What I’ve Learned About Happiness

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We’re going by way of a psychological well being disaster.

According to a 2016 examine, 17% of millennials endure from melancholy. 14% of them endure from nervousness.

That examine is from a number of years in the past.

What do you assume goes to occur to these numbers as a result of Pandemic?

Ten million folks have filed for unemployment in American prior to now two weeks.43% of small companies could shut down completely in the event that they don’t get sufficient assist.Countless folks should take care of the loss of life of a beloved one from the virus. They received’t be capable of give them a correct funeral due to keep of house orders.Social distancing implies that persons are not getting sufficient daylight, train, or seeing their family members.

Depression and suicide charges are anticipated to extend. This is a tragedy.

I’ve been learning happiness for the previous decade and utilizing myself as a Guinea Pig.

I’m going to share with you some large concepts about happiness, and a few of the techniques that I’ve carried out in my very own life.

A fast disclaimer:

Happiness is complicated, and this text meant to be a one measurement matches all answer. If you’re depressed and in a horrible scenario, then I encourage you to hunt some skilled assist. My coronary heart goes out to you. 

Five Big Ideas About Happiness

Let’s discuss some large image concepts earlier than we drilled down into the main points.

Progress is Happiness

I lived in Thailand and Vietnam for a number of years (2010-2013). It had all the time been my aim after studying The Four Hour Workweek. But after residing there, I discovered myself turning into more and more sad.

I couldn’t work out why. I wished this dream.

Long story brief, I spotted that it was as a result of I wasn’t making progress. I wasn’t studying anymore.

It was exhausting for me to remain pushed in that atmosphere. I simply wished to journey and social gathering on a regular basis.

It wasn’t till I moved again to America and set some targets for myself that I felt alive once more.

You need to be sincere with your self.

Maybe you’re residing the life that your mother and father wished, but it surely isn’t what you need. What do YOU need?

Progress is horrifying as a result of failure’s part of it. I see folks misinform themselves on a regular basis. They follow what’s comfy and attempt to persuade themselves that that is what they wished.

When we make progress, we present ourselves that we’re extra highly effective than what we believed.

There’s who you at the moment are.
There’s who you genuinely need to be.

Happiness is about bridging that hole.

Does Money Equal Happiness?

I keep in mind one weekend after I was 19 years previous. It was a standard weekend. I went out to eat with my associates and I paid for my fuel. I spent cash like regular.

I logged into my checking account the next Wednesday. I miscalculated how a lot cash was in my checking account, and the overdraft costs got here. That $1 vitality drink grew to become $33 with overdraft costs. My financial institution stability was $-600 after I was solely making $60 per week on the fuel station.

My chest began hurting, and I had bother respiratory. The room began spinning. I had my first, and solely nervousness assault.

I do know what it’s prefer to be stressed due to cash. It fucking sucks.

Money doesn’t instantly deliver happiness. However, having cash can stop some unhappiness from taking place. Money offers you choices.

Imagine if I used to be a server who simply misplaced his job. I’d in all probability need to get a job as a Uber Driver or DoorDash driver. I’d then be exposing myself to the Coronavirus each day. I’d be stressed ready for the stimulus test to come back in, whereas my Landlord is harassing me for hire I can’t afford.

Just typing this out is stressing me out.

The pandemic is exposing the category divide on this world.

Be cautious of anybody that retains saying “Money doesn’t bring happiness” or “Money doesn’t matter” is advantage signaling.

They’re taking part in a special sort of standing sport. They’re competing with “I’m better than you because I don’t care about money.”

Happiness isn’t a Destination

Society has taught us that happiness is a vacation spot.

You spend 14 years learning to get good grades.
Good grades result in college.
A superb college results in job.
Working exhausting at your job results in a promotion.
The promotion pays you sufficient to afford the automobiles, holidays, and homes you’ve all the time dreamed of.
Now you’re comfortable.

Life doesn’t work that means.

