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Hello friends.

One of my biggest goals for 2020 is to gain a deeper understanding of the science behind happiness.

Today, I’ll be covering a new method of problem-solving that I’ve been experimenting with, that has helped me find the path of greatest happiness when faced with some of the most difficult decisions of my life.

It’s called the “5 Buckets of Happiness”.

At its core, it’s a way of breaking down the most biologically-important human needs, so you can take a more logical approach when searching for direction in your career, relationship, or life in general.


As humans in the 21st century, our personal fulfillment comes down to 5 fundamental needs:

  • Health
  • Wealth
  • Personal Development
  • Spirituality
  • Relationships

It’s in our nature to over-complicate our problems (guilty), but for the majority of people, it’s really that simple!

Personal Examples

To get your gears turning, here are 2 key forks in my life where I’ve used the 5-bucket analogy as my guide:

September 2018: Should I keep working in Seattle, or go travel the world?

Option 1- Stay:

It’s a lot easier to maintain a gym routine and healthy eating when living in one place.

Traveling costs money

Option 2- Travel:

Leaving home is challenging. Challenge leads to growth.

Hostels are filled with people from all over the world.

Travelers are more spiritual than 9-5 grinders. I could learn a lot from them.

Winner: Travel

plane wing with mountain

November 2019: Should I stay in Wellington NZ keep focusing on my side hustles, or jump on this Tesla contract in Auckland?

Option 1- Stay in Wellington:

Wellington has a lot more nature than Auckland. I value my clean air.

Option 2- Work at Tesla:

Job = steady income.

As a Tesla investor and fan, this would be a great opportunity to grow my knowledge in the industry.

I can meet more people that share my passion for electric vehicles, and the broader movement toward sustainability.

Winner: Tesla

tesla logo


In both of these cases, all I had to do was compare each option in terms of which choice would do the most good for the most “buckets”. That’s really all there is to it!

Final Words

I challenge you to take 3 minutes to stop what you’re doing, and think about how well each of your 5 buckets of happiness are doing.

Again, they are:

  • Health
  • Wealth
  • Personal Development
  • Spirituality
  • Relationships

Which ones are full?

Which ones could use some love?

And most importantly,

What could you start doing tomorrow to achieve a better balance among your buckets of happiness?

The comfort zone is a dangerous place to be, friends; I encourage you to take some big risks this year.

Just remember…

Follow the buckets!



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Ben Wehrman

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