Notes taken from Blinkist summary.
- Success and great work come from people who are already happy. Happiness comes when your motivation is internal, ie. you do things because you love doing them, rather than external.
- Use the 20 minute replay before going to bed: write down at least one thing that made you happy during the day. This allows you to relive the happiness and also recognise future moments of happiness.
- Your brain is wired to produce negative thoughts — your amygdala identifies dangers and triggers a stress response. The PFC tries to counter this stress with logic, but the amygdala often wins, keeping us anxious and unhappy.
- Retirement is a concept the Germans invented in 1889, to open up the job market to younger people and let 65 plus-ers enjoy their final years (when the average lifespan was 67 years). However, healthy people have a desire to stay productive.
- Okinawa Islanders: no concept or word for retirement. Instead, they have ikigai: the reason you wake up in the morning.
- Overvalue your time. Time should be given a higher value in your life, since we have precious little of it. Be aware of how you are spending your time. Reconsider how much your time is worth when it’s not being spent doing things that give you joy, meaning and purpose. Try dividing your week into three categories: ‘sleeping’, ‘work’, and ‘things I love doing’. 168 hours/3 = 56 hours per category = healthy work-life balance
- To create more time, reduce choices and make space. Making decisions fills up time and can be stressful. Many decisions aren’t even important. You can regulate your wardrobe, chores, routines.
- Setting fake deadlines can also create more time. [cf. Parkinson’s Law: work will always take as long as the deadline allows — C. Northcote Parkinson, 1955.] If your assignment/task is due in 3 weeks, set yourself a deadline in 1 week, to cut out the time wasted on procrastinating and worrying.
- Break through barriers and tick things off your bucket list, even if you’re afraid. Break through the ‘can’t do’ and ‘don’t want to’ mental barriers.
- Take the Saturday morning test: what would you like to do on a Saturday morning, when there are no other obligations? Think over your answer and put yourself on the path to your true self. The more Saturday morning activities you do, the happier you’ll become.
- Be true to yourself and don’t rely on the advice of others. Ultimately, you’re the only one who really knows your hopes and desires.
Happiness lies in realising that you already have everything you need. Once you start doing the things you love and being yourself, you can start enjoying your life and living it to the fullest.
- Pick one of the above practices and challenge yourself to keep at it for seven days. Track how it affects you.