Category: Happiness
If you could only read 10 books to live the wisest life, what would they be?

If You Could Only Read 10 Books For The Rest Of Your Life, Read These. Here’s Why

If you could only read 10 books for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Today, I took a stab at answering this tough question. I thought it’s a great one because the limitation it places on you really forces you to cut the fat.

Obviously, this list will differ if your goals are different. I tried to answer the question by targeting books that will make you wiser, happier, richer, healthier, and more fulfilled when you die. Therefore, these books are not the best for solving niche goals, like becoming a top athlete, famous musician, or self-actualized individual.

As far as why you should listen to me, I’ve gone through hundreds of books and have a much more thorough knowledge of the self-help book universe than 99% of people alive.

There were plenty of books I wanted to add to this list that unfortunately didn’t make the cut. But if you’re strapped for time, this list will do you good. Click play on the player below to listen to my podcast episode and which books I chose:

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Will's Personal Development Podcast

Will's Personal Development Podcast

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The Less Things More Happiness Challenge Day 6

It’s the second-to-last day of my challenge! For the past few days of this challenge, I have been using science-backed happiness-generating practices to bring me the most long term happiness. This time, I want to do something different.

Since it is almost the last day of the challenge, I want to try a more mainstream society approach to what brings happiness. According to the book Mate by Tucker Max and Dr. Miller, you can improve your happiness by filling your day with lots of tiny activities that bring happiness.

Keep Reading

Views – 54

How to obtain happiness in life

How To Obtain Happiness in Life: 17 Science-Backed Happiness Hacks

Are you sick of people’s opinions on what brings you happiness?

I used to be quite unhappy and confused on how to fix this. I talked to everyone from relatives to religious people and consumed everything I could find online about the topic.

But I just wasn’t sure if it was the truth or false theories. I wanted rigorous, tested research that I could trust. And that’s when I turned to science and books. Fortunately, I found the answer to my questions…

Keep Reading

Views – 781

Less Things, More Happiness Challenge Day 5

It is Day 5 of my “Less things, more happiness” challenge.

As mentioned in previous days, I wanted to volunteer to experiment with this science-backed happiness-boosting practice. After many weeks looking for something I’d like, I finally went through with it.

I spent a good portion of a day volunteering my time for a beer festival. The festival was not charitable. If it was, they did not make it the main selling point. This was a good fit for me because I am selfish person.

Although I would like to think I am kind and selfless at times, I rarely do things outside of my own interest. I learned this by being brutally honest with myself and examining my behavior. Therefore, other volunteering events would have been too much of a stretch for me.

Serving food to the homeless just would feel like too much of a chore. I wish I was a bit more kind, but that is just how it is. Maybe in the future, I will try a volunteer event that is more selfless.

As for my experience during the event, I had a decent amount of fun. I was assigned to pour beer into people’s cups. There was a large truck parked behind me and around twelve taps of different types of beer built into the side of the truck. I enjoyed the process of seeing tangible progress. I probably poured over three hundreds glasses of beer that day. And as the day progressed, I got faster at pouring.

Looking back on the event, I am not sure if I felt happier after it. There may have been a slight increase in happiness, but I was definitely not overflowing with joy.

It may be because I knew the event was commercial and so the benefit I was giving people did not really seem like much. They had already paid for the event. Having said that, I did meet a nice elderly couple who volunteered with me. They said they had done this every year for years because they liked the community and wanted to give back. So maybe there is some value to volunteering for a corporate event.

The other volunteers I worked with were all friendly and upbeat. It was a cool little community. And it was fun seeing so many young guys so excited to drink endless beer, especially since I was the one who could give it to them.

In the future, I would like to try a purely selfless volunteer event like helping homeless people to see if there is a greater impact on happiness. I will have to work my way up to it though. I have done it before though and suspect there not to be a huge difference (at least in the short term). I did spend time with old people in a retirement home when I was young and I do not remember being that much happier having done it. I remember getting a bored after listening to one person talk for a reaaallly long time. Some of the old folk there really are bored.

When I get to that age, I want to make sure to be like Warren Buffett and other old entrepreneurs. They have a career, lifestyle, and network of friends that they love and love them back. They have so much fun, even in old age. They do not have to wait for someone to come visit them every few weeks.

The final notable was the mean lady. Towards the start of the day, I did not know you had to pour beer in a special way. You have to tilt the bottle almost sideways to let the foam pour out or 80% of the cup will be foam. I did not know this so I handed this lady a glass of foam. She gave me a nasty look and said something like, “You obviously do not know what you are doing.”

One of the volunteers kindly explained the process to me and the lady demanded that someone else pour for her. I would have felt a lot worse a couple years ago, but meditation, improving empathy, and studying successful people has helped. I understand how she might feel about poor service after paying real money for an event. I also realized this was a minor incident and I was still healthy. Nothing had actually hurt me unless I let the words affect me. I put my ego aside because logically, I was a beginner. Quickly, I moved on from it.

Hours later, I had gotten the hang of pouring to the point where one person told me I was the fastest beer pourer out of several volunteers. Another volunteer who just arrived thought I had been doing this for ages. The same lady came up in line and I tried to help her. She did not give me eye contact and told me she wanted someone else to pour for her.

This did not affect me that much (though it did affect me slightly). I am still not to the point of perfection where it does not affect me at all. I do not know if that is humanly possible, but it does seem like I am moving in the right direction and can improve even more.

