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PPI #138: This Is Why You’re Not Happy

Eric Partaker

This Is Why You’re Not Happy We all want to be happy, right? Live inspired and successful lives. But there are many things that will try to stop us when trying to find happiness. In this video you will learn about things you may be doing everyday that can steal your time and happiness. These life changing habits will help you live a happy life, showing you how to design your day for balance and how successful people increase their productivity while finding balance between work and personal life. Also, if you are feeling burned out, this video will stop you from being overwhelmed by everything and show some everyday tips and strategies for managing stress.


Technology Interruptions – Turn off your notifications when working. Avoid being constantly prompted by your applications to respond. This will help you feel more relaxed.

Undervalued Time – Stop giving it away! Put value on your time by making sure you are leaving enough time for yourself on the things that matter to you, not just to others.

Busyness is not a Status Symbol – Are you busy for the sake of being busy? Are you spending your time on what is going to generate results, or on what really matters to you?

Stop Procrastinating! – Change the language in your head. Instead of saying “I have to” or “I should” say “I choose to start for just five minutes.” When you feel in control you are less likely to want to procrastinate.

Manage your Meetings – Always have a common outcome in mind for the meeting. Don’t have a meeting for the sake of it. Having the common outcome will cause your meeting to be much more effective.

Unclear Goals – Break down your goals. Do you know what you should be doing in the next quarter (13 weeks)? View each week as a sprint. You have 13 attempts to make progress to your goal.

Personal Disorganization – Have a plan for every single day. The best way to create that plan is the end of the day before. What is going to make tomorrow a win for you? What needs to happen? 


You and I, we have something in common. In fact, everyone in the world shares this one desire. We all want to be happy. While there are lots of ways and habits that will bring happiness into our lives, there are also plenty of things that will chase it away.

Now, I used to have a bunch of habits, which were stealing my happiness. Mostly around technology interruptions and procrastination. I was constantly letting technology come into my life. Notifications on my phone, notifications on my inbox in my email.

And all of that was disrupting, ultimately my happiness. It was preventing me from doing the things that I wanted to, at the pace that I wanted to, and ultimately just making me feel like I wasn’t getting enough done, I wasn’t as happy as I could be.

And then equally on the procrastination front I got into this horrible habit, especially early in my career, of always wanting to put things off. Always putting them to the final moment. And while I would still get them done, oh my gosh, it came at so much more pain than it needed to be.

It was just so intense and so many feelings of anxiety up until that deadline, because I had procrastinated so much up until that final moment. And these habits were stealing my happiness, these habits were actually making life so bad for me, but I was able to overcome them.

And today I’m going to talk about some of these habits and how you can overcome them as well. Hi, my name is Eric Partaker, and I’ve been recognized as the CEO of the year, and I’m also the author of two best selling books, including the three Alarms.

Now, whether intentional or unintentional we’ve all engaged in destructive behavior, which steals our happiness, which limits our ability, it limits our ability to show up at our best. And that’s happening whether you’d like to admit it or not.

But today I’m going to help you identify what are those behaviors that are holding you back, and ultimately robbing you of your happiness, so that you can weed them out and build better behaviors and better habits, and achieve the life that you’re after.

Let’s get started. The number one thing that is robbing us of our time, a destructive behavior that robs us of our happiness, and we all want to be happy, is technology interruptions. I want you to think about how often during the course of your day do you check your phone. How often do you sit there and feel compelled to check that next email, that next notification, respond to that next message. And all of those moments, they’re fragmenting your attention. They’re pulling you away from being able to focus on the things that matter most.

And often, especially with regards to social media, when we’re responding to these technology interruptions, often they make us feel bad, because they’re forcing us to compare ourselves with other people. And often in ways that aren’t healthy.

And one of the simplest things that you can do, is turn off the notifications on your phone. I know that this might feel shocking, but turn off the Instagram notifications, turn off the Facebook notifications, turn off the LinkedIn notifications, turn off the email notifications. You will feel so much more relaxed when you’re not constantly being prompted by these applications, to respond in some form or another.

This is a destructive behavior. Having these constant technology interruptions throughout the course of your day is destructive. It takes away your focus, it takes away your ability to put your attention onto what will truly matter most for you. Not just right now in this moment, but in the next three months, in the next year, in the next five years.

Think about this. Technology interruptions. How much are they happening in the course of your day, and what could you be doing to limit these so that you could feel a lot happier, and a lot more fulfilled in your life?

Number two destructive behavior, is that we undervalue our time. We give it away too cheaply. Now, I don’t just mean charging money for your time. I mean even the time that you spend for free with someone else, you have to ask yourself. You can’t be everything to everyone, and you have to ask yourself, “If I’m going to spend time with this person, whether it’s responding to an email, whether it’s going to meet with them, whether it’s going to speak with them, is that also going to be bringing value to my life?”

Not that you always need this quid pro quo reciprocity throughout your entire life, “I only do something if I get something from someone else.” I’m not saying that. But I am saying that you need to step back and look at all the things that you’re doing in the course of your day, and all the people that you’re interacting with and just ask yourself, “Is this good for me, too? Am I looking after me by responding to this person?” Or, “Am I being a bit of a martyr, and I’m constantly doing things for other people, but not enough things for myself?”

