You Still Can’t Buy Happiness

Someone has paid $1.5 million for Albert Einstein’s notes on the theory for happiness. This has to be some sort of attempt at art by someone with more money than sense.

You can’t buy happiness but you can buy the theory of happiness, I can almost hear the half choked lone cackle at this persons next engagement, coupled with the somber realisation that they have just spanked a cartoonish sum of money on a terrible attempt at a joke.

The note is written in German but roughly translates (because translations are all rough) to something like, “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.”

There you go I saved you a lot of money with that, no need to offer me anything for it just pay it forward. Calm and modest right here, I’m living the rich life already!

 

Will People Be Able To Make Gold Now?

Gold is a finite resource and hard to extract from the earth, that is why it is considered a good investment because nobody can just create more gold when they want to and inflate the market. Things might be changing though because a group of astrophysicists believe they have established how heavy elements like gold were created.

The current findings suggest that colliding neutron stars is what is required to forge such elements. So it makes sense to consider whether it is something to consider that in the near future some organisation could create a machine capable of simulating the natural process in a controlled manner that could forge gold artificially.

Causing an explosion at such a scale is clearly going to b e self defeating because it will most likely end everything for everyone, but what if the process was conducted on such a micro scale that only very fine quantities of gold could be “mined” at a time, gradually building to such quantities that would be viable in the economic market.

The cost would have to be offset against the price of gold in market and resulting inflation but the concept is interesting to consider. The process would be as laborious as mining for crypto currency, and would surely propel the scientific world into an industry of artificially creating elements we may one day find ourselves unable to procure from our surrounding environments.

Enough

 

Ever heard of the Hedonic Treadmill? Sounds like a marketing thing but interestingly it’s the concept of always trying to earn more, because more is never enough.

We work and our salary grows over time. We play the lottery and pray to win big. We hope for a performance bonus. Whatever might increase our financial position there is often the effect of elevating our lifestyle. You earned that extra money, you deserve it so why not spend it on something nice. The trouble here is that as your income increases and your lifestyle improves to match, you notice that you are no happier and you are in the same position as you started, hoping for a pay rise, lottery win, or bonus.

You might look at those that endlessly strive for more as role models for your future self but it is important to remember there is one thing these people will never have – Enough.

It is within everyone’s reach to escape the rat race but some will forever be trapped on the Hedonic Treadmill because they don’t know what they are striving for, like a dog chasing cars, they don’t know what to do once they catch them.

Understanding what you value and what goals you have will give you the freedom you are searching for. You might think earning more money will free you but if anything money just enables you to either consume more or have the ability to relax for a while.

 

I know what I would do if I didn’t need to work again. I’d read, I’d go climbing, I’d hang out with family and friends, I’d walk my dog, spend time with my fiancé – not necessarily in that order – and those are my values. My goals are to be healthy, learn new things, challenge myself, and form strong relationships – lucky for me these goals match my values.

I have found that defining your goals and values is an important exercise, as important as planning my finances, because it gives me the freedom to enjoy life. I don’t worry about money, I don’t worry about my house burning down and destroying all my possessions, I don’t worry about much at all and that is a very healthy position to be in, and it’s all because I know what Enough means for me.

10 Minute Workout Guaranteed To Give You A Better Body Without Breaking A Sweat

Forget about your pre-workout carb load or post-workout protein shake – you ain’t gonna need ’em. On your way to the gym, take a detour to the supermarket.

Grab a basket, not a trolley, this is a workout remember.

Head for the Fruit and Veg section and grab whatever you like the look of, maybe try something new even if you don’t know what it is – there’ll be someone on youtube cooking something with it.

Next stop is the meat section, unless you’re a vegetarian of course, and take your pick of lean meats.

Now grab some rice or pasta, some eggs too.

Raid the herbs and spices section, meat and vegetables are pretty dull on their own so spend some time working out what goes with what and you’ll benefit greatly in the flavour department.

Go to the checkout, avoid the alcohol section and the treats you normally frequent.

Leave the store and spend the week eating healthy food and losing weight.

Enjoy not missing the hunger pangs junk food causes to your meat vehicle, watch your body return to a normal shape, and maybe go to the gym if you fancy it – but it’s not required.

There, 10 minutes is all it takes to lose weight and you don’t even have to sweat for it.

Don’t Let Your Body Find Out It Is Dying

I heard this from Russel Brand on a podcast. From memory, he met a older man in a gym who was in great shape and during their conversation the older man said, “Don’t let your body find out it is dying.”, what a way to put it.