Think concerning the final time you purchased a Phone. Do you keep in mind how excited you have been? I used to be pumped for 2 weeks when the iPhone X got here out. And I used to be comfortable for a number of days as soon as I acquired my palms on it.

Peak experiences could cause an explosion of happiness, however we are likely to revert again to the place we have been earlier than.

But then my happiness ranges went again to regular.

This has occurred with each different peak expertise in my life.

I had all these vital targets in my life that I ended up attaining reminiscent of quitting my job and hitting some monetary milestones.

Do what occurred?

There’s an explosion of happiness for a number of days, after which the whole lot goes again to regular. I tailored.

I had essentially the most vital ah-ha second after I learn the ebook “The Happiness Advantage” by Shawn Anchor. He says that we’ve it backward.

You ought to concentrate on being comfortable first, and that happiness creates a bonus that will help you obtain your targets.

Being a happier particular person can enhance your productiveness by 10-12%, in response to analysis.

Being a happier particular person makes you extra enticing. An individual that’s all the time bitching about life isn’t nice to be round.

Once once more, concentrate on being happier. That will result in extra success.

Your Relationships are the 80/20 of Happiness

There are a whole lot of lever factors you may enhance to be happier. The greatest ones all revolve across the relationships in your life.

Relationships with your pals, your accomplice, and your loved ones.

Have you ever been in a poisonous relationship?

It doesn’t matter for those who’re successful in any respect different elements of your life – that relationship will drag you down.

One level that I need to deliver up is that it’s okay to finish relationships with folks. We perceive this relating to love. If you and your accomplice don’t work out, then you must finish it. You and they are going to be happier with different folks.

Why doesn’t this apply to friendships and even household?

John may’ve been an incredible pal to you in highschool. But now it has been 20 years since and also you two don’t “click” anymore. You two don’t have that a lot in widespread anymore. In reality, you’re discovering that he’s unfavourable on a regular basis. The solely factor holding the friendship collectively is the recollections of the previous.

This is the place I exploit Zero Based Decision Making.

Ask your self this, “If I met John right now, would we grow to be associates?” This clears your thoughts of the sunk prices that might be weighing you down.

What for those who’re in a scenario the place it’s troublesome to chop ties? The most troublesome is with mother and father.

Just a few years in the past I requested if a pal was going house to see his mother and father for the Holidays. He stated no. He hasn’t seen or spoken to his mother and father in a number of years.

I couldn’t think about this. I come from a tradition that preaches that household is the whole lot.

Friend: “It’s easy to say that family is everything when you come from a good family. But what if you weren’t as lucky. What if your family was manipulative, toxic, and narcissistic? Why would you force a relationship with people when your happiness is 10x better without them?”

Someone else’s happiness is not your duty. You ought to assist folks, however don’t assist to the purpose the place it causes your personal struggling. 

Relationships additionally apply to Social Media.

Social media has us extra linked than ever. I took a Four-year break from Facebook, and I’ve not too long ago began utilizing it once more.

Every time I logged in it was like my newsfeed was filled with landmines:

The individuals who didn’t take the Pandemic significantly and have been spreading misinformationConspiracy theories. Bill Gates brought about the Pandemic? What the fuck?The Flexers. Every standing is them bragging about how superb their life is as an alternative of truly having fun with it.People always attempting to promote me one thing.

Every time I logged into Facebook for a couple of minutes, I’d depart unhappier!

So I spent a while curating my Facebook a number of months in the past:

I unfriended folks.I blocked some peopleI get pleasure from being associates with some folks, however I don’t get pleasure from their updates. I conceal them from my newsfeed.I muted some folks from messaging me.If all that feels like ton of labor, you may eliminate the Newsfeed utterly with a Chrome extension

Don’t let Zuckerberg’s engineers have a lot energy over your thoughts.

You a Happiness Set Point

Our happiness modifications on a everyday foundation, but it surely tends to remain round a sure vary referred to as the setpoint.

We all have a “default” stage of happiness. This is named the set level.

Your happiness can change on a everyday foundation, but it surely sometimes hovers round a sure vary.

