"THE HAPPINESS EQUATION WANT NOTHING PLUS DO ANYTHING EQUALS HAVE EVERYTHING"
An intriguing title of a book that I found very interesting for all of us to explore. It all depends on your attitude and what choices you make in your life. 10% of happiness is based on what happens to us, so 90% of our happiness is not external forces but how we see the world. Genetic predisposition does not determine our way of life: 1% of our excess weight you can blame on your genetics; the rest is your choice.
Author , Neil Pasricha, a New York best selling author breaks down his philosophy of happiness in seven ways to be happy.
1. Three walks: the more physically active people have more pleasant feelings on days when they are more physically active then the norm. Three thirty minute brisk walks a week for 30 minutes a day can improve even those who are clinically depressed.
2 The 20 minute replay: Writing down positive thoughts for 20 minutes a day helps us to remember the good experiences we have in our life.
3 Random five acts of kindness a week dramatically improves your happiness. Why? Those who take the time to care for others find that they feel good about themselves .
4 A complete unplug: the ability to turn off your phone after dinner, not using the internet when on vacation or simply taking the time to shut off the news of the world on the week-ends and enjoy your life.
5 Two minute meditations a day can help rewire your brain to raise your levels of happiness.
6 Five gratitude: take the time to acknowledge to say thank-you for your good fortune while acknowledging that you are blessed. Do not envy others until you have taken the time to walk in their shoes and you will be more content and happy.
7 Hit your flow: Self actualize your self being involved and enjoying your work and be yourself - but be your best self.
A few years ago a group of researchers at the University of Kentucky stumbled upon pure academic gold: cardboard boxes of handwritten autobiographies written by nuns. Now, keep in mind that the best thing about studying Catholic nuns meant that the variables were controlled. None of them smoked , drank, had sex, got married. or had kids. They all even lived simple lives in the same community , ate the same food and wore the same clothes.
Therefore, their positive attitude was the prime indicator of how long they lived. Here is what the researchers discovered : "the happiest nuns lived 10 years longer then the least happy sisters. 54% of those who indicated that they were happy reached the age of ninety-four compared to only 15% of the least happy nuns. Their philosophy showed that: "happy people do not have the best of everything. They make the best of everything. Be happy first".
A while back the title of my column was: "Your health is your wealth". A young man will gladly give up his health for wealth while a old man will gladly give up all of his wealth for health but sadly it is often too late. The mind forgets but the body sure remembers with a vengeance how it has been mistreated.
I enjoyed the chapter titled: "The one thing many billionaires want but can not have?." Simple answer is the word enough. The vast majority of the ultra rich have not learned the word enough. More stuff and material goods can not or will not bring them contentment or peace.
There is a whole section on the reality of retirement and the sad consequences for those who leave the workforce to embrace the "Freedom
55 dreams/nightmares. "Retirement takes away oneís ability to have a sense of purpose to be set up for the nursing home to waste away from the eyes of the world."
What the healthiest one-hundred-year olds in the world teach us? Men and women in Okinawa live an average of seven years longer than Americans and have the longest disability-free life expectancy on earth. It is not genetics but rather their life-style that makes the difference. There are more healthy people over the age of one hundred then any place in the world in Okinawa.
I loved the story of the ninety-six year old Sensi who defeated a boxing champion who was in his thirties. When the Sensi was asked his opinion he said: "it was not a fair fight; his opponent was way too young." Check out the book the Okinawa Program to learn some amazing practical ways to stay healthy that you can replicate.
I will leave you with the tale of the Mexican fisherman to contemplate. A luxury cruise ship is docked in a tiny village . An American professor wearing expensive sunglasses and a fancy watch compliments the fisherman on the quality of the fish and asks him how long it took to catch them? Not long answered the fisherman. Why do you not stay out longer to catch more fish asked the tourist? The fisherman explained that his small catch was enough to meet his daily financial needs leaving enough to feed his family. The rest of the day the fisherman took a siesta with his happy wife and then spent the evening with his friends and family playing his guitar and singing.
The MBA professor admonished the fisherman to: "harvest more fish, buy a larger boat and then franchise his business and then he could move to New York City to live in a penthouse in 25 years." Then, the worn out old entrepreneur could sell his business empire for millions of dollars and then be able to retire and then live in a tiny village near the coast. He would have the time to play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta or two with your wife and spend the evenings drinking Tequila and playing your guitar with your friends.
Sounds familiar: perhaps the fisherman had more street smarts then the MBA professor that taught at Harvard on how to be happy and content with your life? Sadly there are no university courses that teach us how to be happy.
Please mom and dad remember to keep your balance between your work schedule making time for your family and yourself. To-day, too many parents are working full time and do not take the time to spend with the family or taking care of their personal health. I still remember the day my brother, Jack, the "type A lawyer", had a heart attach at the age of 38. He survived after changing his priorities and lived a very contented full life.
The best piece of advice is very simple: the trick is to know who and what your are and be comfortable with your self. Remember to take the time to enjoy life to the fullest and be happy. By the way time is an evasive defined quantity with a best before date before it expires along with your life. The sages teach us that: " yesterday is history, to-morrow is a mystery and to-day we call the present because it is a gift." Please donít take time for granted or waste it because it is precious.
Neil Pasricha has written a good book for us to read and learn if we are open to change our way of thinking. Thank you for taking the time to read my column.