Beware The Happiness Trap (And how to get happier)

Happiness is one of the highest states that we as humans can achieve, but it’s an open-ended and “everyone’s different” kind of situation which you need to determine which is definely you.

Let’s cover these a little.

Happiness is not an achievement

It is sometimes a fallacy that we NEED to seek happiness and that happiness is an achievement.

Happiness cannot be achieved.

Or better worded as happiness that is achieved is usually short-termed, because these kinds of happiness are based on ticking something off a check list. These kinds are moreso dopaminergic responses to getting things done (short bursts of productivity).

True and sustained happiness, on the contrary, is usually a state of being that is typically achieved by

  1. giving back
  2. doing / being engaged meaningfully such as work, craft, art etc

These two can sometimes be combined into one (that’s the sweet spot).

When you know something makes you happy is what you’re happy to do even when you have to do it for free (without being paid) because the practice of doing it is rewarding enough.

Find YOUR kind of happiness

Everyone’s measure, state, experience and expression of happiness isn’t the same.

  • Some need more to be happier / happy. Some need less.
  • Some express their happiness in one way, some express in another. Some loud, some soft. Some wide, some narrow. Some colorful, some not.
  • Some are happy in a particular physical, emotional, productivity, project season etc.
  • Some just need a good book. Or a quiet place. Or their bathtub.
  • Some need a boat.
  • Some people it’s a state of being or giving back or in their zone.
  • Etc

It is so varied because there is just so many different permutations.

And it’s okay, it’s meant to be that way because we’re all so different.

You’d know when you see it and you know “good for them” and you can celebrate and be happy for them but it’s not the way you’d do it.

Your job is to find out your way of happiness.

Happiness is sometimes a state of doing-being (process)

I mentioned it earlier above that for some people it’s a state of being or giving back or in their zone, and I want to dive a little deeper.

This is being in

  • their flow
  • their zone
  • their being of creating value and/or meaning

It’s a feeling of a sense of knowing that you’re meant to be doing that, at that moment, at that time

For some, it could be

  • cooking for x person or group
  • running in that lap
  • walking / hiking in that location
  • writing that article or book
  • teaching that particular student(s) or subject(s)
  • fixing that particular problem
  • etc

Ie it’s often a process of doing and being that combines into a sense of being.

This is the thing that miserable millionaires and billionaires lack, where the goal of the first million, when achieve, then becomes the next million. It becomes flat and meaningless. I’ve known rich but miserable people, and boy, are they sad.

Because it’s the peak of failure, when one reaches the peak and goal that they set, and when they achieve it, all they feel is…

Is this all there is to that goal?

Herein there are a few reasons why this happens:

  • Firstly, we are communal and value driven. This is deep rooted in our instincts and psyche (except for some sociopaths) – we get immense satisfaction from doing things that build value to people that we care about. Take this away and things become meaningless.
  • Secondly, there’s only so much money we need. Sure, making and having millions in our bank account is a wonderful thought, but there are only so much we can spend on food, clothing, cars, sex, etc
  • Thirdly, things can get scary after achieving, because we have to deal with the boredom and fear that “that’s all we can look forward to, and now that’s done, there is nothing else to look forward to)
  • Fourthly, we are meant to be serving and doing. Not everyone is meant to do “nothing” (as in, nothing in value).

So your job here is to find what makes you tick, what makes you happy, and what you’d do even if you have to do it for free (or pay someone to let you do it for free haha).

Basic ways to increase happiness and contentment

Remove stuff that makes you negative or less happy

  • Walking away from working in a place where the culture and/or leadership is negative and toxic
  • Walking away from negative or toxic people…even if they’re family
  • Stop trying to make everyone happy
  • Stop doing or tolerating something that goes against your moral principles
  • Etc

Keep doing stuff that makes you positive, happy and/or maintain your level of happiness

  • Working in a place that makes you happy
  • Being with people that makes you calm and at peace
  • Reading something that makes you happy
  • Earning something out of your own hard work
  • Cleaning your space / maintaining a clean space
  • Cooking
  • etc

Sometimes and oftentimes, it’s the pursuit of something meaningful that makes us happy. I know right – we’re weird that way sometimes.

