What holds the key to happiness? Although the magic elixir hasn’t been discovered, surely we can increase overall happiness by making calculated big-picture decisions.

For me, one of the most important secrets to happiness is maintaining a car-free commute. Although I love driving, commuting in traffic twice per day would transform me into a raging monster:

After battling traffic, Gaud-zilla blows off some steam.
After battling traffic, GaudZilla blows off some steam.

Fortunately, I’ve avoided driving by living in apartments close to work. Whether biking for 30 minutes or walking for 10 minutes, my commute has always been invigorating — rather than infuriating. The close interaction with the environment while walking provides time for reflection and is refreshing. Also, automatic exercise! As a bonus, the mountains here in Boulder provide a nice backdrop.

Our view of the Flatirons.
Our view of the Flatirons.

A Wall Street Journal article recently posted by a friend highlights the value of a short commute. The author also includes four other suggestions to improve life — and financial — satisfaction. It’s an interesting article to contemplate as we all make short- and long-term decisions that affect our happiness.

How to Live a Happier Financial Life — Jonathan Clements

5 decisions that enable happiness
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