The Algebra of Happiness // Scott Galloway

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If balance is your priority in your youth, then you need to accept that, unless you are a genius, you may not reach the upper rungs of economic security.

The slope of the trajectory for your career is (unfairly) set in the first five years post-graduation. If you want the trajectory to be steep, you’ll need to burn a lot of fuel. The world is not yours for the taking, but for the trying. Try hard, really hard.

Your job is to find something you’re good at, and after ten thousand hours of practice, get great at it. The emotional and economic rewards that accompany being great at something will make you passionate about whatever that something is.

The definition of “rich” is having passive income greater than your burn. My dad and his wife receive about $50,000 a year from dividends, pension, and Social Security, and spend $40,000 a year. They are rich. I have a number of friends who earn between $1 million and $3 million, with several children in Manhattan private schools, an ex-wife, a home in the Hamptons, and a lifestyle fitting of a master of the universe. They spend most, if not all, of it. They are poor. By the time you’re thirty, you should have a feel for what your burn is. Young people are 100 percent focused on their earnings. Adults also focus on their burn.

Achievement is just a moment in pencil unless you can share it with people you care about.

Selling is calling people who don’t want to hear from you, pretending to like them, getting treated poorly, and then calling them again.

If you like to sell and are good at it, you’ll always make more money, relative to how hard you work, than any of your colleagues, and … they’ll hate you for it.

The Harvard Medical School Grant Study was the largest study on happiness, tracking three hundred nineteen-year-old men for seventy-five years and looking at what factors made them less or more happy. The presence of one thing in a man’s life predicted unhappiness better than any other factor: alcohol. It led to failed marriages, careers coming off the tracks, and bad health.

For me, entrepreneurship was a survival mechanism, as I didn’t have the skills to be successful in the greatest platforms for economic success in history, big US companies.

The truth that success requires sixty-to eighty-hour weeks for several decades doesn’t get applause in graduation speeches.

Yesterday, we came into the office to find corporate calendars on our desks with inspirational quotes for each month. In January, we’re to “Discover, Learn & Grow.” Good to know. I believe posting inspirational quotes in the workplace qualifies as employee abuse. Writing about it helps.

Love and relationships are the ends—everything else is just the means.

Love is a willingness to take the life you’ve built for yourself and tear it up for the other person.

There’s a decent amount of research indicating that exercise is the only real youth serum.

If you die at home, surrounded by people who love you, you are a success. It’s a sign that you forged meaningful relationships and that you were generous with people.

When I look at my own success, it mostly boils down to two things: being born in America and having someone irrationally passionate about my well-being—my mom.

I believe parents want two things: 1. To know their family loves them immensely. 2. To recognize that their love and parenting gave their children the skills and confidence to add value and live rewarding lives.

It’s a miracle people agree to love kids who don’t smell, look, or feel like them.

Until I had kids, my life was “More … I want fucking more.” The only time I’ve ever felt sated, ever, is with my family.

I’m with family, loved, and at peace. I’m in heaven.

We segment our kids into favorites. I know how awful that sounds. We naturally begin to sort, as it helps any sentient entity, or manager, achieve success—allocate resources or capital to achieve greater return than their competitors. Note: The previous sentence was a bullshit/pedantic way of saying “prioritize.” I have a favorite child, always have. I think most parents do. That’s the bad news. The good news is, which child that is changes back and forth. We guard the secret of who our current favorite is as if it were a nuclear launch code. Recognition that you have a favorite outs you as a terrible parent, like Steve Jobs.

“I know, I’ll have a drink … it will calm my nerves.” I’m pretty sure this is what most clinicians call alcoholism.

Both my sister and I have worked out three-plus times a week since we were eighteen.

Caregivers live longer than any cohort, and the number of people you love and care for is the strongest signal about how long you’ll live.

What makes kids and dogs so captivating on camera (actors feel upstaged by kids and pets) is they’re 100 percent authentic.

Just as writing down your goals makes them more likely to come to fruition, being grateful has been proven to increase health and life expectancy.

Writing about your aspirations and articulating all the things you’re grateful for is a form of prayer.

Food, sex, and kids. We’re wired to be addicted to things fundamental to the survival of the species.

In the end, relationships are all that matters.

Maminka. Přítelkyně. Lékařka. Ráda kreslím, píšu a směju se. Nejvíc sama sobě.

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