….and in some people…sometimes, genetically, they are more predisposed to feeling the blues, being sad, and getting depressed. If that’s you, seek help. Therapy and care and support will help.

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Why I Pay For Wealthy Affiliate For All My WordPress Sites Hosting….

Sometimes I come across sites where they bash Wealthy Affiliates for being too expensive because other web hosts are cheaper…

Take a look at this:

So I installed a plugin on 18th May 2021 and it crashed my site at 5 PM.

I flagged this up to Wealthy Affiliate support team at 5.05 PM.

It was sorted in minutes.


This is what I pay USD 299 a year for – that makes it about USD 81 cents a day (USD 0.81/day). As a busy business owner with multiple commitments including young children etc, I normally would like good support in all I do. I’m assuming the same of you as well.

Better than me trying for 1-8+ hours, tearing my hair out in frustration (I’m a tech klutz after all haha)

If you’re wanting to start an online business (or if you have a business but dont have an online presence yet), read Passive Income Entrepreneurship. I recommend using Wealthy Affiliate’s free membership program first to get the feel and hang of things, and when you’re ready, you can upgrade to premium.

“I Didn’t Read The Contract So It Doesn’t Count”

i am a good man i am a good man

This is a memory of a distant past, and is a story how one fails at leadership and personal integrity.

The words mentioned by someone I know, in their bidst to exit a contractually binding agreement.

Deny, deny, deny, in their bidst to say that it wasn’t their fault – that it doesn’t count because they didn’t read the agreement.

And go on and tell their tribe an entirely different narrative that suits their preference.

Let’s call this person, jamhead.

This is a fine example of non-integrity – it’s central to the core of their being, that when it’s tough and with crunch time, to

  • deny the truth
  • deny their involvement
  • change the truth to their convenient and suitable story

This is the same reason why also the people jamhead poached/try to poach:

  • within 7 days, 2 were fired for asking for higher walls for client’s privacy
  • one of jamhead’s “close support” left within a period of time
  • another 2 left within weeks
  • another one left in 3 days (this one was tempted by money jamhead offered, but they could see it’s rubbish)
  • another was being poached by jamhead, but turned jamhead down immediately because they saw how unprofessional jamhead was

Because of this: people ain’t dumb. One can spread rumours, bitch, backstab, and it may be fun for the one doing it – but people aren’t dumb. They can see. If not now, then later. That’s why there’s an idiom saying:

The truth will come to light.

That being said, integrity is central to one’s ability to lead oneself and people. Integrity is being honest and telling the truth, and that the spoken words match with actions. It’s so easy but it’s so profoundly difficult it seems.

There is no leadership without integrity – that is why there is the quote of “there is no honor amongst thieves” – they will just die to infighting or in some inglorious manner.

It is the same reason why they will likely not able to grow their business as well, other than just do inflationary stuff that can agree with them, a la echo chambers. Or that they are doomed to repeat fail relationships (eg multiple divorces, breakups, etc) – what isn’t resolved will repeat. Then again, like attracts like doesn’t it.

But I would say: life and business is many, many times better without this jamhead.

  • No more lying and politicking and forced to pick sides.
  • No more drama.
  • No more backstabbing and bitching.

Lol, it’s quite interesting how one can try to say “I never read so my signature on the agreement don’t count” – this is not just denial of the agreement – it points to the complete absence of ability to comprehend, plus lying nature of backtracking.

Good riddance and goodbye jamhead.

Happiness+1000 now =)

Interesting Chat With Grab Taxi Driver

yellow Volkswagen Beetle coupe

This was an interesting chat with the grab taxi driver we took mid April 2021, which some following summaries:

  • he was a horoscope master (Chinese zodiac and the stuff)
  • he was cheated by his best friend of $2.5M in a joint venture in 2018 and had to sell his properties to cover the losses. In that process, lost hair and health due to stress

And his sharing to us was:

  • Money lost, let it go – it will come back in its way to us
  • My sister loves our kids a lot, and she may or may not find someone to marry but dont rush
  • That my wife and I are wonderful fit for each other, and to treasure each other

Fascinating – so out of the blue yet apt at the same time.

