What I learned about transcendence from a very boring 100-mile trek
Love isn’t destiny. That’s what makes it so sweet.
Your job doesn’t have to represent the most prestigious use of your potential. It just needs to be rewarding.
Loneliness is a far bigger problem than a distaste for hard work.
Accepting an apology or brushing off a slight can benefit the offender and the offended alike—but only if you really commit to it.
A little laugh goes a long way.
A pandemic puppy can increase your well-being—if you choose one for the right reasons.
The act of migration involves taking risks in pursuit of a meaningful reward and having faith in the future. Everyone should try to live more like that.
Feelings are contagious—but you can help your loved ones when they’re sad without sacrificing your own good mood.
Well-being is far from universal. Here are four models to help you understand the world—and your own mind.
Individualism is about having the freedom to be who you are—not going it alone.
Having pride in your country can lead to greater well-being, but only if you do it right.
And seven other rules for a happy vacation
Sacrificing for their kids makes fathers happier. Acknowledging that sacrifice will make everyone happier.
To get better sleep, stop treating it like a chore.
There’s plenty wrong in the world. Acting gloomy won’t fix any of it.
Try new things. Not too much. Mostly experiences.
Going against your instincts can help make you happier.
It’s time to prepare for a new and better normal than your pre-pandemic life.
Plenty of moms feel something less than unmitigated joy around their grown-up kids. Make sure yours feels that she’s getting as much out of her relationship with you as she gives.
Your time on Earth is precious and limited. Here’s how to waste it.
If you want to improve your well-being, you need to make a plan and act on it.
The joys of money are nothing without other people.
If your social life is leaving you unfulfilled, you might have too many deal friends, and not enough real friends.
Switching to Zoom forever might be convenient, but it’s a recipe for loneliness.
Lifelong, hard-to-achieve goals might not make you happier. Small steps will.
Evidence shows that hyper-specialization is not the best strategy for happiness.
Humans are programmed to think we’re right at all costs. Fighting that instinct will set you free.
When you most need to get happier, try giving happiness away.
Perfectionism can make you miserable. Here’s how you can muster the courage to mess up.
Voluntarily sacrificing pleasurable things resets your senses and makes you master of yourself.
When it comes to lasting romance, passion has nothing on friendship.
The Dalai Lama teaches that we are all interconnected and inseparable from one another. Acknowledging that can make us less lonely, more compassionate, and better investigators of the truth.
Some of us strive for a virtuous life. Others strive for a pleasant one. We could all use a better balance.
She who dies with the most checked boxes wins, right? Wrong.
If where you live isn’t truly your home, and you have the resources to make a change, it could do wonders for your happiness.
Set goals to improve your well-being—not your wallet or your waistline
The pandemic makes it dangerous to gather in person, but for the sake of your well-being, find connection however you can.
Are you a Mad Scientist, a Cheerleader, a Sober Judge, or a Poet?
The times when we most want comfort and rest may paradoxically be the times we most need to move, for the sake of our well-being.
In presidential elections, the happiness losers lose more than the winners win.
As society gets richer, people chase the wrong things.
Obsessing over politics could hurt your happiness and your relationships.
Humans like to feel optimistic about and in control of where their life is headed. The pandemic has made it very hard to feel that way.
Transitions feel like an abnormal disruption to life, but in fact they are a predictable and integral part of it.
Work friendships are crucial to happiness. What happens when you can’t make them?
When we think of our identities as fixed and unchanging—I am this kind of person; I am not that kind of person—we’re shutting ourselves off from many of life’s possibilities.
The pursuit of achievement distracts from the deeply ordinary activities and relationships that make life meaningful.
Life, especially pandemic life, is full of threats and uncertainty. When we feel afraid, bringing more love into our lives can help.
Higher education is often described as an investment. But it’s still unclear if it pays off in happiness.
If we want a life full of deep meaning, true love, and emotional strength, it’s going to involve the risk (and often the reality) of discomfort, conflict, and loss.
Much like contemplating death can neutralize the fear of it, it can help to acclimate yourself to the idea of losing professional skills before it happens.
What shape your professional path should take depends on how you define success.
Too often, we imagine life to be like the hero’s journey, and leave out its crucial last step: letting go.
Disappointment and uncertainty are inevitable. But we don’t have to turn them into suffering.
“How to Build a Life” is a new column that aims to give you the tools you need to construct a life that feels whole and meaningful.