1. Another good article Todd. I really appreciate how you weave the psychology of money and happiness into some of your work. I don’t know of any other website/person/group that serves it up this way, so job well done on filling this void with very useful information. 
    My favorite “thought” from above is:
    Be Present
    UNHAPPINESS DOES NOT EXIST IN THE PRESENT MOMENT. IT ONLY EXISTS AS A REGRET ABOUT THE PAST OR WORRY TOWARD THE FUTURE. I can’t emphasize how much NOT living in the present moment has negatively impacted my life- it’s easier said than done, but something I think everyone should should give a lot of thought to. It’s almost impossible to be unhappy when you focus on the exact moment that you currently reside it. If we focused on “the moment” like we focus on a great book or television show, we’d be much happier individuals.

    • Finishedat50 Thanks. I appreciate your feedback. Glad it was helpful. Yeah, I have several favorites as shown by the highlighting. It varies day-to-day depending on the situation.

    • There is no such thing as past or future. It is always NOW. When was it not NOW? NOW is all you ever have to work with. It was never, and never will be, anything other than NOW. So it’s a huge waste of energy to regret the past or worry about the future. Instead, just be in the present moment, ever mindful of the true value and power of NOW.

  2. Thanks for the timeless wisdom Todd. This is accords with my life experience too. But we need constant reminders, so much appreciated.

    “There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”  –Epictetus

    “Your purpose is to be yourself….All the elements for
    your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search, or
    struggle.”  –Thich Nhat Hanh

  3. Thanks a lot for this! a few things that i really connected to : 

    Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling  
    Happiness is found in the journey, not the destination.  

    happiness isn’t something you experience, it’s something you remember


    And if you want some quotes and exercises that really changed my life:

    “I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet” (heard it first from Robin Sharma i belief, reading this sentence alone always puts me in a grateful mindset )

    – every day think of 3 things you’re grateful for, new stuff every day..write them down…after a month you’ll have 100 things you’re grateful for infront of your eyes…

    – there’s a stoicm exercise to imagine everything you value as if its gone and vanished..that way you’ll appreciate much more what you got…

    – or when you around people you love imagine as if they’ll die tomorrow and if its the last time you’ll see you’ll act than? (a bit harsh but very powerful)

    • MoranPoborsky Yes, there are many ways to say this core message. All good stuff. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I printed up the check list sheet, thank you for this article..Great stuff.

  5. Hi Todd,
    This is a fantastic article you have written.  It’s refreshing to hear from someone who has as much to say about life as they do about money.I spent years procrastinating about becoming a financial planner, did all the study but couldn’t cope with the industry once I realised about the “kickbacks”. I must admit I found this time tough as I didn’t know which path I should follow. I’ve now embarked on a finance blog in Australia and find the freedom to write exhilarating. I haven’t found the writing as fluid as you have mastered over the years you have had your website running. 
    Congratulations, I find blogs like yours inspiring.  Rob Bredin

    • yoursavings Thanks for your feedback Rob! All I can say is that I try my best every day and hopefully my writing gets better with practice.

  6. Very thoughtful and useful post.

    The “Agnes Replieer” quote is actually from a great 18th French writer, Chamfort: “Le bonheur n’est pas chose aisée. Il est très difficile de le trouver en nous, Il est impossible de le trouver ailleurs.”
    Translation :

    • Julien Levy Thanks for the quote correction. I love quotes, and I always run into this problem of original sourcing and exact language since there are so many closely related and paraphrased versions.

  7. Something I think we all need to remind ourselves of everyday. Always looking for more opportunities to become better. Thanks for the article and information!

  8. I truly appreciate this article, your perspective, and generosity. We will print up the list and read it daily.

  9. This is an amazingly insightful article. The idea that your state of mind determines your state of being really resonates with me. I can see how peoplepreoccupy themselves with making a living, but use this as a way to avoid the work they need to do on themselves. Thank you for pointing that out.

  10. Really enjoyed article. There was one point I wondered how you did it: you said at any given moment you could just choose to be happy. In my experience, I can’t will my emotions away in a healthy way – something has to change: I acknowledge it, focus on something else, I do something physical, etc.
    Do you find that to be the case too? If so, what do you do to bring yourself back to happiness in the moment?

