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Interview: Hugh Hewitt on The Happiest Life


In order to write his latest book, Hugh Hewitt looked back over his 25-year broadcast career and 10,000 or so interviews to “reverse engineer” the lives of the people who in his estimation “had the happiest demeanor and the most ebullient step and what was it about them that made for the common denominators of their attitude towards living,” Hugh tells me in our new interview, discussing  The Happiest Life: Seven Gifts, Seven Givers, and the Secret to Genuine Success. “And so whether it was George W. Bush or Julie Andrews or, you know, Tony Blair, or a Pulitzer winner, like Lawrence Wright, who was happy and why?  It’s a pretty good question, actually, to pursue for anyone.”

In the introduction to his new book, Hugh wrote:

My life is now fifty-eight years along, an age by which my two grandmothers had both waved good-bye to this world. Fifty-eight was barely the third quarter for my Gramps, A. T. Rohl, who made it on his own wheels and in his own house to the age of 101. My other grandfather, for whom I was named and to whom I owe a few thousand chuckles from long-distance operators and call-center handlers, made it to ninety-one. Whether I have inherited my grandmothers’ brevity genes or A. T.’ s and Grandfather Hugh’s long-distance DNA remains to be seen; but in either case, it is time to write down my observations on the secrets to being, for the most part, happy.

Let me hasten to explain that “for the most part.” As you might have guessed, it is a key qualifier, a very important one. Nobody gets out of here without pain or sorrow along the way. “Nobody has the perfect package,” said my pal Coach Jerry again and again, who like all coaches was a font of condensed wisdom, repeated often. This hard reality about the inevitability of hardship and grief is crucial to the happiness that the seven gifts make possible. Which gifts? I’m coming to those.

As I noted above, I began this book with my three children in mind, with the hope that it would contribute to their happiness and their children’s. It is about the seven genuine gifts that they can give and receive from each other and from others— especially their own spouses and children— and why I believe the act of giving those gifts produces happiness.

During our interview, Hugh will discuss:

● Why he wants fellow talk radio host and happiness author Dennis Prager arrested!

● What role does religion play in achieving happiness?

● Does Hugh know people who are happy without faith? (Answer: Yes.)

● Was former President Richard Nixon, Hugh’s early former employer, a happy man?

● What is the relationship of over-diagnosis of mental illness and happiness?

● Is being happy hindered by a societal prejudice against that simple positive emotion?

● Who is the least emotional politician on the world stage? (And no, it’s not Obama.)

● What’s Hugh’s early prognosis for the GOP and November of 2014?

● The origins and meaning of Hugh's catchphrase, "Morning Glory, Evening Grace"...finally revealed!

And much more. Click here to listen:

(18 minutes and 40 seconds long; 17.0 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 3.20 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.