10 Lessons From The Algebra on Happiness by Scott Galloway
The ratio of time you spend sweating to watching others sweat is a forward-looking indicator of your success. Show me a guy who watches ESPN every night, spends all day Sunday watching football, and doesnt work out, and Ill show you a future of anger and failed relationships. Show me someone who sweats every day and spends as much time playing sports as watching them on TV, and Ill show you someone who is good at life.
2. PASSION, VALUES, MONEY
The best romantic partnerships I know of are synced up on three things. They are physically attracted to each other. Sex and affection establish your relationship as singular and say I choose you nonverbally. Good sex is 10 percent of a relationship, but bad sex is 90 percent of a relationship. However, this is where most young people end their due diligence. You also need to ensure that you align on values like religion, how many kids you want, your approaches to raising kids, your proximity to your parents, sacrifices youre willing to make for economic success, and who handles which responsibilities. Money is an especially important value for alignment, as the number one source of marital acrimony is financial stress. Does your partners contribution to, approach to, and expectations about moneyand how it flows in and out of the householdfit with yours?
3. MONEY IS IMPORTANT
There is a correlation between how much money you have and how happy you are. Money can buy happiness, to a point. But once you reach a certain level of economic security, the correlation flattens. More money wont make you less happy, either (also a myth). So, yes, work your ass off and get some semblance of economic stability. But take notes on the things that give you joy and satisfaction, and start investing in those things. Pay special attention to things that bring you joy that dont involve mind-altering substances or a lot of money.
4. INVEST EARLY, AND OFTEN
Theres an old saying that compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe. The notion of putting money away is most important to the cohort that least understand ityoung peopleas long term is not a concept theyve grasped. Many talented young people assume theyre so awesome that theyll make a shit-ton of money. Okay, maybe . . . but just in case it doesnt rain Benjamins, start putting away money early and often. Dont think of it as savingthink of it as magic.
5. AVOID ALCOHOL
The Harvard Medical School Grant Study was the largest study on happiness, tracking three hundred nineteen-year-old men for seventy-five years and looking at what factors made them less or more happy. The presence of one thing in a mans life predicted unhappiness better than any other factor: alcohol. It led to failed marriages, careers coming off the tracks, and bad health.
6. INVEST IN EXPERIENCE, NOT THINGS
Studies show that people overestimate the amount of happiness things will bring them and underestimate the long-term positive effect of experiences. Invest in experiences over things. Drive across the country rather than buy the latest car. Go to Yankari rather than buy the lattest gadget.
7. RESILIENCE / FAILURE = SUCCESS
Everyone experiences failure and tragedy. You will get fired, lose people you love, and likely have periods of economic stress. The key to success is the ability to mourn and then move on.
8. DONT FOLLOW YOUR PASSION
People who speak at universities, especially at commencement, who tell you to follow your passionor my favorite, to never give upare already rich. And most got there by starting waste treatment plants after failing at five other venturesthat is, they knew when to give up. Your job is to find something youre good at, and after ten thousand hours of practice, get great at it. The emotional and economic rewards that accompany being great at something will make you passionate about whatever that something is. Nobody starts their career passionate about tax law. But great tax lawyers are passionate about colleagues who admire them, creating economic security for their families, and marrying someone more impressive than they are.
9. LEARN FROM FAILURE
Scott Galloway shares his story here. In High school, I ran for sophomore, junior, and senior class president. I lost all three times. Based on this track record, it was obvious I should run for student body president. I did, and I (wait for it) lost. I was also cut from the baseball and basketball teams. I remember my mom and I going to Juniors Deli on Sepulveda to celebrate my admittance to UCLA after initially being rejected.
Arriving on campus, I rushed five different fraternities and got admitted to one, as they were looking to fill a room in the house with someone whod help pay the dues. When I graduated, I interviewed at twenty-two firms and got one offer, from Morgan Stanley.
I applied to several MBA programs and was rejected by Stanford, Indiana, Wharton, Duke, UT Austin, and Kellogg. I was admitted by UCLA and Berkeley Haas with the same narrative I pitched to UCLA the first time: Im an unremarkable kid, but Im your [Californias] unremarkable kid.
In business school, I ran for class president, and lost. Since graduating from business school, I have started nine businesses. Most have failed.
10. THREE THINGS FOR YOUR WORK LIFE
Show up early.
Have good manners.