Thirteen Secrets of the Happiest Seniors

Some senior friends have shared activities that increase their happiness exponentially. These activities serve as good reminders especially when I’ve run myself into the ditch next to the road or even when I’ve run deep into the Grand Canyon of despair.

  1. Find meaning in how you spend your day (write it down so you can look back and remember).
    ~Savor each moment whether in work, play, selfless service or quiet time.
  2. Exercise some self-control (even just a little).
    ~Do you need to have that second helping of potatoes … right now? Potatoes will be there again,  I promise.
  3. Don’t take anything personally (from Juan Miguel Ruiz’ Four Agreements).
    ~This includes the GOOD as well as the bad, so don’t go getting a big head!
  4. Give, give, give
    ~What better way to leave your own problems or angst in the dust than to help someone else? Your time, energy and/or money are priceless to others.
  5. Work on your relationships … but start with yourself.
    ~Be the kind of friend, spouse, or co-worker you want others to be.
  6. Eliminate should from your vocabulary.
    ~Breaking this habit can be challenging, but give it a shot for at least 24 hours. Life goes on quite nicely without shoulds — you’ll see.
  7. Let go of expectations, judgment, indifference and assumptions.
    ~Be willing to see the impact of these “living in the now” time robbers.
  8. Maintain gratitude as the cornerstone of who you are.
    ~Coming from a place of celebrating the abundance in your life will attract more and more.
  9. Don’t waste time on perpetually negative people.
    ~Loving as they may be, these people can suck the peace and joy right out of your life.
  10. Don’t wait.
    ~As Buddha said, “Our mistake is in thinking that we have enough time.”
  11. Find a variety of things that can shift your mood, from something as simple as flossing your teeth to something more expensive as a session or two with a counselor/therapist.
    ~I have an imaginary basket that is filled with tools to support a shift in my mood from uncomfortable to peaceful.
  12. Listen more than you talk.
    ~Others are far more interested in having you listen to them rather than having you share your opinions about anything. Go in listening. If someone wants your opinion, they’ll ask for it.
  13. Be your own best friend … we enter alone, we exit alone.
    ~A day will come when it feels like you’re the only sane one around, that everyone else has slightly gone off their rocker and that you stand alone when no one understands you. Hang in there and move on; everything will eventually shift.