After my reflection, here are the key takeaways (which might help you on your happiness journey):

  • A change of attitude to enjoy and appreciate the mundane things in life more. After reflecting on my childhood visit to a retirement home, I was reminded of Dan Sullivan. He is a successful entrepreneur and podcaster. When he was young, he had a lot of time to develop his conversation skills with people who were over sixty years old. Rather than be the guy who clearly does not want to be there, I believe I can have more fun and improve myself even in boring situations. Don’t disregard elderly women, for example. Many of them used to be pretty girls at one point.
  • Loosen your expectations. I think going into an event thinking it will be lots of fun or guarantee you lots of happiness can lead to disappointments. Unless you can consistently find stuff that tickles your fancy.
  • Don’t let small things get you down.
  • Feel out what is fun for you and move towards it. This event helped me feel out what I enjoy most and it taught me that I am probably not going to have the most fun in the world getting drunk based on my personality and interests. Nonetheless, I did have some fun and it was a lot more interesting than sitting at home bored.
  • Selfless volunteering (that is charity based rather than commercial) may lead to more happiness?
  • You may not see short-term results of happiness exercises, but they may come over the long term (months out)?

Fun facts of the day:

  1. I cut my fingers twice (on the outside) and hand them bandaged. I am not sure what cut me. The glasses I were handed were smooth with no sharp edges. It may have been from a ring someone was wearing since they were tiny cuts. It still remains a mystery.
  2. One guy kept calling me “THE MAN” because I was the one hooking him up with all his drinks (by default – since I am the beer pourer). Another guy told me I made a friend. A small confidence boost. I never saw him again after the event so it was more like a friendly acquaintance. Nonetheless, happy times.
  3. Another guy asked me if I would pour him a second round if he immediately shotgunned the first cup I poured him. I was not told I could not allow this so I did. And he chugged the whole thing like promised. He returned to the line numerous times and did the same thing. Some of these people really could drink. Surprisingly, I did not see any violence or really stupid behavior during the event despite there being at least 200 people there. Most of them seemed to be able to control how much they should drink.
  4. If you are wondering, the volunteers were not allowed to drink at the event. This does not bother me since I am not into alcohol that much (though I do respect the craft and all the thousands of variations there are).

Did Volunteering Help With My Happiness?

Yes and no. I think it did feel good helping out so many people in such a high volume, high turnover place. Overall, I was surprised that no fights or really rude people came about (except for that one lady) given such large numbers. I felt proud that I was able to re-adjust my emotional state when that lady got me. It’s an important part of happiness to celebrate your wins.

The reason I say this was so-so was because it was a “fun” event. I didn’t really feel like I was helping someone in need or in a worse off situation from me. The value I gave was low to medium. The amount of fun I had was also low to medium. I don’t drink much, though I did appreciate all the different varieties of alcohol that was there.

Ultimately, my experience was maybe a 6.8 out of 10 because I didn’t have that fun of a time or feel like I was helping someone worse off (which I feel may improve my happiness more). Though the studies that I found support this assertion say a simple thing like giving five dollars to a stranger has an effect. An arguably, volunteering my time for a few hours is worth more than that.

Maybe my attitude or outlook on the whole thing is the problem. Or maybe I need to just give a few strangers five dollars, preferably people who really need it. This was a fun experiment to run and maybe I’ll run these other experiments in the future.

Stay tuned for Day 6…

Views – 72

Are your 20s really the best time of your life?

Myth Debunked: Are your twenties really the best years of your life?

For the last few years of my life, I was constantly in a state of frustration and haste. Why? Because I thought I had wasted the best years of my life.

I was told by media, Hollywood, peers, and adults that your twenties are the best years of your life. I even asked one of my friends to confirm if it was true, “Once I get a job, is it all downhill from here?”

“Yes, it is,” he replied. He had bought into the idea as well.

Despite all my hurried attempts to seize that time, it just wasn’t happening. I didn’t have the money, status, or extroversion to party it up with beautiful supermodels.

And then, something happened. I realized the whole thing was a lie.

Are your twenties really the best years of your life?

No matter what age you are in life, you may have had this idea pop-up. Death is coming. It’s over from here. It’s only going to get worse. Even being the positive self-help enthusiast I am, I couldn’t help but to buy into this and fall into a quarter-life crisis. Where was the proof this wasn’t true?

Then, I stumbled into this beautiful mid-life crisis story by Alice Schroeder, the author of Warren Buffett’s biography The Snowball. This is from her Reddit Ask Me Anything:

warren buffett mid life crisis story

Your twenties aren’t the end. They’re just the beginning. But as Alice mentioned, it’s worth it if you can invest in your experiences so that they compound into an avalanche of unexpected positive events later on in life.

In this podcast episode, I will share with you:

  • studies from the science of happiness on what really matters.
  • new evolutionary science on how your biological clock relates to this.
  • experiences and shocking lessons learned from men who are highly successful with women (some of who started as losers).

Subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher so you can get access to all the episodes whenever you want:

Will's Personal Development Podcast

Will's Personal Development Podcast

Show Notes: Other Helpful Resources

Check out the previous podcast episode I did on being rich but happy. There are some great resources in the Show Notes, especially Dan Bilzerian’s interview, which are relevant to this discussion.

Views – 137