The Insightful Troll

Rants and ruminations.

Road Map to Happiness

Harvard professor Arthur Brooks teamed up with TV icon Oprah Winfrey to help people find true happiness in life. Brooks sits down one-on-one with Stephanie Ruhle to talk about his new book, “Build the Life You Want.” This is one of the most powerful and insightful 12 minutes of television I have seen this year.

Key take aways:

The number one thing that we get wrong is happiness is a feeling … Wrong! Feelings are evidence of happiness.

Envy is the enemy of happiness.

The secrets - the happiness 401k plan - are faith, family, friends, and work that serves other people.


What can we do tomorrow to walk one step closer to a path to happiness?


Lets start by making a goal of reading something really heavy and wise for 15 minutes tomorrow right? Read a book by somebody who knows more than you know. About spiritual depth. They mystries of life. 15 minutes. Thats number one.

Number two - make a goal of calling someone in your family every single day.

Number three, you know your real friends and you know your deal friends. Make a list of people you come most in contact with put Rs and Ds after their name - Not Republicans and Democrats. Real, Deal. And if its all deal, and you don’t have enough Rs you need to do more work. A lot of people watching this have not had real friends since college. They have all been deal friends, transactional friends. People who could help them. You know how you find real friends by the way? They’re not useful. They are beautifully useless. And you need more useless people in your life. Like make a list of them and do the work to keep in touch. Look, when I figured out, when I started doing this research, I didn’t have real friends. Now I got my real friends. And I spent an hour on the phone with each one of them a week.

And last but not least, here is how you judge your job. You don’t judge your job in terms of your title, your prestige, or your money. Its number one, are you earning your success? Do you believe you are creating value with your life? Value with the way you are earning your living in your life and the life of other people? And do you believe you are serving other people so you can lift them up and bring them together?