I can't tell people how to be happy. I haven't really figured that out yet. But I'm pretty good at having a good time.
Most people think that the key to having a good time is fun. Rookie mistake. The key to having a good time is the fun quotient. This involves doing some math (which slightly decreases the fun) but I assure you that you can do it in your head. But it may help to have your cell phone calculator ready.
Take the activity/event and rate how fun it will be. The unit for fun is the plesik.
Amateur fun-havers stop here. 80 plesiks? I'm definitely doing that. Incorrect.
Most, though not all, activities have a cost. There's no such thing as a free lunch, or a free plesik. It may not cost dollars and cents, but it will at least cost time and potentially effort.
Fun/Cost = fun quotient.
But wait, that's not the whole story. You need to add in the collateral damage and fringe benefits, namely, the people. Going to a concert may have a pleasing fun/cost ratio, but to make it worthwhile it nearly always requires the fringe benefit of going with friends. If no friends are going and you need a ride from Dweeby McHusky that counts as collatoral damage and it will almost never be worthwhile.
Some further examples from this week.
Bowling is fun, most likely 10 plesiks. But the cost is also relatively high, so your fun quotient ends up pretty close to 1. Is 1 worth doing? Probably not. Staying home and reading can probably break a 2 or 3. Add in a lot of fringe benefits (friends count as 1, cute girls count as 3) and you have a formula for a good evening.
Garrison Keillor is coming to town. I enjoy PHC, so this activity probably gets a 20. Maybe a 30. But for me (unfortunately plesiks are relative, confounding group calculations) it definitely doesn't break a 40. The show costs 50 bucks AND is an inconvenient time. Sorry Garrison, the numbers just aren't in your favor. Unless you add a lot of fringe benefits.