Happy

.

Recently, I have been in a really good mood.

Like, for a month straight.

And while luck can take partial credit – no one close to me dying, running above EV on bumble, an undefeated Vikings team – I believe there are a handful of controllable factors contributing to my heightened mean happiness.

Wow, two statistics references in a single sentence ūüėČ

So, as I push past my fear that you are judging the thesis of this post as inherently braggadocious and douchy, ‚Äúlook at me, I‚Äôm so happy, I‚Äôm gonna blog it on the webz!!‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ I actually believe the strategies I am about to share are objectively beneficial and that you can apply them to your own life to become happier.¬†

Here we go.

 

Sleep More & Drink Less Coffee

I know, I know… you hustle and grind harder than anyone and you could not¬†possibly¬†make this adjustment.

But, hear me out.

‘Cause I kinda hustle too.

For the last few years, I have averaged 6.5 hours of sleep per night and 500-600mg of caffeine per day.

For the last month, I am averaging 8-9 hours of sleep per night and 200-300mg of caffeine per day.

As a result:¬†I am less anxious. I don’t crave naps. I can focus on a single task for a longer period of time. And I am actually getting as much or¬†more done in a given day.

What has been eliminated is the waste. The “filler” activities.¬†You know, when you have to watch a quick youtube video or check Facebook to “rest” your brain for 15 minutes so it is “ready” to work. Those activities have been reduced dramatically because they just aren’t necessary.

More sleep + less coffee = feel better

 

Engage + Compliment

We don’t engage¬†our fellow homosapiens nearly enough.

So, recently, I have been.

Smiling at random people. Complimenting check out clerks. Listening to understand rather than just waiting to speak next.

These actions mean something to the other person.

And, selfishly, that feeling is going to elevate our mood.

PS don’t forget to do this with non-strangers like friends, co-workers, family, or even your husband or wife ūüėČ

 

Stop Trying To Save The World

The motivational/entrepreneurial rabbit hole of Instagram is jamming quotes down our throats that we gotta be Elon or Jobs.

“Why even get out of bed if you¬†aren’t gonna¬†change the world.”

Well, changing the world is pretty damn hard. So, if we are going to hinge our binary pass-or-fail metric on iPods & Mars, or in my case solving the obesity epidemic, we are taking on massive asymmetric risk with the positive outcome being a long shot.

Let’s take our obesity example… Do you know¬†how difficult¬†it is for someone who¬†wants to change to make a change? It can be really difficult. Now, picture trying to help someone¬†who¬†doesn’t¬†want to change. Exactly.

Scale back on the grandiosity of your goals, and you will become happier as a result.

Unless you don’t have any goals… then you gotta step up bro.

 

Execute More & Think Less

This is a good transition from the last point.

Rather than carry the metaphorical weight of the world on your back, set up process oriented goals that you think will lead you to a desired outcome.

Set a time frame. Then DO those things, without 2nd guessing them, until the end of the time frame.

Like I explain in this video:

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Increase Movement

Many of our days look like this:

  • bed
  • car
  • desk
  • dinner table
  • couch
  • bed

Too much sitting, not enough movement.

Maybe you even get a quick lift, complaining of back pain while trying to squat heavy on those cold, shortened hip flexors.

Try to apply some of the following to your day:

  • walking
  • kneeling at your desk (single or double leg) for a few minutes every hour
  • spontaneous movement: shoulder shakes, torso twists, or even dancing
  • running (why I’m a runner now, ha)

 

Alright, thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments what works for you ūüôā



Comments for This Entry

  • Mollie Estes

    Reading a good book works for me. I've added sleeping adequately to my plan and that is an amazing adventure as well. Great Read!!

    October 6, 2016 at 11:32 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Anna L

    Me too! Life is amazing! 5 days in counting macros with a steady work out routine I am doing the same. Positive attitude, happiness, more sleep, less stress, complimenting strangers, loving criticism etc. Maybe the moon is in line. I don't really believe in that stuff but hey maybe this is the year.

    October 6, 2016 at 11:49 pm | Reply to this comment

  • T. Mallie

    This article nicely compliments the day we are finishing. I got up before dawn and burned 1000+ calories exercising, made great progress on some mundane but necessary business tasks and laughed with my family at the dinner table. Thanks!

    October 7, 2016 at 12:03 am | Reply to this comment

  • Michael

    8-9 hours is impressive. Is it something you plan to keep up or do you think you will go back to your old routine?

