The Happiness Report

Free Ebook: 16 Happiness Strategies That Work

In this free 45-page report, you'll discover:

  • The 5-Minute a Day Activity That Can Boost Your Long-Term Well-Being by Over 10%
  • The Happiness Basics That You've Been Skipping Over
  • The Most Effective Strategies For Permanently Increasing Your Happiness
  • And much, much more!

When I was 16, I had the craziest summer of my life.

I woke up in the middle of the night, my heart pounding and my palms sweating.

Why oh why? Why had she broken up with me? I want her back!

Walking, talking, working, studying – whatever I was doing, she would pop back into my head. I called, texted, and banged on her door. She told me she never wanted to see me again.

I was a man boy with love spurned. Woe was me. Not.

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Meditation is HARD.

Keeping still and staying focused is so unnatural that most who give meditation a try don’t keep it up.

So it’s important to know:

  • Does it work?
  • Better than other techniques?
  • How quickly?
  • Is one type better than another?

If we meditate for 50 hours but see only small benefits, well… we would be better off spending our time on other happiness hacks.

To answer those questions I looked at three meta-analyses, which integrated the results of almost 20,000 meditation studies.

What I found surprised the bonkers out of me.

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Over a person’s lifetime, how much do you expect that their happiness will increase?

Most people I’ve asked seem to think that the answer is ‘A LOT’.

Sure, there’ll be tough times and the occasional sadness, but as they accomplish and accumulate, their happiness will go up and up and up.

FALSE.

Most people die a few percentage points happier than they were as children. Marriage, employment, friendship, growth… all it results in is a few percentage points of change.

No surprise. Happiness is counter-intuitive.

One study tracked the same individuals over the span of 20 years. At the end, most were just a small bit happier than they were at the start.

But there were exceptions! Their baseline level of happiness increase by 20, 30, even 50% over the course of those 20 years.

Those exceptions were few, with less than 5% of the people studied showing changes of that magnitude. But they existed.

You can choose to follow the whims of your desire. You can choose to follow the idealizations of your culture. You’ll end up like the 95% who ended up just a bit happier than they started.

Or you can follow the exceptions. Act with intention, informed by science. End up 50% happier.

Here are 54 things you can do to be more like them:
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The 6 Simplifications of Positive Psychology – The Hot Mess of Measuring Happiness

October 1, 2013

An assumption underlying the science of positive psychology is that happiness can be measured. Gratitude journals increase well-being… Money does little for happiness… Positivity can prevent divorce… Yelp is more trustworthy than your brain… Buying many small items is better than buying a few large things… Prove that assumption false, and hundreds of research findings […]

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The World’s Best (Free) Guide to Goal Setting

July 9, 2013

Dream big dreams; only big dreams have the power to move men’s souls. -Marcus Aurelius, Emperor of Rome It’s a paradox. It’s the big goals that excite us and get us to stop hitting the snooze button. They make us feel alive. They make the boring interesting, and the frustrating exciting. But it’s the big […]

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Time or Money? Lessons Learned from Sleeping with a Stranger

March 26, 2013
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I just got back from a ten week journey through India. It started out as a two week sightseeing trip with the family, but my mother country had different plans for me. It was day two, and we had just gotten back from viewing the sights of Delhi – an ancient fort, a modern bazaar, […]

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Money Secret #4 – Delight Is In The Details

March 2, 2013
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The last time I was on a date, things got awkward. In itself, nothing new – on my best behavior, I’m unique. Loosened up by alcohol, I turn a bit weird. It started off normal. Following my own advice, we were eating at the highest rated Italian restaurant in New York City. I hadn’t had […]

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There’s More to Life Than Happiness – But That Doesn’t Make Wanting It Stupid or Selfish

February 12, 2013
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The year is 2150. By some miracle, you’re still alive. The Happiness Machine has finally been invented. At a cost of just $100, you can get one for yourself. It’s like a non-stop dose of heroine, ecstasy and marijuana combined, but without any of the negative side-effects – no brain damage, no poisoning, no psychological impairment. […]

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Money Secret #3: The Stoic’s Guide To Buying Happiness

January 18, 2013
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All action is based on prediction. Every time you do something, its because you or your subconscious brain has predicted that doing so will leave you better off than the alternative. Decide to stay with your romantic partner? It’s because you predict they’ll make you feel better than being alone or with someone else. Spend […]

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