How to Buy Happiness

Our year end recap continues today with the articles published in May.

After learning about life planning, personal finance basics, and time management and productivity, we started exploring the world of happiness.

Following our introduction to happiness in April, we went on to spend the month of May diving into the intersection of money and happiness. Continue reading “How to Buy Happiness”

How to Be Happier

For the last couple weeks we’ve been revisiting the themes that we’ve spent 2018 exploring.

We have already reviewed what we learned about life planning, personal finance basics, and time management and productivity.

Today we’re getting into the good stuff. Today we learn about happiness. Continue reading “How to Be Happier”

Better Life – Third Quarter Update

2018 is a year of self-improvement.

I’m spending each month exploring a different area of life and figuring out how best to improve and optimize.

As of the last quarterly update we had covered life planning, personal finance basics, time management, the science of happiness, money and happiness, and health.

Since then, we’ve added philosophy and happiness, investing and the economy, and relationships.

Let’s check in for the third quarter update. Continue reading “Better Life – Third Quarter Update”

Does Marriage Make You Happier?

We know how important relationships are to our happiness.

Given that our closest relationship is with our spouse, our spouse (or lack thereof) should be a really important factor in our happiness, right?

This seemed like the obvious place to start in understanding relationships and happiness, so I dove into the research on marriage. The data on whether marriage makes you happier is…a bit complicated. Continue reading “Does Marriage Make You Happier?”

Avoiding Disappointment and Recovering From Loss

Last week our journey into happiness and philosophy took us into the question of why bad things happen to good people. We learned that these bad things are a chance for us to overcome adversity and become stronger.

Which is all well and good, but doesn’t necessarily help us deal with the sense of loss or disappointment that can often accompany the bad things that happen to us.

For advice on that front, we’ll return to the Stoic philosopher Seneca. Continue reading “Avoiding Disappointment and Recovering From Loss”

Better Life – Second Quarter Update

2018 is a year of self-improvement.

I’m spending each month exploring a different area of life and figuring out how best to improve and optimize.

So far we’ve covered life planning, personal finance basics, time management, the science of happiness, money and happiness, and health.

We’re halfway through the year, so it’s time for a quarterly check in. Continue reading “Better Life – Second Quarter Update”

Getting More Happiness out of your Stuff

When looking into the relationship between money and happiness, as we are this month, there are a number of different approaches to take.

First, we can get a big picture overview. We did that last week when we looked at the overall relationship between money and happiness in our culture and how poverty can drastically decrease our happiness.

We can also look at the science to figure out better ways to spend our money to buy more happiness. We’ll be starting down that path next week.

This week, however, we are looking at how to get more happiness out of the money that we already spend.

On Tuesday we looked into getting the most out of our sporadic smaller purchases. Today we’re going to look into how to change our mindset to get more happiness out of the things we already have. Continue reading “Getting More Happiness out of your Stuff”

Money CAN Buy Happiness

Here at Optimize Your Life we are spending 2018 systematically working through different topics in an attempt to design and live a better life. For May, we will be exploring the topic of money and happiness.

People love to tell you that money can’t buy happiness.

Even personal finance writers, who are specifically writing about money, say this all the time. I saw another personal finance blog just last week telling people that they can’t buy happiness and shouldn’t even try.

These people are well-meaning. They are right that money won’t solve all of your problems and that being rich won’t magically make you happy.

But they are wrong that money can’t buy happiness. Continue reading “Money CAN Buy Happiness”

The Shortest Path to Happiness

Here at Optimize Your Life we are spending the month of April exploring the science behind happiness.

We’ve already explored how much of happiness is in our control and last week we learned how hedonic adaptation makes many of our happiness gains fleeting.

The conclusion of that article included a call to focus on the 40% of happiness that derives from our thoughts and actions rather than our stuff and situation.

But what if there was a way to focus on our thoughts and actions in a way that also fought back against hedonic adaptation? Continue reading “The Shortest Path to Happiness”

As Happy as an Old Person

As I’ve noted before, I’ve done a lot of reading on happiness. One consistent finding of studies across the spectrum is that older people are happier than the rest of us.

Despite the declining health that accompanies old age, study after study finds that happiness increases into our senior years.

The freedom of childhood is less happy. The health of young adulthood doesn’t compare. The financial stability of middle age doesn’t do it for us.

So what is it about seniors that makes them happy? And what can we learn from them?

Continue reading “As Happy as an Old Person”