    October 7, 2016 at 12:07 am | Reply to this comment

  • Jess

    100% agree on sleep. It's crazy I started to clock 9hrs consecutively (sleep has always been a battle for me) last month and my productivity amongst other things was insane...the most valuable tangible thing for me was in business/at work I was able to have a more efficient decision making/deliberating process...this also was so apparent in personal life scene too...I overall was more efficient at living life...and most importantly was less of a b*tch...cos between hangry and sleepy...boy you don't wanna mess with me #cruella...so totally agree. I've slipped back into less hours this month due to other commitments that have gotten in the way, but as it is with fitness/life in general I am trying not to be a massechist and beat myself up about this too much and just focus on executing a good night sleep each night, treating every day as a new day to hit that good sleep. SO THANK YOU FOR THIS POST MIKE. KICK ASS REMINDER OF WHAT IS DAMN GOOD/WORKS

    October 7, 2016 at 12:10 am | Reply to this comment

  • Mimi Routh

    Oh, Mike, what a cute video and you are SO WISE! Engage and compliment is a biggie because your words can resonate down the years and offer much comfort. A crippled old man who worked for my dad, when he laid eyes on me (age 12, wearing my first 32AA bra and tinted lip gloss), he said, "My God, that's the most beautiful girl I've ever seen!" In a dysfunctional family, for a child coming of age with distracted parents, a little comment from someone outside the family can mean a lot. We can change the world doing this. . . . Sleeping more, taking care of ourselves instead of rushing about trying to be all things to a huge fan club, wonderful! Am I going to nod off in Bible Study or just stay home and take care of myself? If I'm not leading the group or doing the music, phooey! . . . .I'm still writing down what I eat. Broccoli, plain yogurt, cottage cheese, apples . . . got under 200 this week and my size 16 parka finally snaps down the front. I can plop down on my task chair to sew knowing the weight limit is 250 and I'm nowhere near that. I went to a potluck of wildlife rehabbers and they bring the most wonderful things to eat. But I only did veggie burgers and salad. After a long time of eating "well," I can't do sweets anymore; sugar makes me itch all over, etc. etc. It just isn't worth it. A real no-brainer. As for going hungry so you can pig out later (something I saw in a silly diet blog online), no never! And good choices make for better sleep, too. Your work has a wonderful spiritual component. Stay happy, Mike!

    October 7, 2016 at 12:30 am | Reply to this comment

  • Dia

    You are incredibly wise. What do you recommend for someone who is juggling full time work with full time grad school (intense 5 week courses), mom and wife duties while trying to fit in evening workouts? Have done the healthy lifestyle before and I totally get it, but going to bed late due to grad school homework hasn't helped. Suggestions appreciated.

    October 7, 2016 at 1:28 am | Reply to this comment

  • Nick Westwood

    Hi Mike Inspirational as ever, I totally agree since I started training at CrossFit I have more energy more positivity and since I started I have gone from 25% boady fat to 12.4% and 95Kg to 77.5Kg feeling so much better about everything and all at the young age of 53 ???

    October 7, 2016 at 1:34 am | Reply to this comment

  • Toni Patton

    Spot on, Mike. Keep pumping out the good stuff.

    October 7, 2016 at 6:09 am | Reply to this comment

  • Darryl

    Great stuff Mike. Thanks for sharing as always. I love the positive vibe. Have a great weekend bud.

    October 7, 2016 at 6:49 am | Reply to this comment

  • keka

    Thank you Mike!! Just a simple but so effective lovely post!

    October 7, 2016 at 6:54 am | Reply to this comment

  • Evan

    I'm with you on the running. Movement + Solitude is golden. And if you really want to have some fun: find some semi-technical trails then add in some high BPM tunes and you'll feel like you're in a video game :-)

    October 7, 2016 at 8:26 am | Reply to this comment

  • Sandra

    Thanks Mike. You have some excellent points. I've always been active and yet always struggled with my weight. Until recently. I started looking closer at what I eating, and drinking! Coffee black has no calories so I only assumed that a little cream and sugar didn't add up to much and would drink to my hearts content. Not so if you're buying it at a place like Tim Hortons. I've just recently realized that my usual large double double is almost 300 calories!! Don't even ask about the bagels! 300 calories x several cups a day = no weight loss and disappointment, thinking I'm not working hard enough. Since this discovery, I've switched to one cup of tea a day with Stevia and I now watch everything I put in my body. Small changes = big results! I've lost 15 lbs since doing this! Yay for me!!

