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  • Writer's pictureDavid de Souza

These Few Things Have a BIG Effect on Your Happiness

Updated: Dec 12, 2020

"Invert always invert"- Richard Feynman, Quantum Physicist

Avoiding the causes of unhappiness is the low-hanging fruit of happiness. Instead of thinking about what makes you happy start by asking yourself what makes you unhappy:

1. Addictions

2. Being Unhealthy

3. Divorce

4. Financial Problems

Avoiding addictions is maybe the most impactful, as an addiction will have ripple effects on the other 3: If you are addicted to gambling, alcohol, or drugs, it won't be long before you see a negative effect on your finances, relationships, and health.

After you've considered what makes you unhappy, turn your thinking to what makes you happy:

5. Meeting Friends and Family

6. Going Outside.

7. Exercising

8. Moving Closer to Work

9. Sleeping More


By combining multiple sources of happiness, into a happiness stack, for example: (1) exercising, (2) outside and (3) with friends, you'll benefit from 3 sources of happiness, for the price of one.

The Biggest Impact on Happiness

Studies have shown that commuting to work is one of the biggest killers of happiness (and one of the riskiest activities that we do each day.)

Moving closer to work is the most impactful thing you can do to directly improve your happiness. Not only will moving closer to work pay dividends in increased happiness each day but you'll also benefit from the flywheel effect.....

The Power of the Fly Wheel

Like a merry-go-round at a childrens' playground, a flywheel builds energy, and once started the momentum helps to fuel itself.

If you move closer to work your commute will be reduced and you'll gain extra time. By saving time, you'll be able to sleep longer, which will impact your cognition and productivity. If your mind is sharper you'll do better at your work, and improve your chances of earning more. Extra income will help you to avoid financial problems and allow you to outsource work, giving you additional free time. This extra free time could allow you to exercise or go outside, increasing the probability of staying healthy and reducing the chances of medical expenses.

By focusing on the few things that have the biggest impact on your happiness, such as avoiding addictions and moving closer to work, the 80/20 rule allows you to get the biggest boost of happiness for the least amount of work.

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