Making money and being happy are skills. At heart, they’re both about making good decisions. Whether you’re talking about your time or money, you need to avoid bad investments. That means trusting your gut. If you can’t decide, say no. Remember that good investments are compounded – they yield outsized returns. This is just as true of capital as it is of reputation. Happiness, meanwhile, is a decision to be in the moment and turn the volume of your mind down a notch. The best way of doing that? Meditation.
If you’re faced with a problem with two relatively equal answers, choose the one that’s more painful in the short term. Why? Well, with most problems, one path to resolution will lead to short-term pain while the other leads to long-term pain. You obviously want the former, not the latter – but our brains tend to overvalue whatever offers us happiness most quickly. Leaning into the pain cancels out this subconscious tendency, and leads us to more durable happiness. Think, for example, of working out. In the here and now, it can feel like a painful chore. In the long run, though, the returns on this investment in health and happiness are huge.