We need to make sure that we’re putting value on our time, and we put value on our time by making sure that we’re also leaving enough time for ourselves on the things that matter to us, and not just to others.

Number three destructive behavior, is busyness as a status symbol. Too many times people are trying to show that they’re busy for the sake of being busy, but hang on a second. It’s like, “Are you actually doing the things that matter most for you?” Are the things that you are occupying your time with during the course of your day, are they things that are going to achieve goals for you, that really matter? That move your life in a positive direction or a positive way.

Are you spending your time in the things that matter most? It doesn’t matter if you’re constantly busy. There’s nothing more ineffective than being super effective at doing things that you shouldn’t be doing at all. Don’t be busy for the sake of being busy. Make sure that you’re not engaging in that destructive behavior, instead ask yourself, “Am I actually spending my time in the things that are going to generate the results that I see, on the things that really matter to me?” Don’t be busy for the sake of just being busy.

Busy is not a status symbol. Procrastination, this is the fourth destructive behavior that totally robs us of our happiness, and we need to constantly be on the lookout for it. There are so many different ways in which you can combat procrastination. And I’m not going to go into, I have other episodes about talking about how you can overcome procrastination.

I’ll just give you a super simple tip right now, which is that, if you’re trying to overcome procrastination you need to change the language in your head. Often when we are procrastinating we’re typically saying things to ourselves along the lines of, “I have to or I should do something.”

And I want you to change that language around, change it into the language of choice. It gives you power, it makes you feel that you’re in control. And instead of saying, “I have to or I should.” Say, “I choose to start for just five minutes.” Again, often we’re saying something like, “I have to finish this.”

Now, I have to feels like you’re being forced to do something that you don’t want to do. Finish, well, that could be endless. How long is that going to take? But I can always choose to do something, whether I like to do it or not. I can choose, rather than I have to, I choose. And then rather than finish, to start. I choose to start, because starting takes just an instant.

For just five minutes, not much time at all. I choose to start for just five minutes. Apply that to, even the things that you don’t like to do, because even if you don’t like to do, you could still choose to do it. And by choosing, and asserting your choice, “I choose to start for just five minutes.” It puts you back in control.

And when you feel in control, you’re less likely to want to procrastinate as a self-defense mechanism. I choose to start for just five minutes, help you overcome that destructive behavior around procrastination.

Meetings. This is another destructive behavior. Often we spend way too much time in discussion meeting with other people. I’m not saying meetings are bad. In fact, meetings are super productive. It’s where a lot of ideas and decisions happen, but what I suggest that you do, is don’t just have a meeting for the sake of doing a meeting. Always have an outcome in mind for the meeting.

What would be an outcome? A good outcome for this meeting? What’s the purpose for us convening together? What is the problem that we’re trying to solve? What’s the result that we’re trying to achieve?

And just having that outcome in place, having that in mind will make your meeting so much more effective, so that they don’t rob you of your happiness and actually set you up for feeling a lot more fulfilled.

The number six destructive behavior that robs you of your happiness, is probably having unclear goals. Do you know exactly what you’re trying to achieve right now? Do you know why you’re trying to achieve it? Why it’s important for you?

Have you broken down those goals into sub steps so you know exactly what you should be doing? For example. In the quarter ahead. Within every calendar quarter, a calendar quarter, three months, actually consists of 13 weeks. 13 times four, 52 weeks for the year. One quarter in a calendar, 13 weeks.

Do you know what your goals are for that quarter? And you can think of each of those weeks as a sprint, “I got 13 attempts to reach the summit.” Right? 13 times to make progress towards whatever that goal is.

And if you broke your goals down into those sub steps, perhaps 13 sub steps, you will achieve the things that you’re looking to achieve. Having unclear goals is a super destructive behavior. It totally gets in the way of us feeling as happy and as fulfilled as we would like to.

When we’re achieving the things that are important to us, when we have clear goals and when we break those goals down into clear action plans we feel more fulfilled, we feel happier. And you’re in control. You can do this.

And even if you don’t feel like it, and you want to procrastinate, remember what I just said? I choose to start for just five minutes. Choose to start for just five minutes by setting some clear goals as an example.

Last, but not least. Destructive behavior that robs you of your happiness is personal disorganization. Do you start each day having a clear plan? Do you know, for example, in a week what you’re going to be doing? And one of the simple things that I recommend you do, and there’s loads of them on the market, is just buy a planner or have a notebook.

Every single day just have a plan for your day. The best time to create that plan is actually at the end of a day, for the next day. When a day ends choose, “What’s going to make tomorrow a win for me? What needs to be happening? What do I need to be doing?” And just have a plan for that day.

And if you actually start to do that, you’ll see your happiness really rise, you’ll feel a lot more fulfilled by just conquering that disorganized state and turning it into a more proactive, “Here’s what I’m going to do, here’s what I’m planning to do in the context of a day.”

And I’d love to hear from you, so don’t forget to leave a comment and a rating as well. And if you’d like to get a copy of my new book The three Alarms, please head over to my website at That’s E-R-I-C,, where you could pick up a free digital copy of my new best selling book The 3 Alarms.

Eric has been named "CEO of the Year" at the 2019 Business Excellence Awards, one of the "Top 30 Entrepreneurs in the UK" by Startups Magazine, and among "Britain's 27 Most Disruptive Entrepreneurs" by The Telegraph.

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