Days of Happiness: Day Twenty-Two

Days of Happiness: Day Twenty-Two

The 30 days of Happy Thoughts series is inspired by the International Day of Happiness (March 20th, 2017).


Today’s Motivational Video

Today’s Happy Thought


National Nutrition Month® Tidbits

March is also National Nutrition Month®! Eating healthy is important to your happiness too!

Check out this week’s game here.

Check out this week’s NNM video here.

Day of Happiness Celebrations: Q&A

Happiness means different things to different people, what does Happiness mean to you?

Happiness to me is experiencing growth in all areas of my life. Blogging and personal finance are obviously important, but they are just as important as career goals or relationship goals.

Do you believe happiness is an emotion or more of a state of mind?

These questions got deep real quick! For me, it feels as both a state of mind and an emotion. I like to view happiness as the emotional euphoria when something suddenly happens. The longer lasting feeling of joy is what I use to describe that constant state of thinking, “Alright! My life is doin’ much better these days!”

Do you consider being happy important to you? Why?

I’ve only experienced true happiness as a by product of giving or when I feel I am growing. So, in many ways I view happiness as my number 1 priority. That being said, I view this priority as being the long term goal, so if I have to work hard and not be 100% happy while I’m young, then that is fine by me. I enjoy getting my elbows in the mud even though that might make me immediately “happy”.


What do you consider a fundamental barrier to Happiness in your life?

If there is a barrier then it is an internal one. I love the quote, “wherever you go, there you are.” If we’re not thrilled with our current lot in life, then I’m convinced it will be very difficult to gain satisfaction. The reason being we’re already tremendously lucky to have been born on this planet at this time. The odds of everything aligning is so astronomical that I think that information alone should provide a certain base level of happiness! 🙂



How important is wealth and money to your own happiness?

Wealth and Money are each important, but I would not label them as prerequisites to achieving happiness (unless money is providing for base line essentials such as food, water & housing). For me, wealth is my chance to accumulate assets and then distribute them back to society via the charitable causes I believe in. While wealth isn’t directly tied to happiness, I believe I’ll be very happy in the “distribution,” phases of my wealth road-map.



How important is health and wellness to happiness?

Health and Wellness are much more important for me. If I’m feeling sick or fatigued or exhausted, then health immediately becomes a top priority. Ideally, and more routinely, health is a top priority regardless of if I’m sick or not.

If we don’t have our health, then wealth is meaningless.



What has been the happiest moment in your life?

The happiest moments of my life are with my fiancee. We have so much fun together and I don’t want to bore anyone with how happy we are. Outside of that, the top moments that come to mind are: completing my first triathlon, my most recent triathlon with my best time, adopting a kitten last year named Sebastian, landing my first job offer, successfully negotiating my first salary increase & the last moment was moving into my current place.


Do you have any specific goals or resolutions for 2017?  If so, would your share your top two that directly relate to your own Pursuit of Happiness?

I’ve always been big on New Year Resolutions because they work for me. I love the structure of having something to accomplish within the time frame and scope of 1 year. For 2017, I came up with 17 resolutions, but the two relating to happiness would be 20 minutes of silent meditation each day (nothing crazy, just staring at a candle and focusing on my breathing) and 30 minutes of reading each day.


Do you consider giving to others or charity work an important part of your own Pursuit and why?

My experience with money has mostly come from the books that I have read and the same holds true with charity. In my experience, I’ve seen how people like Warren Buffett or John D. Rockefeller spent much of their lives accumulating wealth with the intention of disbursing it in time. The idea being I’m able to create more wealth in my lifetime than if I were to give away the seeds of my money to be spent today.

In the meantime, I’ve volunteered during tax seasons to assist low income families, single mothers/fathers, or international students file their tax returns.


What 2 things have you learned in your own pursuit that you would like to share with others?

I’ve learned a lot about money, especially in the past 3 years. My fiancee and I started off living paycheck to paycheck. I even had one quarter where my net worth decreased and went further into the red. It took us about a year to escape living paycheck to paycheck, another year to reach 10-15% of savings, and our third year was a breakout year where we ended saving 60%+ in the final 90 days of 2016.


The biggest thing I’ve learned is personal finance is very emotional and not as logical as many people believe. Even if we have the perfect plan on paper, we tend to screw it up ourselves. In the game of money, the smart do well, but the real winners are those who avoid real stupid mistakes.


The second biggest is developing smart habits, such as automating our investments AND our expenses. The less time I spend handling the administrative money tasks means I have more time for my other hobbies OR more time to learn about and make more money.



If you could recommend only three websites/books/articles to anyone reading this, what would they be, and why?

Since we’re on the topic of happiness, I’ll recommend the book Man’s Search for Meaning. This book was highly inspiring in my life and has helped me get through the worst scenarios in my life with a sort of optimism that never went away after reading the book. Plus, the book is maybe a 4 hour read so the information is readily available for anyone.


The 2nd recommendation is the Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama. Needless to say the book has a lot of great insights into what makes us happy.


The 3rd recommendation is The Relaxation Response. This is more of a scientific book on how our bodies handle stress and what we can do to improve our R&R time.



What is your blog/website address and theme (if you want to share) for 2017?

Our site is where we share how we went from living paycheck to paycheck to saving 60%+ of our income. We’re building wealth with the end goal of reaching financial independence by age 35 (currently 27). You can follow me on Twitter @DistilledDollar or find me on Facebook too.

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