This week’s Friday Footnotes has a general theme of happiness running through it, so I hope it will make you smile.

TED Talk I’ve Found Inspiring

What better way to start a post on happiness than with a TED talk called ‘Why we Laugh’, by Cognitive neuroscientist Sophie Scott. Did you know that you’re 30 times more likely to laugh if you’re with somebody else than if you’re alone? Scott shares this and other surprising facts about laughter in this fast-paced, action-packed and, yes, hilarious dash through the science of cracking up.

What I’ve Been Listen To

This week I’ve been listening to a series created by Dan Sullivan, founder of The Strategic Coach Programme, entitled ‘Always Increase Your Confidence’. Unfortunately, I can’t share this with you, as it was given to me directly by Strategic Coach and doesn’t appear to be available for purchase. However, it has reinforced the ideology around what makes us happy. I have been attending Strategic Coach for over 10 years now, and it has been instrumental in helping me build a better business and get a better work life balance. If you would like to learn more, here is a free gift from Strategic Coach, via me to you: Click here.

What I’ve Been Reading

I recently finished the book ‘Living with a Seal: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet’ by Jesse Itzler. I am not sure it will make you happy, but it will definitely make you laugh. As long as you can tolerate his language, Itzler recounts the time he invited a former Navy Seal into his home for a month to train him; it certainly pushed this highly successful entrepreneur to the limit! Very funny and easy to read. You can get here.

What I’ve Been Watching

If you are looking for a feel-good movie, look no further than ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ starring Will Smith and his real-life son Jaden. It is a rousing, true life success story of a man’s struggle for success. Watch it on Netflix here.

Quote of the Week

“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.”- Dale Carnegie.

Finance Theme I’ve Been Considering

When you consume too much news, it is easy to slip into the mindset that things are getting worse in the world, not better. Actually, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only is the world becoming a better place, the pace at which it is doing so is exponential. Don’t believe me?

In the last 10 years extreme poverty has dropped globally by 15.7%, child mortality has dropped globally by 22%, there was a 90% decline in people dying of famine. The global life expectancy also rose by 2.7 years, more than 50% of the global population are now using the internet, wind energy rose by a factor of 3 and solar energy by a factor of 10! That is pretty amazing progress, and that doesn’t even take in to account that in the last year a paralysed man can now walk with a mind powered exo-skeleton, doctors treated a 8 year old girl suffering from a terminal brain disease called Batten with a drug designed, tested and approved for her in  less than 1 year and self-driving cars are already being testing on the roads.

And what is to come next? Uber are looking at using flying taxis by 2023, which will cost the same as currently running your car. By 2030, if Elon Musk’s ‘Neuralink’ is approved, our brains could be connected to the internet. That is insane progress.

Whilst there will be temporary blips in our lives, for example dips in the stock markets, the world as a whole is getting better and better, faster and faster. With that progress will almost inevitably come global growth, which is why investing your money into a diverse range of the best companies around the world makes investment sense. The more we do this, the shares for those companies just became cheaper. Happy investing!

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