    • CharlieBenkendorf One word – gratitude. Unhappiness results from focusing on the thing that violates my expectations to the exclusion of all that is good in my life. When I refocus my mind on all this good (through gratitude) and appreciate all that is truly amazing in the world around me then the sorrow vanishes. At least, that is my experience.

  11. You’re on the money here. The secret for me was definitely mindset. I learned the importance of gratitude and giving. It opened up doors for me. I realized how much happier I am and it had nothing to do with amassing tons of cash.

  12. Hi Todd, thanks sincerely for sharing your experiences. Your key points in bold are now on my phone lock screen. I can’t help but see this several times a day. Really helpful post.

  13. Somehow at age 10 I realized that happiness was a choice. When I changed how I reacted to things and began to see things in joy and gratitude. I am a very optimist person. I still use causion and common sense but I do not dwell in the negative. Your explaination was right on.

    • Hi Donna, I sure wish I had learned it at age 10. I’m still working on getting this in my bones. Challenging sometimes.

  14. Yes, it can be. But I have found it easier as I practiced.

  15. I agree, happiness is a mind-set! 🙂

  16. Todd,
    Love this article, and of my favorites of yours.  The pre-determined/self-determined distinction is a great way to look at things. I like to think of freedom as not directly creating happiness, but making space for it to grow. Freedom is the gateway drug to happiness.
    That said,I know people that are free and miserable and I know happy consumer slaves.

    I like the heavy dose of stoicism as well 😉


  17. Hi Todd,
    I love your happiness post…it reminds me of my 8 year old daughter…she is the happiest and most positive person I have ever had the pleasure of meeting in my entire life, and I don’t say that because I am her mother ; ) She somehow intuitively knows all that you have described and much more. Reading your artilce has reiterated how much I can learn from and cherish her…thank you!!

  18. I’m a few years out of college now, and well into my personal journey towards FI. I had completely left happiness out of this whole equation, but it is something that has been eating at me and eluding me for years. This article summarized so succinctly all the different things that have been rattling around in my brain, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn this now rather than in fifteen or twenty years down the road. This is must read material for anyone on the FI path. Thank you so much.

  19. Thanks for great article. It was really useful.

  20. Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom.  I’m looking forward to practicing your list with my family.

  21. I can agree with most of the points in this article. The happiness is in the moment. We stop being happy due to the regrets of what we have done or because of the things we haven’t done.

    But having financial freedom and loving wife plus a great health are the things which add up to the happiness. I haven’t seen people being poor and happy. They might be poor in money, but they are full in spirit or friends. They might not have a loving wife, but they have loving and supporting friends. And when there is no health within you, you can’t be happy. You may pretend to be happy so that your supporting friends/loved ones would not suffer and you can find the peace inside yourself, but being happy – well that’s a different story.

    Great article, and one of the best I have read. Thanks.

  22. Wow! This is one of the most powerful financial freedom insight I’ve come across!

    I’m 29 and currently on my journey to financial freedom but have always had a tug of war happening in my heart, as my career for the past decade has been dancing. But moving into business, my life has become somewhat unhappy and less joyous.
    I’ve been in this rut for two years if not more, but this article has given me some incredibly new insight. And I’m so grateful for you Todd.

    Your material resonates with me so much! Especially where I’m at now in my journey to financial freedom and personal freedom. Thank you again, and I hope to take some of your courses to dive deeper into your wisdom.

    You’re doing amazing things, and your name will most definitely be part of my success story! 🙂

    • Thank you for taking the time to write, Ryan! I’m glad it was helpful, and I look forward to hearing more from you in the future.

  23. Awesome article Todd!!
    We all get too caught up in the financial pursuit to “happiness”!!
    I love your lists to help to reinforce all the positive thoughts told reaching the goal of happiness in our life.
    I have always tried to have PMA – Positive Mental Attitude in my life!!!
    Please keep writing these phenomenal articles, they are greatly appreciated!!!

  24. Thanks for the great article. I’ve been listening to all your podcast episodes and I really enjoy how you explore the financial aspects alongside the search for happiness and fulfillment.

    • You’re welcome. I only do it because that’s the way it works in reality. Glad it’s helpful.

  25. This is great advice! I love what I do, which is why it (almost) never feels like a job, and probably why I’ll keep it until I die.

  26. This was posted prominently in our kitchen for many years:

    “I am still determined to be cheerful and to be happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learnt, from experience, that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances. We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us, in our minds, wheresoever we go.”

    Martha Washington

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *