Swipe File #50: The Secret to Happiness

"The secret to happiness is low expectations."

University College of London

Hey All,

Does that quote feel depressing? Stay with me for a minute.

A study from the University College of London found that relative happiness depends on whether life exceeds or falls short of expectations. If you expect to become a millionaire and fail, you might be unhappy. But if you expect a rainy day and wake to a sunny one, you'll be happy.

Perhaps the key is not to strive for more, but to practice gratitude when things — even the smallest events — go well.

For more on the topic, check out the Quartz article below and this interview with philosopher Alain de Botton.

Enjoy this issue. And if you're feeling inspired, pass it on.

1. Write Less to Say More: The Power of Brevity

via @p_j_boyle

Thanks to Shopify's Tommy Walker for sharing this one with me.

2. The Top 5 Uncommon Timesavers for Bloggers/Writers

via @tferriss

Blogging tips from 2007? They are surprisingly relevant in today's content-fueled world.

3. Define the lead and close, then fill it in.

A good formula for the lead, which I learned from a Wired writer, is: first sentence or paragraph is a question or situation involving a specific person, potentially including a quote; second paragraph is the “nutgraph,” where you explain the trend or topic of the post, perhaps including a statistic, then close the paragraph explaining what you’ll teach (the “nut”) the reader if they finish the post.

3. Robert Herjavec's Formative Moment

via /r/formative

4. Why Nobody Cares About Your Company's Story

via @blakethorne

This is a great post about how to tell a business story that people actually care about.

Story has conflict. Story has uncertainty and characters persevering through a tough situation. Most companies, shooting for the squeakiest of squeaky clean images, shy away from anything that remotely smells of conflict.

This approach, while it might appease the corporate board of directors, robs your messaging of story. It becomes, simply, information. Boring information.

5. On Career Crises

via @TheSchoolOfLife

I love this blog for the great writing as much as the ideas.

We pin our hopes for happiness on Love and Work. And yet in relation to both, refuse to plan methodically, to understand ourselves thoroughly, to train relentlessly and to go into therapy before we act. We worship instinct in precisely the wrong places.

Have a great week!


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