What determines your happiness set level? It’s a mixture of genetics, circumstances, and actions.

One principle on happiness that I’ve learn is that:

50% of your happiness is genetic and as a result of complicated chemical interactions in your mind. Seratonin, dopamine, and so forth.10% is because of your circumstances reminiscent of your job, home, relationship.40% is in your management. These are your every day actions.

One principle states that our happiness set level is 50% genetic, 10% circumstances, and 40% of our actions

My speculation is that specializing in the suitable every day actions means you may enhance your general happiness.

The subsequent part will go into what these “actions” are.

Systemizing Habits for Happiness

Working out as soon as isn’t going to alter your life. Working out three occasions per week for ten years will.

Reading a ebook as soon as isn’t going to alter your life.
Reading a ebook per week for a yr will.

I can let you know what actions will trigger you to grow to be happier. The actions are ineffective for those who solely do them as soon as.

You want to show these actions right into a predictable system.

You CAN enhance your happiness set level by implementing actions and techniques.

The easiest method is to create weekly and every day routines.


Every morning I write my three most essential outcomes for the day. I additionally write three issues that I’m grateful for. I problem myself to by no means reuse the identical gratitude.I found right now that I’m grateful for 2-factor authentication. I’d hate for something I’ve to be hacked. I’m grateful for the pc geniuses who considered this and created it!I am going outdoors for a stroll. It’s my means of getting daylight in.I meditate for 20 minutes each morning. I set a timer utilizing my Amazon echo. I’ve used apps prior to now, however I don’t like turning my cellphone on within the morning.


I am going outdoors for a stroll once more. I really like taking walks.I attempt to follow conscious consuming throughout lunch. Not everybody’s fortunate sufficient to have lunch. It’s superb how many individuals labored to provide this lunch.


I train. It was once Brazilian Jiujitsu earlier than social distancing. But now I’m doing mobility workouts at house.I’ve an intensive night routine to assist me get higher sleep. I had horrible sleep the opposite evening and I used to be cranky your entire day.At the tip of the day, I fee my happiness on a scale of 1 to 10. I spend a couple of minutes reflecting on why I gave the rating.I cook dinner each evening. Everyone wants a type of inventive output. Mine is cooking.


We go to the native park each Sunday to get some nature time in.I nurture relationships. I see my household. I name and ship memes to associates to remain in contact.Plan. I love planning. I plan the upcoming week. I attempt to predict surprises.

Quarterly Routines:

I donate cash to causes that I care about.I declutter.I take a 2 day journey on my own someplace native to do some quarterly planning. I take a break from electronics and spend time in nature.

These are a few of the routines that I’ve created for myself.

It’s easy.

Figure out what makes you cheerful. Create a system to do extra of it.

Figure out what makes you sad. Create techniques to do much less of it.

Your Happiness is Everything

At one level in my life, cash was the first metric I used to maintain monitor of the “score” in my life. I felt that the extra money I made, the happier I’d be.

Eventually, I spotted that the 2 aren’t as correlated as I believed. Instead, I began optimizing for happiness as an alternative.

I really like the Marie Kondo philosophy of asking if one thing sparks pleasure.

Someone needs to have a espresso assembly with me. Does it spark pleasure? No. Then I don’t do it.

Someone needs me to talk at their occasion. They’re providing to pay me. Does it spark pleasure? No. Then I don’t do it.

Some of you on the market in all probability have Superman Complex. It’s the place you are feeling accountable for another person’s happiness. You see that another person isn’t doing too properly and you’re taking it upon your self to “fix it.”

I do know that feeling all too properly (Why do you assume I’m nonetheless running a blog, It’s me serving to folks at scale)

I keep in mind watching a security video on an airplane. If there’s an incident, it’s worthwhile to put the masks on your self first earlier than you assist others.

If you need to assist others, then concentrate on your self. Be a mannequin first. You can’t drive somebody to alter earlier than they’re prepared.

Photo by Oliver Sjöström from Pexels

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