Community Add OnsFourteen Fundamentals

Fundamental Four: Get Better Organized and Plan Things Out

Answers the question – What are the top 14 traits of happy people?

  • Highlights
    Happy people tend to:
  • Be far more certain of their total “life plan”
  • Have well defined and their strategies display long range foresight.
  • Be good at short term organization
  • Lack the need to procrastinate


Use the “Anti-Crastination” 4 step program.

  1.  LIST -write down everything that needs doing – organize them on index cards – include fun stuff – you may need hundreds of them!
  2. RATE – rate each of the items you’ve written down – Mark a “+” by items you really enjoy, a “-” by items you don’t enjoy, and a “0” by items you feel neutral about it.
  3. PRIORITIZE – At the top of the deck are the most important items, at the bottom, the least important ones.
  4. REINFORCE – the top of the deck maybe things that you rated as “-“, so you need to reward yourself with “+” for doing the “-“.

Part of “getting better organized” is being able to say “No” to some “have to” things in life.

Fundamental Four is “Get Better Organized and Plan Things Out.”

Like all of the Fundamentals, this Fundamental is based on the research on happy individuals which finds them to be quite well-organized, efficient, non-procrastinating, and excellent time-managers. In general, they tend to approach their daily life with a well-considered “game plan.” And this, in turn, helps them achieve the high degree of productivity we discussed in the previous Chapter.

The research findings (as previously reviewed in Volume I) draw a clear picture. Happy people are frequently characterized as being competent, effective people (2, 27, 34, 108, 122, 132, 230, 235, 415). They have the necessary mastery over themselves and their surroundings to achieve their goals (132). They tend to be more serious, deliberate, and planful than unhappy people (129). They prefer, in general, to plan things out, rather than go on impulse (129, 132). They make more long range commitments (132), they are punctual (132), they are efficient (59, 132), and they are “clear-thinking” (261, 262). They tend to overestimate the amount of time they’ll need to do their work (132), they are persistent in seeking their goals (144), and they are less quick to tire from their work (63, 129). They show initiative (132, 401), and generally show autonomy in their decision making (rarely needing to ask others for advice) (202). Furthermore, happy people are industrious, self-assertive, forceful, spirited, and able (132); dominant (59, 132) and influential (286); responsible and cooperative (202); and emotionally mature (132, 401, 402). They focus more diligently on immediate problems and tasks (202), show excellent self-direction and organization (132), deal successfully with others, and have many leadership qualities (12, 21, 27, 65, 107, 129, 130, 202).

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Michael W. Fordyce

"Happiness is Nature's main reward in life!" - Michael W Fordyce ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Updated by admin (from wiki): Michael W. Fordyce (December 14, 1944 – January 24, 2011) was a psychologist and pioneer researcher in the field of empirical happiness measurement and intervention. As a forerunner who approached "happiness" as an applied science, he ushered-in the modern academic branch of Positive Psychology. Fordyce contributed a happiness-measurement article to the journal Social Indicators Research, which ranked in the journal's top 2.4% most-cited articles. He demonstrated that happiness can be statistically measured and willfully increased (i.e. through "volitional" behavior). Fordyce worked at Edison Community College (Fort Myers, Florida) where he taught a data-driven "happiness training program" for over three decades.

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