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My plan for Happiness

It really stemmed from me thinking about some personal changes that I have been, at a minimum, trying to make/stick to for the last year or so.

I really notice a lot of unhappy people in the world, not to say there aren't tons of happy ones, they are just sometimes less noticeable.

So... about a year, maybe a little more ago, I made a semi-conscious decision to work on some things, and it has lead to me kinda developing this plan for Happiness.

Here it is as of right now.

*Please note the plan is subject to change and has to be ever evolving to succeed.

**Also note this is my plan and by no means would I ever claim it would work for anyone else. I am putting it here on codytalks just to force myself to actually write it out and hopefully get some responses that will make the plan better. if you gain anything from reading this, that would make me smile, just not my main intention.

My plan includes 2 lists, but, they overlap.

Daily Checklist: These are things on consider everyday and try to meet. I often don't meet them all and it disappoints me but I try to learn from those times.

1. Can I go to sleep tonight proud of myself as a Dad? - this simple sentence makes me think about and stay disciplined as a Dad. Thats my entire parenting philosophy. Being able to feel that I am at least trying to be a good parent makes me happy. when I don't meet this criteria, it pisses me off which then motivates me to do better, that ends up making me happier.

2. Can I go to sleep tonight proud of myself as a Husband? - this one can be tough at times. I truly believe that as a spouse, my wife's happinesses is more important than mine. thats just how I see it and human nature doesn't always help me make decisions that way, but I try.

3. Can I got to sleep tonight proud of myself as a friend, man, American and human being? - Awful generalized, I know, but this one just helps me make decisions and stay focused on the non-family related things in my life. This is the checklist item that made me realize the happiness from selflessly helping others. (secret: selflessly helping others makes you feel very good and happy, so it's not all that selfless.)

4. Can I go to sleep tonight knowing I was smart with my money for my family's futures sake? - This one is tough at times as well, but I found an easy solution. I have a coffee can in my closet and at the end of the day I force myself to put some money in it. I know it sounds ridiculous , sometimes I have to scrounge for change in the car ashtray, but just dropping that money in there before I go to bed makes me sleep a little better. Each month I take the money and do something, savings, funstuff, sometimes just blow it! But it makes me feel better each day that I did something to make the $$$ situation just a little better.

That's my Daily Checklist for day-to-day happiness. I often can't check off all 4 everyday, but I check off more than I don't, and no kidding am a happy guy on a day to day basis because of it.

Life Checklist: this is the long-range stuff. They are actually easier.

1. Be able to die knowing that I checked of the 4 daily items more times than not. No way I could bat 1,000 on the daily things, I know that. If I die batting .501 on the daily list above, I will close my eyes proud of my job as a parent, husband, human being, friend, American and my family should be financial ok, that would make me die happy. This long range goal exists to keep me motivated even on individual days that I jack-up the 4 daily items real bad.

2. This one may seem trivial, but it is important to me that I want to retire at 50. This drives me to continue to give to retirement investments and it keeps me from getting carried away on a the days I don't follow #4 on the daily checklist. I really use this as a priority in making decisions alot. (I drive pretty much a piece of shit car because I want to guarantee this happens and also I think cars as status symbols is, well... just silly.)

That's it, thats my plan! It has been completely informal until this instant. I really don't see it wavering drastically but it will require some modification at times.

I am not lying to you or selling you anything, just promising you that living this way makes me a truly happy person.



  1. Good Note...Glad you shared. This kind of stuff makes us all better. Don't forget to put some eternal things on that check list.

  2. Your checklist questions are great. Each one of us would be smart to think about what our own questions are.

  3. Connie - Thx... actually felt good to type.

    Jason - I firmly believe that the eternal stuff is completely handled by the here and now. If i die batting .501. I am happy with what will happen from there.

    Becky - Thx I hope all folks can find there way to happiness.

  4. I'm a big fan of happy and happy people.

    Great plan in real terms.


I love the discussion in the comments.. so... GO FOR IT!

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