Good Success – The Long Infinite Game

There are many different kinds of success.

What is your idea of success?

How do you measure your own achievements in life?

One person’s idea of success may not be the same as another’s. For some, it might mean fame and fortune; for others, it could mean something more modest like a good job with stability and benefits.

There are also good kinds of success and of course, bad kinds as well. Don’t get me wrong, both kinds good and bad successes pursue the same things: profit, growth etc…but the difference is the who, how and why.

The biggest differentiator is why.

The pursuit of “good” success has been on my mind since 2015-ish because I’ve noticed that there is plenty of bad kind of success out there: where people will pursue money, fame or ___ at the price of anything.

You know, the sort of “I must win at the cost of everything and anything”.

I’ve met business leaders who had told me, that if I work with them, I cannot leave them to be on my own, if not, they will “turn on the faucet to nuke everything and may everyone die.”


It’s the sort that if-you-leave-me-then-you-must-die-because-if-I-cant-have-you-then-I-must-kill-you.

He’s definitely sociopathic.

And another person who turned entire agreements around to say that “such agreements don’t matter even though they signed the agreement because they didn’t read the agreement when they signed it.”

This one is borderline sociopathic, but moreso dumb – but the world seem to love these kind of crazies.

Good few people would consider this to be a good or sustainable form of happiness or achievement in life. I consciously decide not to work with these kind of people and organizations because it’s a different philosopy and consciousness.

Perhaps I am naive for believing in an ideal kind of business and life, where everyone wins. Everyone includes everyone. You know, each other, clients, society, environment. Everyone wins means everyone wins. Not some win some lose.

What if we had the opportunity to choose between two paths: one leading to the pursuit and attainment of “bad” type successes (fame, fortune and recognition) but with a definite end (once the fame is gone or you run out of money, or thinking is okay to cheat and manipulate others to win).

Likewise another example: this business leader who cheated on his wife, and was found out because there is always evidence and witness. She decided to divorce him, and he sent her a legal letter to indicate that the reason of the divorce was “she didn’t fulfill her wifely duties”. She threw his request out and when she met him whilst he was with his team, she openly and publicly berated him – and he could only suck on this thumb as he “had nothing on her to nail her.”

We have much ammo to pursue others, but we consciously choose not to. Simply because it’s a waste of time – we get more of what we give. So those that practice evil, lying etc, may they get 100X more of the anguish they dish out.

See, one is playing this way and another is playing the other way.

Which would we choose?

Which one should we choose?

Each time we look back it becomes increasingly clear that our choices were indeed the right ones. And the rate of us looking back decreases with time, as we continue to look forward to build the kind of good success and good lives that we believe in.

Remember I mentioned that good success and bad success does the same thing: we want to earn more and build better lives. The difference is three things: who, how and why.

Who is who we are and who we work with. Not everyone is worth working or living with. You have to be very specific who you want to be (this includes the values that you wish to subscribe to) and who you work for and allow into your life.

How is how we do things. If I earn $1000 per month doing something, would I want to earn the same $1000 but faster by cheating or cutting corners? I wont. I will improve processes and value to increase earnings but not by black practices.

Why is the purpose of what we do. It is the why we do what we do. Simon Sinek recommends to always start with why, because our why is our reason that brings us from where we are to where we want to be. And it cannot be just money, because everyone wants to earn money – it’s a result but it’s not a why.

It’s akin to comparing: do you want to work with someone who will cheat, manipulate and scam others for quick big money? Versus do you want to be and work with someone who will do things the good and right way, for bigger reasons beyond themselves?

One is like working for the person who will cheat on his wife and tries to accuse her of not doing her wifely duties; or that people who has convenient amnesia to justify that their signature on agreement doesn’t count because they didn’t read or working with that rich company who will nuke you if you don’t do what they say?

