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Why So Many Smart People Aren't Happy

Irrelevant criteria

We know what will make us happy, but we don't know how to measure it. We measure our success by using social comparisons, like a salary, or with awards.

Because people tend to use vague criteria, they are never satisfied when they reach it and always want more. This leads to an unsustainable source of happiness.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Why So Many Smart People Aren't Happy

Why So Many Smart People Aren't Happy

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/04/why-so-many-smart-people-arent-happy/479832/

theatlantic.com

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Key Ideas

Things that make us happy

  • Having meaningful social relationships
  • Being very good at something you do
  • Having the freedom to make life decisions independently.

Three things that don't necessarily contribute to your happiness:

  • Being better educated
  • Being richer
  • Being more accomplished

Irrelevant criteria

We know what will make us happy, but we don't know how to measure it. We measure our success by using social comparisons, like a salary, or with awards.

Because people tend to use vague criteria, they are never satisfied when they reach it and always want more. This leads to an unsustainable source of happiness.

Do what you enjoy

If you do what you enjoy and are naturally good at, and if you focus on it long enough, you will probably advance toward mastery anyway, and fame and money will be a byproduct.

Scarcity vs abundance oriented

We view the world in one of two ways:

  • Scarcity-minded approach: My win will make someone else lose. The scarcity mindset plays an important role when we have to fight for our survival.
  • Abundance-oriented approach: There is room for everybody to grow. Doing something meaningful, instead of focussing on a goal, contributes to a happier life overall.

Tying happiness to outcomes

It is not good to tie your happiness to outcomes since that can affect your happiness.

Overcoming some obstacles might pose more obstacles, while other events that we thought would be bad for us might make us grow and learn.

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Frugality

Frugality means resisting the temptation to spend more than you earn.

Discipline

Self-made millionaires choose moderation over extremes. They often buy used cars, don't live in the most expensive houses and don't try to time the investment market.

Hard Work

A defining characteristic of many millionaires are their willingness to work hard and stick it out in high-paying careers until they are financially independent.

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Benjamin Franklin
“Happiness consists more in small conveniences or pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortun..."
Benjamin Franklin
The happiest countries
Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden are ranked among the top happiest places in the world. 

Their population enjoys a healthy work-life balance, high standards of living with less pressure, less stress, and more time for everything they enjoy and love doing.

"Lagom"

It's part of the Swedish culture. It means “Not too little. Not too much. Just right.

The concept encourages an overarching balance across our lives: everything in moderation.

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Defining "Success"

“Success” isn’t just having lots of money. 

Success is continuously improving who you are, how you live, how you serve, and how you relate.

Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.

Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.
Putting "first things" first

Start the day with your #1 priority.

Getting up early isn’t enough. You need to put first things first. When you put your top priorities first, then you ensure they make it into the bucket of your day. After your main priorities have been completed, the rest will fill the gaps.

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