Non-monetary sources of happiness

Walking outside and feeling the sun on my skin.

Staring at a body of water.

Taking walks for no reason.

Looking at the moon and having it remind me of a beautiful girl.

Coming home to two dogs who can barely control their shaking tails — correction: can’t control at all.

Sending a voice memo to a close friend.

Calling a close friend.

Spending time with a good friend.

Working on a hard problem.

Completing a tough workout.

Catching a deep breath, holding it, then letting it go.

Getting into bed and feeling my body realise it’s time to rest.

Hearing the next door neighbours play their loud stereo every night watching movies.

Seeing my mum walk in the house, smiling because she knows she’s done something to make us happy. She always knows how to make my brothers and I happy.

Thinking of my mum and writing about it.

Sitting here in my room on a Saturday night with nothing but the words.

Imagining what kind of story I can write next.

Knowing happiness is like the tide. It’s higher sometimes than others but it comes back.

Saying I love you to myself.

Saying I love you to others.

I read a story earlier from a son who said his second mother was coaching aerobics and then went to the doctor. She had cancer throughout her major organs and died two years later. He finished with a note saying ‘hug your people.’ Sad story but thinking of the note made me think of hugging others.


Sitting in a well-made chair.

Writing a letter to someone.

Using a pen. This keyboard is good. But pen and paper is better.

Listening to someone tell a good narrative. A girl told me a story about how she went to Greece to find her great Aunt. She had nothing but a name and the location of a small town on a small island. When she got to Greece the airline lost her luggage. She walked 3-hours with a backpack and found the town. She asked people the name and found a lady who acted as if she knew it. The lady didn’t speak a word of English. The lady took her to another lady. No English. The other lady got on Skype, her daughter was on the other side. She spoke English. They deciphered the message in a conversation triangle. She found her great Aunt. The great Aunt had a grandson, a 17-year-old boy. The boy spoke fluent English and was the leader of a gang on the island. There was nothing to do on the island except be in a gang, farm and ride motorbikes. For the next four days, she was given a chauffeured tour around the island on the back of a motorbike.

Realising how much I don’t know.

Learning new things. Today I read about the hotel bathroom principle. The idea was to dress well enough you could walk into a hotel and use their bathroom without them questioning it. Dressing well means you’ll be looking good. Looking good gives you a great shot of feeling good. Looking good and feeling good opens the door for serendipity. Hat tip: David Perell.

There are more but that’s enough for now.*

*Finsihing a piece of writing I’m proud of.

Breaking the rules.

Saying good night.

Good night.