This Trap Keeps Us Unhappy 😨

We all like certainty.


To the point we would prefer the certainty of misery than uncertainty of the unknown.


“This job sucks but it pays well; and I’m scared to take the leap doing something else.”


“I don’t enjoy hanging out with my long-term partner but I don’t want to be single.”


We don’t make decisions that may be best for us in the long term because we are emotional creatures.

Today in 6 minutes or less, you’ll learn:

✔️ How to honour your values and principles when you make decisions

✔️ The “flowers” you forgot to smell along the journey

✔️ The hidden metrics of “success”

Doable ideas 💭

Following last week’s “hero list”, I have one more list for you:


Collect principles, or rules you come across that resonate with you, and start applying them.

^ my “principles list”.

Most come from the heros in my life as they can give me solid advice. Some are lessons I learnt (the hard way).


Make big or small decisions, and cure your procrastination with this.

Reflections 🪞

List out 5 things that make you feel comforted, present, inspired, and just plain good.

Mindfulness 🧘🏻‍♀️

We generally measure “happiness” based on the obvious metrics: $X sitting in my bank account. Working as Y position in the company.


But we might be paying attention to the wrong signals.


These obvious, socially accepted, easily quantifiable signals have nothing to do with how happy or satisfied you feel.


What, and how shall we measure happiness, health and quality of life then?


Obvious vs Hidden Metrics 🧐


You won’t be happy living in a spacious townhouse if you’re surrounded by mansions.


You won’t be happy driving a brand-new, 18-month-waiting-period car if your neighbours all own exotic sports cars.


It’s all perspectives.


Comparison is the thief of joy.
– Theodore Roosevelt

Let’s pay attention to the less obvious signals in your life.


I’ve been tracking a handful of things for 2 years religiously to measure my quality of life:

  • RPE (rate of perceived exertion): how hard you think you’re pushing yourself during exercise
  • Sleep (not 100% accurate with smartwatch but you can see the trend)
  • How satisfied I feel with my current relationships


These are the “hidden metrics” that, in my opinion, better indicate how well I’m living my life.


Am I training hard? Am I making sure I show up at my best self? Am I loving and supporting people close to me?


I know that as long as I tick those boxes 80% of the time I would be optimising performance, which in turn would help me achieve my goals and reach my full potential.


The best part? You are competing with yourself only.


Keep it Simple 😌


You don’t need to track the same things as I do.


Over the years I realised that being true to myself and “living a good life” mainly mean honouring my core values and principles.


Here’s the bird’s eye view of how I quantify this seemingly vague idea:

^ part of my weekly review on Notion.

Every quarter I update my core values. I see life in “seasons”. There are periods when I focus on my career; or times I want to build a supportive community around me.


Then I match each life area to the core values. Every week I rate how much attention they received in the past week to see if my actions aligned with the core values.


This is important for a few reasons:

1 Make the decision upfront to suck at certain things. If I’m on grind mode, I have to be okay with temporarily sacrificing my fully optimised workout routine or time spent with family.

2 Action speaks louder than words. Did you allocate time in doing what you said you would do? You are the easiest person to fool. Keep yourself accountable.


Tracking raises your awareness of how you live your life.


To me, that’s a form of mindfulness.


What are your hidden metrics?

Ideas Worth Pondering 🧠

Happiness is a choice you make and a skill you develop.
– Naval Ravikant

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