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A weekly reality check on sensible investing and financial decision-making for Canadians. Hosted by Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore.

Oct 13, 2022

There is more and more research on the determinants and results of happiness in human life, and on the show today we get to do an amazing deep dive on this subject with social psychologist, and author of Happier Hour, Cassie Holmes. Cassie is currently running a course at UCLA Anderson School of Management called 'Applying the Science of Happiness to Life Design', and her book draws directly from the content of this course. In our chat, Cassie shares some definitive data on what actually influences our happiness in significant ways, how to invest and allocate your available time, approaches to offsetting hedonic adaptation, and the vital importance of relationships and exercise. Our guest also talks about popular misconceptions and cultural perceptions about success, and why assessing your values and purpose can make achieving more happiness much more realistic. It is here that we find Cassie's main thesis; that through reflection and tracking we can determine more accurately how to use our time in the different parts of our lives and increase our day-to-day happiness, so make sure to join us for this episode of the Rational Reminder.


Key Points From This Episode:


  • The science behind the important benefits of happiness. (0:02:17)
  • Current research into the measurement of happiness. (0:04:27)
  • Cassie talks about the roots of the course she teaches on happiness. (0:07:02)
  • Misconceptions about what makes us happy and the lasting power of notions of success. (0:10:25)
  • The cultural roots of our perceptions of happiness. (0:14:58)
  • Determinants of happiness; Cassie shares the biggest factors in our emotional landscape. (0:20:16)
  • Working towards a goal, time tracking, and entering flow states. (0:25:28)
  • Happiness as a decision and as a disposition; how much control do we have? (0:30:26)
  • How comparison undermines and robs us of happiness. (0:37:01)
  • Cassie unpacks how to understand the role of relationships in our lives. (0:38:30)
  • A story from Cassie illustrating the links between discretionary time and happiness. (0:43:35)
  • Amounts of discretionary time to allocate to yourself each day. (0:49:39)
  • The worst ways to use time and the activities that enhance feelings of loneliness. (0:52:02)
  • Cassie's advice on how to avoid time poverty and what to refuse. (0:55:53)
  • The dangers of an over-emphasis on productivity and urgency. (0:58:21)
  • Aligning your values and purpose in the professional sphere of your life. (1:01:38)
  • How the remote landscape and work-from-home model has impacted happiness. (1:03:03)
  • Going over the exercises and assignments that Cassie finds to be most impactful for her students. (1:06:36)
  • Cassie's definition of success and its relation to her clearly defined purpose. (1:11:33)