Category Health & Happiness

Burnout, Variety and Crop Rotation

I’ve written a lot about the value of habit formation and repetition. I’ve been riffing off Aristotle (or whoever it was) who said: We become what we repeatedly do. Habits are super-important. Lockdown has been an opportunity for me to change my diet habits and I’ve been off alcohol (with surprisingly good results) in 2021. I like […]

Let’s go outside!

It’s a cold Autumn morning but I feel better than I normally do at this time of year. That’s because I’ve been making a conscious effort this week to haul my lazy butt outside every day. In Spring / Summer, getting outdoors comes naturally. But at this time of year, it takes a conscious push […]

You can’t choose the cards, but you can always play the hand you’re dealt

There is something missing from the debate on Covid-19. As far as I can see, most of the news and related debate involves looking for someone to blame. The Escape Artist is not above blaming politicians. But my primary focus is always getting my own shit together rather than complaining about the rest of the […]

No News is Good News

I think of The News as like the announcements made over The Tannoy System in The Prison Camp. It’s a loud stream of misinformation, propaganda and general bullshit. I started avoiding The News as a deliberate part of my approach to investing. The aim was to reduce market noise, predictions and prophets of doom. Avoiding The News […]

The Inestimable Advantages of Lifting Weights

In last week’s article, The FIREman talked about the challenge of depression. What if there were a medical intervention more effective than anti-depressant drugs? What if it also worked on low level anxiety? What if it actually made you more confident? Not to mention better looking. Well it turns out there is. It’s called “exercise”. […]

Get rich…without envy

Regular readers will know that The Escape Artist grew up in a tiny village in the back end of nowhere in rural Cambridgeshire. Eventually my parents decided that our mortgage was not big enough so, when I was 10 years old, we moved from the back end of nowhere to the middle of nowhere. We […]

Stoicism for winners

Stoicism has a bit of an image problem. There are 2 reasons for this. Firstly, its philosophy.  So people assume its all poncey horseshit where perpetual students with goatee beards and berets bicker in cafes over the meaning of words whilst smoking French cigarettes and generally being a bellend. Not true. I don’t smoke French […]

Scientists find spending doesn’t bring happiness…shoppers carry on anyway

One of the strange things about modern life is that people burn a huge amount of energy trying to earn more money and then spend it all. People must be doing this for a reason….I assume they’re hoping it will bring them happiness? Yet this doesn’t seem to make us all happy.  Studies show that we’re not really any happier now […]

The Fasting Experiment

In the modern world we live caged like battery hens or lab rats. As part of this, we are protected from predators, from the weather and we are overfed with (often artificial) food.  On balance, this beats starving in a cave during the Ice Age but it has the unfortunate side effect of making us […]

financial independence

Optimising for happiness

The Escape Artist proposes that we optimise our lives for maximum happiness. Some people will read this and be all like “Duh…obviously”.  Some people know what makes them happy. Some even know and then do it. But this is much rarer than you might think. Others will be inherently suspicious of anything as soft and mushy as the word happiness.  […]