The Ten Steps to Happiness After 40
One: Engage in self-reflection.
I know ó easier said than
done. Most of us go through our lives never really getting to know
ourselves. After all, life offers us many distractions. Who has time
for self-reflection? The only way to to be happy after 40 is to get to
know yourself really well. This includes accepting and loving who you
are. This includes accepting and loving the nervous habits that only
you know about, those annoying addictions, and that little pot belly
or slight jiggle. All your life perhaps, you have been reminded by a
parental voice that you are not quite good enough or smart enough. Or
maybe itís a loving spouse who, with all good intentions, is quick to
remind you of your faults. It may be just society ó and all the
pressures to look and act young while buying lots of stuff and having
perfect children and lots of money. All this can make self-reflection
a scary proposition, but this is the first and most important step
towards happiness. Start with this simple question:
What makes me happiest?
Be completely selfish and
honest with your answer
Two: Spend time on what makes you most happy.
Sounds logical, doesnít
it? Examine your list. What are some of the things that make you
happiest; and make you feel most alive? Perhaps itís the little things
ó like reading the paper in the morning? Or reading a good book? Maybe
itís spending time with those you care about? Maybe itís playing on
the computer writing
The point is this: make sure each day contains at least some of these
important elements. This will make you happy.
Donít give up these items
to satisfy others and their demands. This will lead to illness and
Step Three: Find someone to take of and who can
take care of you.
Humans need humans. We
also need a few ó or even just one ó person we can think about all the
time: planning activities with or just daydreaming about. Ideally,
this will be the same person who spends their day planning for you,
dreaming about you, perhaps making your special cup of tea when you
come home at night. With someone to care for in a equal relationship,
you will be happy. So many relationships end up lopsided, with one
person more dependent on the other. Two people who place each otherís
needs in high priority in a loving way enables happiness.
Four: Laugh a lot each day.
helps to focus the mind on the silly aspects of life. Humor helps
break patterns such as negative thinking and addictive habits. Whether
itís watching funny movies, going to see
or just joking with people you meet, you will lighten the stress of
everyday life. This will help you to be happy.
I used to become so angry
about sales calls to the house at dinner time. Now, it becomes my
comedy hour. The other day someone called to offer some type of
insurance. The offer was that if I agreed to buy the insurance, they
would send out a ten dollar gift certificate for gas in 7-10 days. I
told them I was out of gas today, and asked if they could overnight
the coupon, so that I could have gas the following day. Then I asked
them when their dinner break was. They told me, and I said I would
call them back during their dinner break as I was having my dinner!
The person said they werenít allowed to take calls during dinner!!
Amazing, but you get the idea!
Laugh with others, and find comedy in your daily life. This will make
Page #2 Ten Steps to Happiness after 40 Coming Soon
Craig Nathanson is the
author of P Is For Perfect: Your Perfect Vocational Day and a coaching
expert who works with people over forty.
Visit Craigís online
where you can take a class, get more ideas through Craig Nathansonís
books and CDís, get some private coaching over the phone or in Craigís
office, or read other
of mid-life change and renewal.
Craig lives and works in
Petaluma, California. His office is located at 921 Transport Way,
Suite 3, Petaluma Ca, 94954. You can reach him at 707-775-4020 or at
Additional Information and
webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed
Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate