The 20% That Makes You 80% Happy

What’s The Next Best Thing To Do?

I’ve been living on a more micro than macro level the last couple of months, ever since being inspired by Adrian Savage’s The Simplest Path to Success post. Instead of asking myself, ‘what would go on my 10 year plan?’, I’m just asking ‘what’s the next best thing to do?‘ instead. I figure if I take the next best actions, the next best future would settle itself.

I’ve found that living this way is a lot more relaxed and fun than the whole ‘what’s my life-long plan’ thing. Maybe I didn’t get the long term planning method, but the last few months focusing on short-term goodness has been great. I figure that after a few months of getting my act together, I’ll still have time to go strategic long-term planning later.

I think living like this helped lead me to the train of thought that happened this week…

What’s the 20% of Your Effort That Would Make 80% of Your Happiness?

Last week, while I was innocently working away, my unconscious IMed my conscious mind with a sudden question:

What are the top 3 goals in your life right now, that if you achieved them, would make you deliriously happy?

Strange question, but curious enough, I answered generally:

1) Making tons of money (hard at work at my workstation, and driving Life Coaches Blog upwards and onwards, check).

2) Going to Japan to train at my martial arts home dojo (saving up monthly for that, check).

3) Losing that gut (erm, erm…)

Then it hit me, if these 3 goals would make me the most happy, then I should be spending most of my time to make them happen, shouldn’t I?

I have this idea: that for most of us, to make us deliriously, deliciously happy doesn’t take a lot, it only takes a few core things. Those core things can be small or big deals, requiring a lot of or a little work. But if these core things that are only a small fraction of the total goals we have can make up most of our happiness, then we should be spending the most time on them, shouldn’t we?

I know I just scheduled time in for next week to pump some cardio out :p

So What Are The Top 3 Goals In Your Life Right Now That Would Make You Trippy Head-Over-Heels Happy?

What’s your answer? Are you as surprised (and guilty) as I was? Or do you find you’re on track (as I was on 2 too)?

Caveat: Nobody wants to be the guy who slaved to become a millionaire, only to lose his health and family in the process. What goals you came up with, remember to ask if they’re good for others as well as good for you (ecological and sustainable, for those of you who like big words).

9 Responses to “Fast and Effective Ways for Coping with Stress”

  1. Julie Melillo
    November 9 2008 at 5:50 am #

    I really enjoyed this post. It’s easy to forget how powerful our physical reactions are! I like your approach here. Especially reminding the reader that we are not always ready for change — though we think we are! I agree that the real failure is letting fear stop us. Thanks for posting this!

  2. karen parsons
    November 9 2008 at 6:46 pm #

    Hi Julie,

    Thank you for your kind words. I am glad it was helpful! “Coping with Stress” is a part of a series of articles on Stress that I have written, hopefully Life Coaches Blog will be posting the rest. So keep in touch!

    Kindest regards,


  3. Jill R.
    November 10 2008 at 6:55 am #

    This is a great article. I especially like the list of symptoms… some of which a lot of people may not recognize as a sign of stress.

    It’s also important to continue with your stress managment activities even when there are no signs or symptoms of stress. Doing this will help you become stressed less often and ward off stress before it even begins.

  4. karen parsons
    November 10 2008 at 5:48 pm #

    Hi Jill,

    Absolutely, it should be a way of life! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

    Kindest regards,


  5. yvonne
    July 1 2009 at 10:36 pm #

    Great site!!!!! Good health is very important with the high cost of medical coverage. We need to have a healther lifestyle by taking care of our health eating and exercising. I am a cancer survivor and I know. Our health is our greatest asset. Keep up the Good Work!!!!!

  6. Rev. Dr. Bush
    January 16 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    The physical body does not differentiate between happy stress and overwhelm. Stress is stress. We need to develop coping mechanisms in our daily life to avoid the harmful, physiological effects of stress.


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