The 3-Second Question

Much of our time is spent helping people shape their finances to improve their lives.

Helping them have enough to retire, live, be safe.

Or to simply be happier.

Yet, for many people, solving the financial puzzle is only part of what they need to do to make their lives happier.

Very, very rarely does ‘more money’ equal ‘more happiness’.

So, we’ve put together a very simple, very brief exercise for people to help them focus on what would make them happier.

Our 3-Second Test

Take a moment out of your busy day. Go and sit somewhere quiet, without distractions.

Take 5 deep breaths. In. Out. In.

Now, ask yourself this question, out loud:

“What’s the one thing I can change in my life that will make me happier?”

And give yourself 3 seconds to answer this question.

So say the first thing that pops into your head.

Not the second, not the one after you’ve thought about it for a while – the first.


You’ll also note the operative words in the questions:

The one thing…

This restricts the mind and focuses your potential actions.

I can change…

This grounds your answer in the real world, and restricts your answer to possible steps.

That will make…

Not ‘might’, ‘could’, ‘should’, ‘maybe’ or ‘possibly’ – we need the definitiveness of will.

Make me happier…

Again, the word matters here.

We’re not asking for what would make you ‘happy’, because that suggests a destination. Instead, happier is an improvement, an iteration, an escalation that allows infinite headroom for further, compounding improvement.

My next post will have some of the more common answers we hear – I don’t want to include them here, to avoid the possibility of them tainting your own 3-Second Answer:

“What’s the one thing I can change in my life that will make me happier?”

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