    October 7, 2016 at 8:42 am | Reply to this comment

  • Kerry

    My "Change the world lens" adjusts constantly from assisting individuals to assisting "the world". I believe any action taken anywhere on that spectrum has a ripple effect to both end points

    October 7, 2016 at 8:44 am | Reply to this comment

  • Lisa Neal

    Awww, look at that huge smile. I'm pumped you're so happy!! This article was packed with great stuff. Oh, I feel a song coming on...yep...oh, can't stop it.... "It might sound crazy what I'm about to say... because I'm happy...clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth... clap along if you know what happiness is to you..." ??? What works for me is to put first things first. Keeping my priorities in line. When I do that I have such peace and happiness. Things get done that need to and are of worth. It's the best feeling!! Thanks Mike. :)

    October 7, 2016 at 8:48 am | Reply to this comment

  • Maria

    Great article! I worked for Starbucks for 12 years. You learn how to manage the caffeine so you don't go nuts. I have 1 cup a day, and I keep to a regular sleep schedule mainly to help with the migraines. I do best on 8-10 hours of sleep, but I average 8-9. I'm grateful to have a desk I can adjust at work so I can stand. But the regular kettlebell swings help to keep my hip flexors happy. I agree, for sure, less phone time and social media, can help you relax and de-stress, and help you stay happy. As far as smiling and complimenting strangers...I've been doing that for years. That makes everyone happy. It's all about perspective. :-)

    October 7, 2016 at 9:15 am | Reply to this comment

  • Brendan

    HUGE HUGE fan of pomodoro-timing. The built-in breaks kills any excuse I have for not executing during my work time. I also recommend reading The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday if you're struggling to overcome something. He talks a lot about stoicism and how thinking big is important, but living your days in the tasks within your control to get to those goals is better.

    October 7, 2016 at 9:58 am | Reply to this comment

  • Brenda

    I love this post. About 2 years ago, I complimented a friend and she thanked me, saying no one had ever said that to her before. It shocked me because I had "thought" that comment many times. It dawned on me that I had never told her. I decided I would start saying the positive things I thought to the people I come across. At first I thought people would think I wanted something from them, but I realized people really don't overthink positive or complimentary remarks, they relish them. We live in a world where we are immersed in negative messages, even from ourselves. In the years since, I find the kindness just flows from me. I have improved relationships within my company, with those I supervise, peers, etc. I am a happier person and positive and graceful conversations flow easily. Your comment , however, about non-strangers was what hit me in this post. I take those people for granted. Thanks for giving me a new goal!

    October 7, 2016 at 10:23 am | Reply to this comment

  • Debbie Reed

    There was a quote I saw on a random wall last year that has stuck with me, "Be the change you want to see in the world." You are doing an awesome job and I always look forward to hearing your tips and thoughts of the day. For me the sleep thing is the hardest. I'm envious as I'm lucky to get 1/2 of your goal. Keep up the great work and I agree with a commenter above great smile.

    October 7, 2016 at 10:40 am | Reply to this comment

  • Michelle

    Might have something to do with "MN nice" too.

    October 7, 2016 at 12:06 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Yasmin Jacka

    I love your blog and how you speak the truth! I would love some tips on how you started your online training and blog?:)

    October 7, 2016 at 2:42 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jessie

    Love this one! Complimenting others really can make a difference in someone's day, and selfishly it makes you feel really good for making them feel good! Win/win! I notice sometimes when I meet new people and they tell me their name, I forget their name by the time the introduction is over because I'm so focused on telling them my name and being a good conversationalist. This is a good reminder to listen well, not just to be quiet until it's your turn to talk ;)

    October 10, 2016 at 11:28 am | Reply to this comment

  • Braze

    Daily stretching/meditating even for just 15 minutes a day helps me. Thanks for the blog, I'm going to post it to my page and hope to spread your page and movement.

    October 10, 2016 at 11:52 am | Reply to this comment

  • Albi

    I think you glanced over the Execute More & Think Less section, Mike. I want to emphasize it cause it was really good. "set up process oriented goals that you think will lead you to a desired outcome. Set a time frame. Then DO those things, without 2nd guessing them, until the end of the time frame." I've just started figuring this out myself. It goes like this: Usually at night, when everyone is sleeping and there are no distractions, I'm able to think big picture stuff. This is when I'll think about process-oriented stuff. Where I've been messing up is I haven't set a time frame and specified the goals, so that I can follow it without thinking during the day. I actually started putting stuff on paper with an accountability partner last week and I just FELT better about my productivity, whether it was the same as before or not. I think I'm going to keep that up. Good post bro.

    October 11, 2016 at 2:09 am | Reply to this comment

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