turkey—both literally and metaphorically.

“In the next few minutes, I’m going to introduce to you the incredible world of neuroscience and social science and human happiness. And, if I do my job, you’re going to have a 401(k) plan for your happiness. Just like I have one for me,” Brooks said during a nearly hourlong discussion on campus Tuesday night.

The free presentation, which packed Knight Auditorium, was hosted by the Butler Institute for Free Enterprise Through Entrepreneurship.

Brooks, who writes a regular column for The Atlantic about happiness and loneliness in the pandemic era, went on to compare happiness to a well-balanced Thanksgiving meal of pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, and, of course, turkey.

“Now, why do I bring that up? Because that’s a good metaphor for happiness. All foods are made up of three micronutrients—fat, carbohydrates, and protein,” he said. “Happiness requires three macronutrients in abundance and balance. They are enjoyment, satisfaction, and purpose.”

The vivid Thanksgiving imagery captured the imagination of Amanda Blein, a prospective Babson student from Haiti who came to the event with her mother and sister.

“I never really thought about it like that, but when he said it, it made sense,” said Blein, who stuck around after the event to have a free copy of Brooks’ newest book signed. “We really need that balance of everything to have it together.”

Bestselling author and acclaimed social scientist Dr. Arthur C. Brooks had just started detailing how Babson College students, staff, faculty, parents, alumni, and entrepreneurs of all types can maintain happiness throughout their lives when he began talking turkey—both literally and metaphorically.

“In the next few minutes, I’m going to introduce to you the incredible world of neuroscience and social science and human happiness. And, if I do my job, you’re going to have a 401(k) plan for your happiness. Just like I have one for me,” Brooks said during a nearly hourlong discussion on campus Tuesday night.

The free presentation, which packed Knight Auditorium, was hosted by the Butler Institute for Free Enterprise Through Entrepreneurship.

Brooks, who writes a regular column for The Atlantic about happiness and loneliness in the pandemic era, went on to compare happiness to a well-balanced Thanksgiving meal of pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, and, of course, turkey.

“Now, why do I bring that up? Because that’s a good metaphor for happiness. All foods are made up of three micronutrients—fat, carbohydrates, and protein,” he said. “Happiness requires three macronutrients in abundance and balance. They are enjoyment, satisfaction, and purpose.”

The vivid Thanksgiving imagery captured the imagination of Amanda Blein, a prospective Babson student from Haiti who came to the event with her mother and sister.

“I never really thought about it like that, but when he said it, it made sense,” said Blein, who stuck around after the event to have a free copy of Brooks’ newest book signed. “We really need that balance of everything to have it together.”

Brooks spent much of his presentation breaking down those three key ingredients for happiness. Enjoyment, he said, is more than sheer pleasure, it’s a well-earned pleasant experience shared with those closest to you. While success, he said, is actually about wanting less. Otherwise, you’re constantly focusing on things you don’t have, instead of embracing the things you do.

“This will not come naturally,” Brooks said. He tries to cross off things from his so-called bucket list every year, not by doing them, but by letting them go. “I make a strategic plan to free myself from those attachments, and if you do this, it will change your life.”

This wasn’t the first time that Brooks’ work has been discussed on Babson’s campus. Andrew Corbett, the Butler Institute’s faculty director who introduced Brooks on Tuesday night, held a screening and student discussion about Brooks’ documentaryThe Pursuit, at the Sorenson Center for the Arts in 2020. The film details the positive role of free enterprise and capitalism in the fight against poverty.

Article courtesy of Babson College, by Hillary Chabot, April 21, 2022

Leave a Reply