In Pursuit of Happiness: Keys to a Great Life

Today (August 8th), is National Happiness Happens Day. Happiness is obviously an incredibly important part of life. Though, it seems that a lot of people have difficulty finding true happiness. As someone who has struggled with depression for most of my life I completely understand that it can be challenging to be happy at times. However, there are several things we can consciously do in order to be happier in our day-to-day lives.

Some things I do to make myself happier:

  • Exercise
  • Read
  • Work on Hobbies/Writing
  • Volunteer
  • Spend times with friends and family


            Exercise can be great for the human psyche. Though exercise is not always fun in the moment the after effects are truly worth it. There is a tremendous deal of research that points to the benefits of the endorphins created by exercise on positive thoughts and feelings. Getting active is imperative to true happiness. Eating healthy and clean can also have drastic effects on our thoughts and happiness.

As with anything exercise and healthy eating needs to be a conscious thought with consistent action in order to be effective. Since consistency is key one has to find the regiment that is best for them. Some people enjoy playing basketball, others enjoy outdoor running and still others prefer gym memberships.


Reading can transport a person into another world. There is nothing quite like the feeling of sitting down with a good book. There are also a plethora of non-fiction books that can help you learn and grow in your career or better understand your hobbies. Books allow us to get a better sense of what we love and enjoy and what we want to do in our lives. Normally when people are drawn to particular books there is some underlying reason there. For example, I love murder mysteries because I really enjoy puzzles and find it enjoyable to come up with theories and ideas of who the murderer is throughout the book.

Though I read a ton of books I also read several board game content both online and physically, which gives me a lot of joy. My favorite board game magazines are Casual Game Insider and ICv2 (which reports more on industry numbers).


Though writing is one of my favorite hobbies outside of board gaming for others it is not a pleasurable experience. I’ve definitely heard of people who loathe writing as much as I hate doing manual labor. However, whether one likes writing or not I feel like it is very beneficial to be introspective and think through your life goals and what makes you happy on a regular basis. A great way to accomplish this is by writing a journal and outlining your thoughts overtime. Keeping a journal of your goals and actionable steps to take in the short-term to get there can drastically increase productivity and happiness. Though, it is crucial to think through the reasons why particular things make you happy and actively seek to do more of the things that get you to smile.

I make weekly to-do lists to ensure that I am meeting my goals and reevaluate my goals every 3-6 months to make sure nothing major has changed in my life that would require me to readjust some things. For example, due to Atheris’ growth in the publishing space I am not able to design games as much as I once was due to time constraints. Therefore, I’ve begun working with co-designers on projects in order to still have that creative outlet without having the same massive time commitment that I previously did.



When I get busy it seems like the first few things I no longer find time for are some of the most crucial for my mental health. Volunteering is paramount among them. I firmly believe that we’re meant to make a positive impact on the world and a large part of my self-worth is based upon my ability to make others around me happy. I want to leave the world better than it would be if I had not lived to be a part of it.

Though I volunteer for all kinds of events I have also managed to merge some of my hobbies by volunteering at nursing homes where I played games with residents (I also read stories and talked about entrepreneurship with several residents), I have also donated several games to charities including homeless shelters. National Happiness Happens day is not only about ensuring your own happiness, but also creating joy for those around you. Remember it doesn’t always require a grand gesture to make someone’s day. Being nice to customer service agents, holding the door open for strangers, paying for the next car’s to-go order and other random acts of kindness can drastically improve someone’s day.


Spending Time with Family and Friends

Finally, likely the most important thing of them all – people. Our family and friends are large parts of our lives for a reason. It is really easy to get distanced from family and friends because of busy schedules. However, it is always great to arrange times to regularly meet or talk if separated by distance so that you don’t lose touch.

Of course I prefer to arrange board game nights in order to interact with family and friends on a regular basis. I love the interactions and fun that games can create and the memories that I’ll cherish forever.

Though, I also try to call family members that live further away and even have a few pen pals that I write letters to. Sending letters is a lost art.

            Thanks so much for reading!

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