Always be mobile, exert yourself, challenge your body (and mind). It’s easy to slip into sedentary lifestyle and quickly fall out of shape, it’s hard to get yourself back into shape so why make that hill harder to climb.

There’s a lot to say about Working Smarter, but in the gym there is no escaping the fact that Hard Work Pays Off. You can train smart in your strategy but frankly achieving a high level of physical wellbeing is hard and with that comes work, which is in itself hard. The rewards are worth the effort.

Work Hard and Don’t Let Your Body Find Out It Is Dying

In Business, Know A Little About A Lot

When we were at school, and college, and university, we were rewarded for knowing a lot about a little. As we narrowed our interests in college and even specialise in university, we focus all our efforts in one area and we are thrust into the workplace with that one thing we are any good at, what a vulnerable situation to be in.

I didn’t go to university so I never specialised, although I considered it, but when I went to college (twice) I studied 8 different subjects. In the UK, the majority of students will take on 3 subjects in the first year and reduce to 2 in the second year, honestly I didn’t really get that concept when I was younger and it definitely shaped my future. I didn’t do well enough across so many subjects to warrant a place in a good university and I ended up in the workplace earlier than a lot of my friends that I looked up to.

Looking back I thought I had put myself in a weaker position than my peers and assumed I would forever be working in jobs packing cigarettes, or selling paint, or carrying drunk students from their vomit sprayed toilet cubicles and out onto the street to sober up and continue on their journey to specialisation – happened more times than I can count.

I set myself a challenge and joined the military for a short period before opting out most of the way through training. I put in about 18 months of my life to this endeavour and it was probably the most valuable period of development in my life. I learnt from this experience that I (or indeed anyone) can achieve anything and go further both physically and mentally than I once thought.

With the help of some friends I found my way into software development and progressed from there. I never became particularly good in one language or discipline but I was happy with the wide varying areas I could speak of confidently. Over the years I saw gaps appear in the organisation and I gladly filled it, learning from the ground up and ensuring I was capable of dropping into any role when it was needed. Knowing a little about a lot has made me more valuable to my company and given me the safety net of being able to move from role to role should my current job not work out.

It pays to know a little about a lot because it gives you the flexibility to do what you want in work and move more freely from job to job (should you need to) and be a highly valuable asset to your company. Too useful to ignore might be the modest way to describe it.

Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know”, but make sure you ensure the next time someone asks you that question again that you can give a better answer. Learn what your colleagues are doing in other departments, you might just find the direction you want to move in an organisation, at the very least you will be able to move should your department become redundant. Learn more and more, don’t let the end of your educational years be the end of your education, you are far more mature now and in a better position to know what you need to learn and as a ‘grown up person’ you can choose what you want to learn!

30 Days Habit Change

It’s Stoptober and I love chocolate, even though I know it is bad for me. I’m quitting chocolate for the month because it is an addiction and want to remove it from my life. Chocolate is my booze.

I’m about halfway through the month now and I could care less about chocolate. I feel energetic and sharper in my mind, I’ve been more productive (outside of writing) and generally feeling better in my day to day life.

I know it’s only 15 days so far but it has got me thinking about the concept of forming a good habit, or indeed reversing a bad one, and I think I’m going to set myself a challenge every month and report my findings as I go. I can tell you now that next month is going to be fizzy drinks, which have become my crutch with the chocolate thing.

30 days to form a habit might be a bit overkill, at least based on my experience, but maybe overkill is exactly what one needs to really set a habit in stone.

The first few days are the hard part, when your body reacts and you question you resolve. I like to “punish” myself whenever I waver, like requiring 10 push ups before I can move on with my day. Once I’ve done my “punishment” I will have forgotten about the urge I was feeling and a bonus is that I knocked out 10 push ups, and that can add up during the day.

The second week is my favourite part because it is a turning point where you realise you have made it past the cravings and your body is learning to cope, and even thrive, without the sugar (or nicotine, or alcohol, or whatever).

I’m still waiting on the final 2 weeks but I expect it will be a walk in the park (I hope) and I look forward to freedom I will gain from the discipline I have developed.

Pick something, just one thing, you know needs to be out of your life sooner rather than later. Let a different vice take its place for 30 days and for the following month attack that vice. Over the course of a year you could become a new, better version of yourself, but for now just focus on one thing at a time. If you try to take on too many things at once you’ll achieve nothing, keep it simple and carry on with your life, reflect during the process and share your experience and encourage others to do the same.