Comfort is Not Happiness

I spend a lot of time reading, thinking, and writing about happiness.

For years before I started writing here, I was just looking for ways to improve my own life. I wanted to understand why people who seemed like they had everything were still unhappy.

I wanted to find the traps that others fell into so that I could avoid them.

It is quite clear to me at this point that most people are not as happy as they could be. 

And I believe that the main culprit is mistaking comfort for happiness.

Continue reading “Comfort is Not Happiness”

Does the Meaning of Life Matter?

One fast track to a happy life is meaning.

Research repeatedly shows that individuals with a sense of meaning in their lives are happier than everybody else.

A sense of meaning or purpose gives us a feeling that we are part of something larger than ourselves. This, in turn, fuels self-worth, a sense of identity, and a feeling of community and belonging.

All of these are traits that boost happiness, so you can see how meaning can be a super booster.

So all we need to do is figure out the meaning of life.

Continue reading “Does the Meaning of Life Matter?”

Make Your Life More Like a Video Game

When I was growing up, the consensus of the intellectual crowd was that video games were bad for you.

No good could come of sitting in front of a screen instead of going outside. Video games were going to turn our brains into mush.

In some more extreme cases, violent video games were blamed for school shootings.

Since then, however, there has been a quiet revolution. Continue reading “Make Your Life More Like a Video Game”

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”

Is It Worth It? (Why I Save So Much, Part 4)

Over the last couple weeks I’ve run through a lot of my philosophy behind saving and investing. I discussed that I invest at least as much as I spend every month because I want to buy options for my life, because I see the value of labor declining over time, and because I don’t want to need to start a new career path if mine gets automated out of existence.

The big question for most people at this point is: “Is it worth it?” Continue reading “Is It Worth It? (Why I Save So Much, Part 4)”

On Quitting and Time Management

I debated quitting this blog recently.

When I started writing last summer, I put some rules in place. I assumed that there would be some valleys, and I didn’t want to give up when things got tough.

First, I agreed that I would write for at least a year before I reassessed. That year isn’t up until July.

A few months in, I also signed up to attend FinCon (the annual financial writer/blogger/podcaster convention) in 2017. FinCon isn’t until the end of October, so I figured I would push through until at least then to meet and learn from some of the great people that I’ve connected with in this community.

I took both of those steps before the election. Continue reading “On Quitting and Time Management”

You Always Have a Choice

You always have a choice.

This is not an empty maxim. Not an inspirational quote.

It is a fact of life. And recognizing this fact will make you happier and allow you to live a better life.

There are times when things happen to us that are outside of our control. But it is always our choice how we respond (or react) to them. Continue reading “You Always Have a Choice”

Respond. Don’t React.

Usually when I think about articles to write, I start with the research.

My articles on happiness stem from research in positive psychology or from reading different philosophies of life.

When I write about money it is based in studies and statistics and calculation.

Today, I want to talk about something that I don’t have research on. Instead, this is something that I have used in my life for years and have found very helpful.

It’s a sort of mantra. A reminder to myself when things get stressful.

Respond. Don’t react. Continue reading “Respond. Don’t React.”

Lessons Learned from Lives Well-Lived

On Tuesday I wrote about the recent death of my grandfather. I was planning to write and post that article earlier, but could not convince myself to write after that event was followed up a week later by the death of my other grandfather.

After going most of my life without having to deal with many deaths of loved ones, there have been quite a few packed into the last few years.

This has been hard. I continue to remind myself that death is what gives meaning to life. It is natural and necessary. It is important.

It still sucks. Continue reading “Lessons Learned from Lives Well-Lived”

Death and Happiness

My grandfather passed away recently. It has been a tough few years for my family, but we have felt a lot of love and support from each other as well as from our community and network of friends.

My cousin gave an excellent eulogy at the funeral. One thing that he noted is that Papa has been insisting that every encounter with him could be the last for years. For at least the last decade, he has insisted that he is almost out of time. Continue reading “Death and Happiness”