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You can influence half of your happiness from day to day behavior.

Write expressively:

Buy experiences, not goods, and share them with others

Make gifts to others and carry out simple acts of kindness.


Sit up.

Act happy.

Put in the effort into intentional change in your life.


Don’t reward people for something they want to be doing.

Don’t reward excessively for things people don’t enjoy either.

Occasional small surprise rewards make people feel good.

Job interviews:

Speak and write simply and legibly. Smart words don’t help.

Ask someone for a small favor to get them to like you.

You don’t have to be so perfect. It’s okay to slip up.

Gossip: the traits (both positive and negative) you assign to others will be viewed as part of your personality.

People have a special fondness for other people and ideas introduced to them over meals and coffee.

Bystander effect. Pick a friendly face from the crowd and ask/tell them what’s happening and that you need their help.

Do small favors for others.

… And if you want a favor in return, ask for it quickly.


Record progress (a journal)

Persuade yourself to work on an activity for “just a few minutes” (Zeigarnik effect: an anxiety for unfinished task. Once started, you’ll feel an urge to see the task through completion.)

Doublethink: fantasize about the goal you’re trying to achieve and note the benefits. Then think of the process of achieving it and note the potential setbacks. Contemplate on both the benefits and the hurdles.

Dieting and drinking:

When eating, start at your normal rate, then slow down and savor each bite

Make tempting food harder to see and harder to access

Focus on eating – don’t get distracted by reading or talking.

Use small bowls, plates and spoons.

Keep a food diary – take a note of everything you eat, and how much of it.

Think for a few moments about how much you’ll regret not going to the gym. Then go to the gym.

At the gym, avoid big mirrors – exercise in front of plain walls instead.

Use more energy doing everyday things, like by taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

Diet packs are bullshit.


Brainstorming doesn’t work. Being alone and solely responsible helps produce more and higher quality ideas.

Keep the loud guy (your conscious mind) busy to let your unconscious work on the task. (Try word search puzzles, crossword puzzles or Sudoku)

Priming: skim the area you want to learn or work on, then keep yourself occupied for a while as your brains develops relevant connections.

Try imagining how a child, an idiot, an accountant, artist or friend would approach a problem.

Think of an exact opposite of the solutions you come up with.

Play. Don’t get too serious, relax, watch a cat video, and get back to the problem with your mind at play.

When you get too familiar with something, switch your brain back to manual. Engage your curiosity and start asking questions about why things are the way they are.

Put plants and flowers in your room and office.

In groups, play musical chairs – have part of the group stay constant, but then regularly rotate some of the group to increase creativity and new thoughts.

Decision making

Groups tend to make more extreme, polarized opinions (sometimes very risky, sometimes very conservative). Individuals are better at making balanced decisions.

Foot in the door. People are more likely to agree to a big request if they’ve already agreed to a smaller one.

Door in your face. People are more likely to agree to a request if they already turned down an outrageous one.

When making a straightforward decision, do it consciously assessing pros and cons.

When making a complex decisions, look at the information, then distract yourself, leaving the work to the unconscious, and then pick what feels right.

Containing regret. Adopt a “will do” attitude towards opportunity.

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