Big Ideas

21 Simple Ideas for More Health, Happiness, and Prosperity

Happy, healthy, prosperousLife is simple.

I know that goes against the grain, but really, it is. We all want more of just three things, right? Health, happiness, and prosperity.

If you listen to the so-called experts, you’d think these are complicated matters that require special, insider knowledge. Maybe connections with the right people or groups. Or money spent on the right products and services.

My philosophy is straightforward. It’s easy to understand and easy to implement, no matter who you are, where you live, or how much money you have.

You could sum it up in nine words: Live simpler. Aim bigger. Be thankful. Do it now.

I don’t offer any scientific proof for any of these, and I’m not a doctor or financial person. These are just 21 ideas that have worked for me, and might work for you, too.


Let’s start with health, because if you don’t have that, nothing else matters.

21. The 80/20 rule of eating

Eat whatever you want 20% of the time, within reason. Be vigilant about eating really healthy 80% of the time. No diets, no yo-yo weight swings, no deprivation.

20. Fast

Give your body and digestive system a rest once in a while. Skip a meal every now and then, or even better, skip an entire day of eating. Fasting pushes the reset button physically and mentally.

19. Get some sun

Not only get some sun, do it without sun screen. Radical idea, hey? Most of the world doesn’t use sun screen, and they don’t have the skin cancer epidemic we have in this country. A little bit of sun and Vitamin D on a daily basis is good for you.

18. Hang upside down

This is my secret weapon, and I won’t begin to get into the science behind it. All I know is that my Teeter Hang ups® inversion table is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. Hanging upside down for 5-10 minutes at a time, twice a day, keeps me stretched out, thinking clearly, and free of back pain that I used to have.

17. Lift slow and run fast

Most people run (or bike, swim, or row …) long and slow. Witness the treadmill zombies at health clubs and the second-boom marathon craze going on right now.

And people who lift weights tend to do a lot of fast sets (it makes it seem like you’re working harder) or P90X or Insanity-style workouts.

All good, but if your goal is simply to be in good shape, there are more efficient, safer, and more effective ways to do it that are sustainable over the long haul.

Try the opposite. Instead of plodding along doing your daily “cardio,” just twice a week go really hard for 30-60 seconds, then rest for the same amount of time. Repeat 5-10 times, and you’re done. Total time per week: 20 minutes, you’ll be in better shape, and your joints will thank you ten years from now.

Same thing with lifting. Just twice a week pick seven exercises to do, and use the “Super Slow” method of pushing out slowly for 10 seconds, then back for 10 seconds. Use a weight that you can lift in a very slow and controlled way, until you can’t possibly push any more, then go to the next exercise. Total time per week: 40 minutes. Total time for all the strength training and heart-training you’ll ever need: One hour per week.

16.Exercise your mind

Deep-thinking non-fiction reading and intelligent conversations with sharp people are two of my favorites.

15. Eat smaller portions and less often

This goes along with #21 and #20. I’ll get a lot of flack for this one, but breakfast isn’t the most important meal of the day in my book, and unless you’re training for a marathon or Ironman triathlon (see #17), an Olympic swimmer, or a professional body builder, there’s no need to eat five or six small meals a day. I eat two meals a day, and breakfast usually isn’t one of them. I’ve run 3:30 marathons on an empty stomach, so you don’t need it to jump-start your day either.


14. Travel more

Your life will be richer if you get off the beaten path and explore. You don’t need tons of money to travel either. It’s all a matter of priorities.

13. Be your own reality show

Stop living vicariously through other people on reality TV.  Live your life as an adventure that other people would want to watch.

12. Be thankful

Of the 7 billion people on the planet, you probably have it better than at least 6 billion. You’re already in the top 14%. Keep doing these 21 things, and you’ll soon be in the top 5%, or 1%. Yes, I said it. The 1%.

11. Hang with people you like

Surround yourself with other sharp, upbeat, big-thinking people with big hearts. Avoid toxic people at all costs.

10. Have big goals and a strong emotional purpose

You’ll accomplish more when your purpose is bigger than yourself.

9. De-clutter and live simpler

Ever notice that the more you give away, the more productive you become? Something about streamlining your life that unleashes more creative ideas.

8. More face-to-face time, less “connected” time

Can we all get back to more meaningful conversations? Technology is great, and I’m as connected as anyone, but text messages, tweets, and Facebook posts are no substitute for good old fashioned phone and in-person meetings.


7. Generate ideas

We get paid for generating ideas for our clients that either save them time or make them money. Get good at brainstorming ideas and sharing them.

6. Get your ideas spinning

In addition to generating ideas for your clients, start implementing your own ideas. Will they all work? No, but they don’t do any good in your head or on paper. Put your ideas into action.

5. Build a business

Being a freelancer is great. You have time and lifestyle freedom. But if you want to create true wealth, you need to structure a real business with systems that will work with or without you in the picture. Plan to become wealthy.

4. Improve your communication skills

Get better at communicating your ideas in writing, on the phone, and in person. The keys? Become a good copywriter and a good speaker. Listen, observe, and develop the art of asking effective questions.

3. Don’t vilify the rich

Instead, become one of them. Get rid of all negative associations you may have of the “1%.” In fact, don’t ever use the term “the 1%”! It has the connotation that somehow the rich got that way by ill-begotten means, and that these people somehow control the universe and your life, which is complete hogwash. I say aspire to be in the 1% yourself and do good in the world.

2. Stop worrying about what others have

Look, we all do it. I covet my neighbor’s truck, house, and lifestyle as much as anyone. But what does it matter how much someone else has? Why do we give it any thought? Do we have less because someone else has more? That’s absurd.

