The Case Against Charity

Earlier this year the personal finance community got into a heated debate about charitable giving. The conversation kicked off with a thread of tweets from Tanja of Our Next Life.

Tanja’s thread was filled with research and nuance, but the big takeaway was basically that we fail to recognize when we are wealthy, and this leads to a scarcity mindset that, among other things, causes us to donate much less money than we are actually able.

This all seemed pretty uncontroversial to me. And yet, it led to a lot of pushback. Especially the idea that those of us with money should be donating more of it.

I wanted to understand why, so I asked. Continue reading “The Case Against Charity”

How to Get Healthier

We’ve spent the last few weeks reviewing what we’ve learned around these parts in 2018.

We started with some big picture lessons on life planning, personal finance basics, and time management and productivity. Then we went into happiness and the intersection of money and happiness.

June was an exploration into how to live a healthier life. It was also a bit different from our other topics. Continue reading “How to Get Healthier”

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?”

Lead With Love

Our look at happiness through philosophy has led us to spend a lot of time with the ancient Stoic philosophers and today will be no different.

However, today we’re visiting a topic that is widely covered in all sorts of philosophies and even (or especially) religions.

Today’s topic is the idea that we are all connected, so we must lead with love and be kind to others. Continue reading “Lead With Love”

Stop Reacting. Start Responding.

We’ve been spending the month of July exploring what we can learn from philosophy to live a better life.

Much of what we’ve learned so far has been about adjusting our outlook and mindset in order to get more out of whatever situation we happen to be in at any given time. I want to stick with that theme today, but I’d like to zoom in on one particular issue that tends to be problematic for people.

If we want to live a happier life, we need to recognize the difference between responding and reacting. Continue reading “Stop Reacting. Start Responding.”

Finding Serenity

We’re spending the month of July looking for keys to happiness in philosophy. Today, we’re going to explore one specific quote.

There is often a great power in quotes.

When someone can distill an idea or a philosophy into a short, memorable collection of words, it can become a kind of mantra for people. It can be a reminder of how they want to live their life and how to be their best selves.

One example of this is the Serenity Prayer. Continue reading “Finding Serenity”

Feeling Less Negative

In our quest to explore a new topic for improving our lives every month this year, we’ve already touched on happiness twice.

First, we looked at the science of happiness. Building upon that foundation, we then looked at the intersection of money and happiness.

These dives into the world of happiness were based on analyses of statistics and studies. But not all of happiness can be summed up with numbers.

So this month we’re going to move into the more esoteric world of happiness and philosophy. Continue reading “Feeling Less Negative”

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”