What I’m sharing is a very difficult thing to do, and not everyone will be able to do it or subscribe to it. You don’t have to.

The majority of the world today will do whatever it takes to bring them ahead, including doing black practices as long as they can get away with it. This includes individuals and organizations.

Should we do something wrong just because everyone is doing it? You know that doesn’t make that wrong a right. It just means that it’s popular but that doesn’t make it right still.

One is doing things this way, the other is doing things the other way.

Again, the question is, what is the kind of good success for you? Will you attempt to get rich quick by following rich individuals and organizations who has no qualms on corrupt practices?

I know someone, I’ve mentioned before, called “smellies” – who hang around rich but corrupt organizations because they smell the money there. And I’ve to admit – there is a lot of money there. But they are at the beck and call of them, and have to dance to the tune of the joker bosses who will make you do black practices so that their own name wont be tarnished.

Anything bad happens, they can just throw you under the bus. Convenient.

Here’s the reason why it’s not a good idea – if they can cheat and manipulate others, they will do it to you too. You may think “I can just stay here X years” and by then I have enough to exit the game.

Do you think they will let you go?

Imagine this – after 10+ years, they will have enough dirt on you to keep you working. Of course they will also have enough information on you to keep dangling just-out-of-reach-carrots to keep you working.

The last person I know has been waiting for a company to go public and it’s been more than 10 years, and from what we can tell, due to their corrupt practices, it’s gonna be a really looooooooooooooooong moon shot to even smell the chance of going public listed (going IPO has a lot of audit requirements – bad books will be found out, and when that happens, there goes the chance of going IPO).

Once they realize, it may be too late – such people may hang around for years and decades, being robbed of their youth and best productivity years of their lives for a dream of becoming rich that may never materialize.

Because of this simple reason: they want to get rich fast, and they think that by working with any rich individuals or organizations will get them to their goals quickly.

Alas, it doesn’t work that way.

These individuals and organizations do not work that way – they are incentivized to manipulate and use individuals to the max intensity and duration, hence they will create forever-hamster-wheels for everyone, including those who want to get rich fast.

It’s the classic long con.

The good kind of success that I believe in? My dream is to create businesses that are transparent, sincere, loving and places people over profits. Where everyone can see who we are doing and what we subscribe to. Where everyone is on the same kind of agreements where we front load as much as possible so as to never need to negotiate for higher salary (we just max it from the beginning).

So that people who want to work with us, is because they want to. Even if they’re more than well to do financially, they choose to work with us because they want to. No need to play political games to earn more etc.

Where I openly apologize if I did wrong, and admit where I’ve no strengths, and where I have clear strengths, I lead the way. Everyone profits together.

That is the good kind of business success and life that I dream for and believe in.

Everyone’s zigging that way, I’m zagging another way – it’s not trying to be different for different sake. I truly believe in good success, good business and the good life where everyone wins, and it’s an open, loving, transparent and good game.

I’m playing the long game of good success and life.

Simon Sinek calls this the Infinite Game – he brilliantly defines and explains what my dream and desire in an ideal business is.

Over time, my people have told me through casual conversations where the individual who “left because they didnt read the agreement” had tried to poach them too, offering high amount. But they didn’t take it, because they could see through her character.

People aren’t dumb. Well maybe most aren’t. I believe that most people are smart and desire to do good and do well.

The promised shortcut to get rich quick is usually a scam and con. The long game of playing it right and good is the short cut to get rich quick.

If you’ve reached the point where your success is only defined by what other people think (or where a large group on individuals cheer and root for you), then it’s not worth considering anymore because this kind of “success” will always be short-lived and unsustainable for yourself in ways that matter to us too much.”

Because mob doesn’t mean right. It may mean might (strength), but it’s doesn’t mean right.

Question everything that you’re doing, thinking and where you’re working.

It’s important to remember that you’re in charge of your own success and happiness – no one else can do it for us.


What Is Good Success?

