5 min read

Happiness, Habits, and Incentives

These essays explore how to understand human incentives and leverage simple habits to drive lasting happiness.
After a Career Spent Reading and Writing, I Ended Up Doing This …
I found a doorway to eternal youth, and it was right in front of me all along
For a Great Career, Pursue Happiness Rather than Ambition
Pursuing ambitions can be counterproductive to our job performance. Prioritizing happiness instead brings multiple benefits.
Incentives Are Everything
To understand incentives is to understand human motivation. If you want to know what a person will do, start by asking what they have to gain or lose from an action.
America, We’re Failing The Marshmallow Test
The dynamics of delayed gratification help explain why as individuals and as a nation we spend beyond our means. Consumption today is worth more than consumption tomorrow.
A Little Guide To Southern Compliments
Lovers of language and strategic ambiguity will appreciate these examples
Effective Altruism Begins Close to Home
There’s a way to significantly contribute to the human condition while helping yourself in the bargain
Want to Gain 17 Hours a Week?
With two options for saving even more time
The Parable of the Stinky Shoe
What surprised me most of all in this city of wonders were the reactions of the people. Knowing its reputation, I was nervous how the city dwellers would respond to another bumbling tourist.
Your Attitude is the Best Predictor of Success (Newsletter 057)
A person of average abilities but a superior attitude will outperform a person with great abilities and a poor attitude.
Some Time-Savers Make Our Lives Worse
It took me a couple decades at work to uncover the great risk in prioritizing getting more things done.
Is Your Country A GDPaholic? (Newsletter 022)
People all over the world are telling us something about their well-being that is not being captured in measures of GDP. They are telling us this loudly and clearly if you look for the data, and policymakers are largely ignoring them.
5 Things I Learned About Quitting from 20 Years of Running
You can accomplish great things if you keep going. You almost always can do more than you initially think.
Ways To Make Life Better (Why Not?)
I believe we have the power to improve the world. In that spirit, here are ten ways to make life better by focusing on the places we live. Places and circumstances differ but humans thrive under similar conditions.
We’re All Big Babies
The world exists to satisfy our needs and wants, and because of this we will loudly express our displeasure if we are left wanting.
Secret Plans
My wife and I have come to the conclusion that everyone is entertaining what we call “secret plans” all the time.
No One Said Life Is Fair
When I was growing up, my Dad had a standard response to my brothers and me whenever one of us complained about the never-ending ways that life was unfair: “No one ever said life was fair.”
Wish I Was Here
When we are doing something, anything at all, we have a near infinite number of ways to distract ourselves. We dwell on our thoughts, our mood, and our hopes and dreams.
About You
I could not ask for better readers!