Posted by Michael Vacanti
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 😉
So, as I push past my fear that you are judging the thesis of this post as inherently braggadocious and douchy, “look at me, I’m so happy, I’m gonna blog it on the webz!!” — 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 😉
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:
Many of our days look like this:
- dinner table
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:
- 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)