Best happy acts of 2015

Best of 2015 graphicSomeone once said you need to focus on the future, not the past, to be happy. While I think there is some truth in this statement, I think reflecting and learning from the past is valuable.

So in the spirit of reflection, here’s my Eleven Best Happy Acts of 2015 (once again eleven “for that extra push” in the immortal words of Nigel Tufnel). Most of these should inspire, but some are just for fun!

  1. Host your own awards show—with awards show season upon us, this is a great activity to do with the family or at a party.
  2. Listen with your heart—with 24 comments, this post struck a chord and sparked a debate about being self-absorbed and managing expectations in the selfie age.
  3. Whistle while you work—from guest blogger Matt Smith on the importance of being happy at work.
  4. The best investment you can make—and more pearls of wisdom from Warren Buffett, just in time for RRSP season.
  5. Make a pilgrimage to Cooperstown—my friend and guest blogger Ray Dorey wrote this before the Blue Jays came oh so close to reviving our dreams of ’85 and bringing baseball fever to a new pitch. Plan to visit in 2016.
  6. A twist on 13 things you must give up to be happy—an important lesson on reframing thoughts.
  7. Rise and shine—if January finally heralds winter winds and snow, this post will transport you back to warmer days.
  8. The science of happiness-part 2—answers the question, who do you think is more happy, lottery winners or parapalegics?
  9. Marriage is a life sentence—makes me think of my father-in-law, John Swinton every time…and smile.
  10. Diss the dis in disability—an invaluable lesson from the creators of Sesame Street. Make this your New Year’s resolution for 2016.
  11. Does being a leader make you happy? An important question. See more comments on this page on Quora.

This week’s #HappyAct is to catch up on any happy acts you missed in 2015 and look forward to happiness in 2016. Happy New Year everyone and thanks for reading!

The best investment you can make

Warren BuffettIt’s RRSP season, a time when Canadians take a few minutes away from dreaming of warmer temperatures and travels south to consider where to invest their money.

For investors, this weekend is big for another reason. Yesterday, Warren Buffett, the President of Berkshire Hathaway released his 50th annual letter to shareholders. For those of us who have an interest in the world of investing, Buffett is “the bomb” and his annual letter is a must-read, full of gems. I’ve included a few highlights and interesting facts from this year’s letter at the end of today’s blog.

While Buffett’s fortune of $73 billion may make him a happy guy, I think he’d agree with me that the best investment you can make is not in any one stock or company. It’s in yourself.

I can’t take credit for this advice. I was on one of my favourite social media sites, Quora the other day and saw this question: What’s the best investment a 20-year old can make? The cool thing about Quora is anyone can post an answer. One wise millennial beyond her years posted this answer: to invest in yourself.

Warren Buffett always says don’t invest in what you don’t understand. No one understands you or knows what is best for you than yourself.

This week’s #HappyAct is to make the best investment you can make by investing in yourself. Follow this advice and you’ll enjoy every bit as much of success as Warren Buffett.

From Buffett’s 2015 annual letter to shareholders

  • Wondering where to invest your money? Buffett believes in investing in businesses with intrinsic value. Berkshire Hathaway increased its ownership in 2014 to 7.8% of IBM, 9.2% in Coca-Cola and 14.8% of American Express
  • The per-share value of Berkshire Hathaway in 1965 was $19. Today it’s $146,186. That’s an annual compound rate of return of 19.4%
  • “Gender should never decide who becomes CEO”
  • 39,000 people attended the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting in Omaha last year. This year it’s on May 3. Buffett gives tips on how to get there and where to shop to help attendees save money. For example, one of his companies, the shoe company Brooks will be selling special commemorative running shoes!