Good success to me, is mastery in the following areas of our lives where everyone wins.

My dream of the good successful life and business is where we can build and live lives that are rich, healthy, blessed, life and world-changing BUT

  • Where no one needs to be thrown under the bus.
  • Where no one needs to be lied to or manipulated.
  • Where no one needs to be cheated of.
  • Etc

Basically, one doesn’t need to cheat to get ahead in life. And that when we play the game in a good way, though it seems like a slower and longer way of success – it’s actually the correct and fastest way to success.

To me, these are the working theory of how I organize my thoughts.

Stage 1 Financial Security & Freedom – Building assets that provides value over and over again, and being paid passively over and over again

Above all, this is the starting point – without achieving The Passive Income Lifestyle, one cannot unlock the full Good Success Life.

The reason is basic and simple – if we are still stuck actively earning money, then we can never be time free. Without being able to be time free, working 40-100 hours a week – how can we ever achieve all of the areas below outside of work? In fact, it is possible for us to be so desperate that we may end up working for wrong people who is corrupted too.

That’s why one of my core messages central to my life is to

Achieve The Passive Income Lifestyle by learning to build / acquiring assets that pours streams and streams of passive income automatically into our bank accounts week after week to unlock the next stages of life

That’s the main reason driving me to spend thousands of dollars, time and effort to

  • grow and improve my core business performance, of which I can take the proceeds to invest into stable dividend stocks and a portion into high-risk, high-returns cryptocurrency
  • learn and improve upon my online business skills

Stage 2 Embracing Good Mindset & Values

This includes being kind, doing good, doing the right thing, philanthropy and the like in your personal life, relationships and business or career.

It also includes owning up and speaking truthfully even when it’s not easy or comfortable, and helping others grow despite them or ourselves making mistakes.

If we try to get ahead in life by ignoring good mindset and values, and instead get ahead by using black practices such as lying, intimidation, coercion etc – such earned money are unclean “blood money” – where someone had to be sacrificed for us to get that benefit.

Unfortunately, it’s common-practice today.

  • CEOs, bankers and top-ranked executives are given boatloads of money even when companies they work for tank (remember the story of Lehman brothers collapse? Millions affected negatively, government stepped in to give tax money to save the bank, and millions of dollars ended up in the hands of the bankers…not the ones affected).
  • Massive layoffs to balance books to profit shareholders.
  • Manipulation and cooking of books used to raise more funds to do more shit practices.
  • Individuals who lie and throw others under the bus are rewarded for it with promotions and more money.

This is truly rubbish work and I strongly disagree to this – what’s the point of getting ahead this way?

One may think it’s okay…but it’s “usually okay if it happens to someone else”. The easiest way to see if it’s good or not is just by asking these questions:

  1. Would it be okay with you if the same thing happens to you or your loved ones (be it your spouse, daughter or son)?
  2. Or if you are told to do this to your spouse, daughter or son?

Would or can you?

If you would, then unfortunately you aren’t right this time. Just because everyone does it doesnt make a wrong a right. Even if 1 million people do the wrong thing, it doesn’t mean it’s right you know – it just means it’s popular.

That’s it.

I recommend that you choose to love and succeed where everyone wins, not just a select few.

Stage 3 Relationships & Love

This is an extension or part of stage 2 of embracing good mindset and values. It will spill over into good practices and values in personal relationships and friendships including.

Do not sacrifice others for personal gain – there is no gain or happiness from doing such things.

If anything, it will bring you pain instead.

That person who cheated on his wife (dirt #1) and when she divorced him, he tried to make her sign documents that she didn’t do her wifely duties (dirt #2). Of course she didn’t agree at all.

In spite of doing wrong, he still tried to turn it around to be her fault, and none of his…and what’s more now he has two dirty deeds on him – this will haunt him for the rest of his life, whether he likes it or not.

Consciously apply your good mindset and values to yourself, your relationships, your people. Do not cheat or wring them or use them.

Stage 4 Health, Fitness & Well Being

Health without wealth is okay, we have energy and brilliance to work our way up to good success.

