11 Ways to Be Happier

Read the News

Don’t do this. Think about all the shit you read yesterday — did it affect you? No. Did you life your life differently because of it? No.

It won’t affect you anyway. This can mean news news, sports news, Twitter as news. Almost all external media that has some kind of “order by most recent and most popular”. You will need to get good at searching for what you want. To do that you need to avoid pre-packaged lists of media.

Realize that most of the time you are procrastinating when looking for “what’s going on”. What do you want the future to be like is a much more important question.

Work Smarter

You can waste a lot of time trying to figure out how to work smart. But it is almost always obvious how to work hard. “Just do it” is apt here. It is romantic to work smarter. It is probably better to become resourceful.

Would you rather be smart or hard working? Deeply think about this for a second? Then consider that if you are smart, but lazy you will probably get nothing done. Make no difference. If you work hard, but are even 10% smart, you will eventually figure it out and move forward.

Realize that most of the time you are procrastinating looking for a better way. The obstacle is the way. Execute violently.

Have a Prestigious Job

You may think that working for XYZ co and being a VP of powerfulness is what will get you to your place. Realize that most of the time you are pursuing some corporate role you are procrastinating from figuring out what you specifically would want. We all retire and leave our job behind, retiring to something someday. Following XYZ co’s playbook, will most certainly get you to XYZ co’s place. The odds of that being the place you want(ed) to be are just that — odds. Do not count on luck.

Get a Better Paying Job

While being payed more sounds great, it is often the slippery slope to never figuring out who your are. Do not depend on just one source of income. You are become beholden to a golden payroll god.

Having multiple sources of income is hard to do when you are first getting started. It is also hard to do once you are started, or better said easy to FORGET to do. Not having one income is a choice. But with only one person buying your groceries, they have control over you.

Realize that most of the time you spend reading news, looking for 11 ways to do things better – you could have been doing a project, learning a skill, and building a more robust life.

Be Incredible At 1 Thing

People will tell you that focus is the way to get ahead. A zen-like dedication to some art. Business strategy would ask “what is your core competency?”.

You can strive to be olympic level at one thing, but this is a recipe to have an important job (see above). And even Olympians hire coaches to be good at the things they aren’t.

Instead learn to sail on your wind. Find what is your current obsession and dive into it. Master yourself. Get incredible at something, but also be a renaissance man. Be someone who can either figure it out or find someone who can.

This will require something like spending a month of getting good at a new skill. And then repeating that every month for the next 3 years. Then you will have the “muscle” to do this for the rest of your life

Optimize Your Life

Stop looking for life hacks. Don’t buy new tools and toys that save you time. You already have enough time, you have just been wasting it with news, lack of execution, and by having someone else dictate how your time will be spend. Schedule your day with a set of goals, but make sure you make that schedule yourself. If you have a strong vision and good execution, being relentless is much more important than being optimal.

Accept Who You Are

When you play 5 card stud in Poker, do you take the cards given to you and do not trade them in? NO. You will need to swap out parts of your life to improve.

Where do you live? Is this an environment that everyday encourages you to get what you want?

Who do you spend time with? Do you admire them? Do they energeize you or take energy from you?

What are your weaknesses? How can you build systems or tools to avoid them.

How do you make your money? See the things above

What is your health like? see next

Those are really the only 5 things in life that matter. Assuming you count spirituality as spending time with self/others.

Go to the Gym

The definition of life is mobility. Focus on being mobile. Can you touch your toes? Do you get cramps? What things do you enjoy doing that you cannot do because your body isn’t “sure”. What are you afraid to do because you might get hurt? Then work on those things. Sitting in chairs and beds and lifting weights will not make you mobile, it will make you explode into. a mist of blood and tendons someday in the future.

Start with weight assisted stretching. It is easy to get going in the morning with a few stretches and a yoga mat. No equipment required. Just a wall, a mat, a cellphone, and maybe 2 bricks.

Then move onto physical therapy-like stuff. Push yourself to do lunges. Stair raises. Calf raises. Pushups. Again no equipment required.

Add in a cheap homegym. A set of resistance bands ($20) a 70-lb bag of sand ($7) and an empty keg shell ($40 deposit). You can fill the shell with water and do over head presses and get smoked. Flip some tires. Hit tires with a sledge hammer.

Play sports. You’ll get more cardio AND make friends.

Add in some olympic lifts. But don’t use those fucking nautilus machines unless you are recovering from an injury. You do not want to be weak, but first you do not want to be fragile.

Go to College and Get a Degree

Pay someone to talk to you and then give you a test about what they talked to you about. Be uncertain about how exactly this will benefit you practically speaking. Enjoy the camaraderie in the shared experience of abdicating your personal responsibility for your own future to a corporation.

Instead, find potholes and fill them. There are problems everywhere. Most job openings are really problem statements. I need someone who can x_y_z. If a job statement isn’t a problem statement, stay the fuck away.

If you don’t know how to do something, learn to “figure out how to figure it out”.

Follow Your Passion

Expect that whatever you do as a profession will poison that activity for you. Anyone who has had tried to have kids can tell you how scheduled and obligatory sex can take all the fun out of sex. And sex is fun, by biological design for everyone. Except when it is your job.

Find a good boss. Find teammates you respect. Try to get paid “enough” (3x your rent, ~$70k/yr). Then SAVE AND INVEST THAT MONEY. Save it so hard that one day you can start a business and get out of the “important job” trap.

Save it so hard that one day you can retire. That is the goal anyway right?

Save it so hard that you can take a lower paying job doing that thing you thought was your passion. Or work part time. So you can pursue your passion without having the pressure of needing to get raises and being liked by your boss.

Follow this List

Write your own fucking list. Take this as MY thoughts and experiences. A prompt for you to do your own thinking. Ignoring the news was #1 on here all along.

  • Turn off your TV. Throw it out of your house.
  • Uninstall whatever your news app is(are). Unsubscribe from the newspaper.
  • Track your net worth. This is your freedom meter. I use and recommend Personal Capital.
  • See if you can do the asian squat. If not, work to do in the next month.
  • Fix up your house this weekend. Learn to repair or paint something. If you rent, pretend you are learning to own a house.
  • Take a job on Upwork. Try to make $10/hr. This is getting paid to learn, not a replacement job. Save that money and invest it $VTI.