Monthly Happiness Report: Rich Pursues The Good Life Through Books And Podcasts — April 2017

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Very happy to see that your past month was a happy one.

As I mentioned, I’m leaning toward “The Good Life” as a better way of describing satisfaction with life, because it encapsulates factors like love, virtue, work, and health. But I’ll still use happiness as a shorthand.

In the past month, I can say life is darn good. No big changes, but darn good nonetheless.

Let’s look at the numbers:

4 is my baseline, and I’d say I’ve been happier than usual, clocking in at 4.63 this month.

Here are some highlights from each category:


  • Family: Still steady at 4.5. As usual, twin boys = chaos, noise, and physical destruction. But we’re in a fairly good groove handling the hubbub. Additionally, Mrs. Rich and I just celebrated our 9 year anniversary! The only reason I’m not a full 5 is I’m far from my extended family.
  • Friends: I had a fun guys night out. It doesn’t take much for me to be content with friendships.


  • Work: The job is fine, not much to report here.

  • Hobbies: In addition to writing on this blog, I’ve been reading good books and listening to interesting podcasts. Specifically, I just finished Purity by Jonathan Franzen. Not as good as The Corrections, but I enjoyed it. I’ll touch on the podcasts in the mental health section. I like that my hobbies give me a double bonus by helping my mental health stay strong.


  • Experiences: We continue to take advantage of living overseas. And notice, my Freedom category has been at level 5 for a few months now, and I’m not a retired millionaire. I think Freedom is largely a function of living the life you want to live. Freedom is not the absence of obligations.
  • Recreation: Fun meals out and beach time with the kids and Mrs. Rich.


  • Physical: I finally got this up to baseline. No dental work, no sick days, and eating healthy food has become a habit. I’ve never been a soda guy, and lately I eat very little red meat or processed foods. If I can increase my workouts I’ll be in business.
  • Non-physical: My mental health has been bolstered by listening to the Waking Up podcasts by Sam Harris. The link is to his podcast page. The image is of his book of the same name, but the podcasts are broader in scope and cover a range of topics from morality to religion to consciousness to artificial intelligence. I love when good thinkers are unafraid to challenge conventional wisdom in ways that are honest and logical.

Are there any thinkers you regularly read or follow to stay sharp? I’ve been through many. Currently it’s Harris, but I also like NT Wright, Christopher Hitchens, and Dave Barry.

In happiness,



6 Replies to “Monthly Happiness Report: Rich Pursues The Good Life Through Books And Podcasts — April 2017”

  1. I tend to be a pessimistic person, but at my current juncture most things in life are firing in upside. It has made it easier to remind myself of how good things are. In terms of reading, recently I’m on an economics and business kick. I’ve been reading Galbraith and Schiller in the Econ arena. In business it’s been more about insider trading scandals.

  2. I don’t really follow any readers or thinkers specifically to stay sharp. I just mash together a hodgepodge of characters and come up with something. Marc Barnes from his Bad Catholic blog writes some of the most intelligent stuff I’ve ever read (and he’s only 21 years old!). I like the mind of C.S. Lewis, I like how he thinks. I don’t like listening to podcasts, too much noise.
    Penny @ recently posted…Monthly Happiness Report: Rich Pursues The Good Life Through Books And Podcasts — April 2017My Profile

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