However, wealth without health is terrible – so don’t mess with your health.

  1. Fast regularly at least 3-7 days a week, about 16 hours of non-solids and non-caloric fasting. This does wonders for your health.
  2. Exercise 3-7 days a week, moderate pace. No need crazy intense stuff – research is showing moderate activities also provides the health benefits of exercise you want.
  3. Drink lots of plain water. I drink filtered water by Aquasana drinking water filter.
  4. Rest and sleep. This when done right, will work wonders to reverse damage done to our body due to environmental or external stresses, and bring you closer to better and fuller health.
  5. Take some good health supplements. You dont need a thousand of them – just a few core high quality ones like Xtend Life Total Balance Men’s Premium or Xtend Life Omega 3 Fish Oil QH Ultra.
  6. Meditate.
  7. Spend time with loved ones (see Stage 3) – there are research showing that good healthy and positive relationships has profound beneficial health benefits for the health, brain, etc. Just by eating, laughing and spending time with people we care about.
  8. Read a book a week – this itself will bring you years ahead in growth. Be hungry to learn.

Stage 5 Pursuing God, Spiritual Matters and sometimes, Serendipity

We are spiritual beings.

Not just bags of flesh and bones (this is true to a biological, physiological and genetical extent). But really, we’re not random. Our lives are special, we are created wonderfully and majestically by the highest order being called God. He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die for our sins so that we may reconcile to Him.

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)

That’s the 1st level, which is He wants us to fellowship and be with Him (today and forever in eternity). With this, we also are called to invite as many people as we can with us to join Him in Heaven.

The 2nd level is that He’s given each and everyone talents, skills and specific tasks (or calling), and we’re to discover what He has in store for us, and this can only be achieved by moving forward. This, when done right, is linked to the 1st level (where we excel is where we will also be able to call and influence and invite others) as well as feel the sense of being exactly who and where we are to be, in different timelines of our lives.

Seek God first, and everything else will fall into place.

Spend At Least 5 Hours Every Week On Growth

You need to spend at least 5-10+ hours each week on growth activities.

These includes

  • Reading something that expands your mind
  • Exercising to strengthen your body
  • Forgiving others
  • Speaking out in kindness
  • Calling a loved one
  • Etc

If you do this every week, you will keep improving every week.

Choose something that interests you and benefits at least 2 or more individuals. And ensure it harms no one.

Conversely if you don’t do so, that’s similar to just surviving and staying still without improving.

In some cases, say a person is struggling, it may be hard to dedicate 5 hours a week or more, but I recommend to hold onto this and push through.

These growth hours will help you level up in the direction you actually want to level up, as opposed to organic / reactive learning based on what happens around and to you.

Where and who do you want to be in X time?

This is an extremely important question to ask and ponder, on a regular basis.

Maybe every week.

It’s an important exercise because it’s a highly visual and exploratory exercise, taking note of where and who we are today, and mapping / connecting it to where we want to be in X amount of time.

This X can be 1 year…5 years…. Or even 10 years later.

Guiding questions include

  • How much do I want to earn per day / month by x time?
  • How much do I need to have and earn monthly by x time to be independent?
  • How much time do I want to spend doing things I want by x time?

Expand this questions and write down what you need to do consistently to take you to where and who you want to be in X time.

We become what we do, and we do what we think. If we just do what we react and feel reactively, that’s just a reactive life and most of the time, reactive living isn’t really living – it’s mainly responding to something. The risk to this is also that you do not control where and how you’d end up – reactive isn’t gonna take you to where you wanna go.

And you don’t want to go where you don’t want to go when you have less time, energy and resources (Eg after 10 years)

I encourage you to start asking these guiding questions and imagine and wonder who do you want to be and where do you want to be by 5, 10, 20 or longer years.

Start this now and do this daily.

The image in the beginning will be vague and blurry, but as you do it more often, the image becomes increasingly clearer and also more compelling.

Do more of what brings you closer to who you want to be, where you want to go.