Tom Whipple at The Times writes about happiness. Here’s the summary of his advice…
1 Whatever you do, don’t try to be happy
Happiness is a bit like an erection. You can only get it when you are thinking about something else. Helping others only boosts happiness if you are not in it for yourself. Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, said: “Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.”
2 A story or an experience?
A man listened to a symphony in a state of bliss. As it approached the climax, a scratch on the disc produced a horrible sound. “It ruined the whole experience.” We love stories with happy endings. This has big implications for happiness. Take parenting.
3 Fast cars are overrated
Rich nations are no happier, on average, than poor ones (once basic needs are met. Contentment increases in line with pay until a threshold of £58,700, then levels off.
4 Don’t live under a flight path
Noise pollution is a catastrophe for happiness. In ruins our emotional equilibrium and creates nasty physiological effects, such as elevated cortisone
5 Would you enter the Matrix?
Would you plug yourself in? Most people say “no” prefering a real life, even one that is less happy, provided it was authentic. We should decide on what we really believe before living our lives, not the other way around.
Very happy! I got accepted onto a Harvard Business School executive course in February. A one week intensive entitled 'Launching New Ventures.' I've always wondered what it would be like to study at a top tier Ivy League School, but now I can't possibly justify taking a year or two off, even if I could get in. So this course fits perfectly, just after iDate Miami.
I'd love to do this course on Strategic Innovation, and this course on Media Psychology. Time will tell. Right now business is great, and clients own my time and attention.
It's been a rough month. First, Chris Walker succumbs to spine cancer. Then my friend Sundrea Ryan, and Cupid/Predating super speed-dating host died. Then a sweetheart of a guy, Eric Holze, CEO of Scientific Match passes away at just age 47. wtf! And oh, Steve, my hero, the last american who knew what the f he was doing passes away.
Very cute. My l'il girls.
My head is in New York and Silicon Valley, but our feet are in Malta. Malta is our home. Why move to Malta? Here's some of the appeal of lovely Malta...
Ranked the best weather in the world, out of 191 countries, by International Living Magazine. The average annual temperature of the sea is 20c, the hottest in Europe. And there's more sunshine hours than Mallorca, Spain. (2,961 in Malta vs Mallorca's 2,763). In fact, Malta comes in at about the same level of sunshine hours as Honolulu (3,042)
One of the safest countries in the world with 40% the murder rate of the USA, 10% of the rape rate, and a lower rate of aggravated assault than Japan. Reputation really matters here. It's a small island, people talk. There's 1.2 million visitors to Malta a year and I'd guess that much of the crime is committed by non-locals. Safety is super important to us. We have two l'il girls.
Ranked 3rd top for Quality Of Life, by International Living Magazine.
#5 on the World Health Organization ranking of medical systems out of 190 countries. UK is #18 and USA #37!
Very attractive taxation. As an ordinary resident, capital that we bring into the country is not taxed.
No annual property taxes. We pay 5% taxes, plus 1% notary fees when buying property, and we're done. We're buying two apartments next month. One for home (at Fort Cambridge), one for our office and sea toys (at Qui Si Sana Seafront).
Super internet infrastructure, thanks to all the iGaming companies here. 3G wireless throughout, and 100mb fiber optic.
Other interesting stats. 90% of the 414,000 people living in Malta speak Maltese. 6% speak English. In actual fact, most people also speak English. Swedish is fast becoming the most popular language next to English, and Italian as the Swedish population booms here. Maltese sounds like a mishmash of Arabic and Italian. Actually, its ~75% from a Sicilian dialect of Italian, the rest is of Arabic descent.
The ordinary residency program suited us best. There's minimal paperwork. We just declared ourselves to the local tax authorities.
Stand Up Paddling is new to Malta, but pretty popular in the USA, and UK. We saw a feature on SUPing in the fashion magazine, Pink, in Malta. Then we saw some SUPers out on the water and it looked like fun. So I looked up Pete Satariano, the personal trainer/SUP instructor featured in the magazine. He brought out some boards gave us a lesson and set us free on the water.
Its great training for balancing. A little tougher than I thought it would be. Irena did GREAT! She was as solid as a rock. We both hit the water when boats came by and rocked us around. So there's plenty of room for improvement. I wondered why Pete had a small strip of astroturf on his board. He's an avid golfer and practices his swing from the board.
The boards are light inflatables so they're easy to pack down and transport. They're not cheap. Ours cost 900 Euro, but in the USA they run about the same in Dollars. Definitely fun, and a lot easier than windsurfing.
Sasha was singing while on the toilet, and Irena caught the occasion on her phone.
Mum moved out of her independent living apartment in Victoria Canada, and moved to Malta.
Mark, Mum and Mike.