I have found that one of life’s best barometers is paying attention to those thoughts that creep into your head right as you are about to fall asleep. Last year, these thoughts tended to either be about work tasks (I really should get back to that vendor tomorrow), women (That girl really should get back to me tomorrow) or my goals list (I hope I don’t regret bungee jumping tomorrow).

2010 was the greatest year of my life thus far but not because of any of the ideas listed above. Instead, it was the actions these thoughts inspired me to perform.

January 2010:


I was someone who relied too heavily on alcohol to make up for lack of confidence.

In December 2010:

Oh heh

I was someone who voluntarily gave up social crutches (no, not just drinking) and used honesty, charm and bold decisions to move forward.

On my journey this last year, I successfully did all of the following tasks while chasing happiness:

  • Paid off all my debt
  • Lost 50 pounds
  • Had better sex and more of it
  • Started brushing and flossing daily
  • Upgraded my wardrobe
  • Started weekly yoga
  • Started working out 4 days a week
  • Switched to a custom Paleo diet
  • Read a book every two weeks
  • Completely cut out cable TV
  • Cut monthly expenses in half
  • Started saving in an emergency and retirement funds
  • Drastically enhanced my spirtual life
  • Reinvigorated the relationships with each of my family members
  • Reinvigorated the relationships with my closest friends
  • Started a strict time management system
  • Sold or donated half of my possessions
  • Traveled to 5 continents
  • Saw the Aurua Borialis, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Grand Canyon, the Parthenon (in both Athens and Nashville) and the Red Wood Forest.
  • Wrote (most of) a book
  • Started drinking 7 cups of water a day
  • Started getting an average of 9 hours of sleep a night
  • Switched all groceries to organic and local
  • Started keeping a journal
  • Transfered all of my photos to digital
  • Started recycling more
  • Did a significant amount of public speaking
  • Started eating 5 fruits and vegies a day
  • Increased typing speed to 45 words a minute
  • Got caught up on all vaccines
  • Created a backup system for computers
  • Had Lasik eye surgery

What was interesting was not these experiences themselves but rather the impact or lack of impact these had on my overall happiness. Quite frankly, many of the things that made the most impact on my smile were not at all aligned with what I had thought would make me happy.

This blog will not be the story of how I did all of these things. Instead, it will be a user’s manual for how you can do these things to optimally impact your life.  Simply telling this evolving story isn’t enough, this blog will be actionable. Think ‘Eat Pray Love’ but with bigger balls. World, I present to you Danny’s Happy Trail. (wait, seriously?)