Life isn’t a zero-sum game. There’s not one big pie with everyone fighting for their slice. You can expand the pie and have as much as you want! It’s a mindset, but it’s also a law of the universe.

1. Give it away

I can’t explain this one any more than the others. I just know that when I give my time, talents, and resources, all is right with the world. Give it a try, and see if the floodgates of abundance don’t pour out to you in return.

Want more health, happiness, and prosperity in your life? Let me know which ones you’re putting into action (and which ones you think are off the mark) in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

Steve Roller

Author Steve Roller

I'm a business coach, author, copywriter, world traveler (33 countries on five continents so far), and professional speaker. In addition to helping companies get more customers and make more money, I help other writers create profitable businesses. I offer one-on-one coaching, professional copy critiques, and live, in-person business-building workshops. When I'm not writing, coaching, or speaking, I enjoy nothing more than hanging out with my wife and four kids and planning my next adventure.

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Join the discussion 18 Comments

  • Thanks Steve! Love all these suggestions, and I am going to try to incorporate as many as I can. I’m particularly intrigued by the “hanging upside down” idea. I’ve never heard that one before, but I’m 45 and I see the chiropractor once a week for back pain. You think this could help me?

    • Terr says:

      Hi Paul,

      To chime in on your question, yes, inversion therapy is known to provide huge health benefits. It takes pressure off of your spinal column. It also promotes healthy blood flow which in turn, provides more oxygen to the brain.

      I don’t have an inversion device but I had an over-sized exercise ball that I’d lean backwards on. I need to buy a new ball but that idea works just as well!

      • Steve Roller says:

        I agree with Terri, Paul, on the benefits of inversion therapy. I use an exercise ball in my office, too, Terri! All good stuff, hey? Best wishes.

    • Steve Roller says:

      I definitely think it would help, Paul. Ask your chiropractor about it. It’s not a substitute for chiropractic, but a good complement. Best wishes for a great start to the new year.

  • George Mulvaney says:

    Thanks, Steve. I’ve heard most of these before, but this is a reminder I’ve needed. It’s time to put these into practice. Happy New Year!

  • Jeff says:

    Great Post Steve! I love how you some it up in nine words: Live simpler. Aim bigger. Be thankful. Do it now.

    1) Live simpler is something my wife & I have been working on – it’s definitely a journey as we de-clutter & give things away.

    2) Do it now is what I need to work on in 2014. If you’ve heard of the DISC personality profile I’m a “C”, which really means I get stuck in the details. I love to research and can “justify” that I’m being productive when I’m really not. My goal is to put pen to paper and fight the “resistance.”

    Blessings in this New Year filled with new opportunities & adventure!

    • Steve Roller says:


      I have a feeling we’re similar in personality type. It’s been a while since I’ve done the DISC profile, so I can’t remember what I am, but I get bogged down in the details, too.

      The point about living simpler really works, doesn’t it? It’s not about depriving yourself of things, I certainly like nice things and spending money. But I’ve realized recently that having lots of stuff in my closets that I’m not using actually weighs me down, psychologically. When I give things away, especially if the recipient really appreciates them, it opens up opportunities for more abundance. I can’t explain it, but it always works out.

      Looking forward to connecting this year, Jeff, especially in Chicago! It’s going to be a big year.

  • Katherine says:

    Thanks for sharing. A great exercise to write such a blog/article. I do a lot of soul searching and thinking. (; This is good. It will be a little different for each of us depending on indivudual life circumstances etc. I am happy for you — and grateful for my life too. I walk more for exercise. I’d like some little RV to travel more — I have a cute one on a Board on my Pinterest site Yes, I’d enjoy being rich, doing more good! I enjoy giving it away too — like writing — teaching kids. And I want to write ebooks this year about things I know — to articulate it well and learn more myself too. To sharpen my mind and wits more by digging deep and writing about things. Become a better speaker, read more. All sounds good — and more, my own stamp on it. So to the best 2014 to each one in Copywriter Cafe and our Reach and beyond!

  • Thank you Steve — I will talk to my chiropractor and I may give that inversion table a try. Looks like I can get one at Amazon for $299. Happy New Year to you too. It’s been a while since we talked. We’ll have to catch up sometime here in 2014, and let me know if you ever get over to the Mpls-St Paul area.

    • Steve Roller says:

      That’s how much I paid, Paul, and it’s held up well for over three years with daily use. I will let you know when I come to the Twin Cities. I have a business meeting with a Copywriter Cafe colleague in Chanhassen tentatively scheduled for February or March. Keep me posted on things.

  • Guinevere says:

    Great post! And I’m sure glad you give away your time and resources. I appreciate everything you do for your fellow freelancers!

  • Thanks for calling out the wealth issue, many copywriters seem hung up on it.

    I had an epiphany around wealth that’s helped me: “It’s hard to be a truly effective adult without money.”

    Here’s my thinking. What’s an essential adult characteristic? Responsibility.

    I have about 30 years of productive life expectancy, during which I’ll have stacks of adult responsibilities. I’ve got to send kids to college, help my girls have grand weddings, keep my aged parents happy and healthy for as long as possible, maintain a home, and ensure my wife and I don’t starve to death in our dotage.

    I also have stacks of adult opportunities. I can help starving artists, support our church, foster personal growth, feed my travel addiction, make organizations thrive, help the world become a better place, leave goodness behind.

    Sounds like a lot. But there’s a clear-cut way to doing all those things: make more money. The more money I have, the more things I can accomplish, the more responsibilities I can manage, and the more ways I can make a difference.

    I’m lucky, I’m one of those guys who’s a six-figure copywriter, so I’m focused on building the sustainable business.

    Steve, who’s the best person out there to help? Who brings the best ideas to bear on business building?

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