The “Tiny Moments” happiness theory

bacon and eggs

There are many perks to working on Wall Street.

I went to Super Bowl 48.

I sat courtside and watched the Knicks, Lakers and Nets play at their iconic arenas.

I skied fresh tracks all day at the Yellowstone Club.

(Yup, a private ski mountain.)

All for free. All before I turned 32.

Yet none of these made a dent on my happiness.

In fact, if I’m brutally honest I haven’t thought about these events in over a decade.

The happiness from these Bucket List Moments has faded away.

We yearn for the “next big thing”

We’re constantly striving and chasing the “next thing.” With hope that it can deliver enduring happiness.

Yet it never does.

The year-end bonus.

The new car.

The big promotion to partner.

Yes, it feels nice. Life is better than it was before.

But it’s still “not it.”

The cracks in your soul remain. The nagging anxiety persists.

Should we consider that we’ve got this “happiness” thing backwards?

What if happiness is found in life’s Tiny Moments?

The perfectly cooked slice of bacon.

That first sip of water when you wake up.

The belly laughs when you “stick the landing” on your Dad Joke.

What if the formula for happiness was simple?

What if happiness was as easy as stringing together these Tiny Moments?

For an entire lifetime.

Why you reject Tiny Moments

We’re surrounded by Tiny Moments.

Life, by definition, is just a collection of Tiny Moments.

But our brains want nothing to do with them.

Instead our mind says:

“They’re too tiny. They’re inconsequential. Make your dent. Dream big.

And so we reject the Tiny Moments.


1. The Future looks waaaaaay more compelling

So many ambitious professionals are living the Deferred Life Plan.

They say things like:

When I get that promotion, I’ll be happy.

When I run that marathon, I’ll be confident.

When I have a kid, I’ll feel whole.

But just like skiing a private mountain – once you experience it, you quickly realize you’ve fallen into the when-then trap and say:

“This ain’t it.”

2. We live in cocoons of fear

We ignore Tiny Moments because our fight-or-flight system is constantly being triggered.

Fear of failure.


Approval from our peers.

Did I do enough today?

Am I enough?

The fear governs our nervous system and prevents us from seeing the beauty that’s directly in front of us.

The beauty that’s inside of us.

3. We lose sight of love and gratitude

“When you focus on what you lack you lose what you have.”

Greg McKeown

We all have a superpower.

A superpower that lets us invoke Tiny Moments on command.

When you call to mind the love you have for othersBOOM, Tiny Moment.

When you call to mind the love others have for youBOOM, Tiny Moment.

When you bask in the gratitude of health, friendships and nature’s beauty – BOOM, Tiny Moment.

Every single one of us has the ability to string together an endless amount of Tiny Moments.

You just need to open your eyes.

And open your heart.

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