Back in October of last year I wrote a post entitled 5 Keys To Happiness In Life, At Least For Me.
Lo and behold, after noodling it around all through the winter that never seems to end, I have come up with a few more. I hope you find them both useful and inspirational.
Here is the premise:
Besides being cheesed off about a lot of the dumb-ass stuff I see around me every day, I’m basically a happy guy. But like anything in life that’s worth achieving, this happiness is something you have to work at. The general rule in a world as full of weirdness as ours is to eliminate the things that bug you in as wide a diameter as possible around you.
And here are some of the new Keys To Happiness I have Discovered
1. The Antiques Roadshow: My wife is constantly lamenting the fact that it’s really hard to find good networks TV series that don’t involve the tracking down of serial killers, and I have to agree with her. Although I have a decided preference for this sort of TV, I must admit that it’s nice to have a break every now and then. This is why I love the Antiques Roadshow. This is one of those series that is all about storytelling in the truest sense of the word. We talk a lot about storytelling in social and business media, but very few of us actually do that. Mostly what we’re doing is summarizing chapters from our latest book, or lecturing people on the best way to do whatever it is we’re trying to explain, or even more typically, offering invaluable (he said suspiciously) tips on stuff we need to do to become wildly successful. I’m guilty of the latter ti some extent myself. But the Antiques Roadshow is a very pleasant hour of stories from everyday people who have somehow come into possession of something extraordinary. They tell their story and then the Roadshow expert they are talking to tells them the rest of the story and it’s all quite fascinating. My favourite part of the show is when they get to tell some people that something they bought for three bucks at some local flea market is actually worth tens of thousands of dollars. There’s an unbridled joy in watching their expressions of both surprise and delight. And the takeaway is a feeling of being truly entertained by stuff from the real world, not some hard working Hollywood writing team trying to blow you out of your easy chair with stories that wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of happening the the real world. So that makes me happy.
2. My Grandson: Most Saturdays I get on my bike and ride over to my son’s house where my best buddy, whose name is Rowan, waits for me to show up. He is going to be 4 next month and I have been going to hang out with him pretty regularly (except for colds etc), on Saturday mornings for the past two years. We don’t do anything spectacular. We talk. I encourage him to eat his breakfast. He cons a bite of my muffing from me. We do a jig saw puzzle. We read a couple of books. And we have some games that mostly involve me laying on the floor and him jumping on me, quite vigorously. After about two or three hours of this, his Nana shows up and takes him back to our place for lunch, while I ride back on my bike. After that, In the warm weather we go to the park. In the cold weather we hang out and watch a movie until his dad comes to pick him up. Sometimes they stay for dinner, and that’s pretty much my Saturday. No matter what kind of bullshit have have had to deal with during the week, this kid has the power to make it all fade way into the background. This is a pure kind of happiness that takes me back to when my kids were that age, and I love it.
3. My Morning Ride: Every morning, except Saturday, weather permitting, at around 7:30, I get on my bike and do about 8 kilometers out and back again. It takes about 20 minutes. And it’s one of the things I appreciate most about working for myself. This ride is more that just exercise, because for me, there’s a mental clarity that comes from riding the same route every day. You don’t think about the ride itself. You think about what you have to do that day or if you’re working on a big project, you think about whatever piece of it you want to get accomplished that day. It’s something I have been doing for most of my adult life. The first half of my adult life, my morning ride consisted of riding to work at some big ad agency or other, which generally took about 4o minutes depending on where I was living and working. My current ride only takes me half that time, and I still end up at work. But I end up there feeling very clear headed and mentally organized. I wouldn’t not call this feeling happiness, but then again maybe I would.
Well there you go. More stuff that makes me feel happy. The more I write about this sort of thing the more I appreciate how good life has been to me.I hope you feel the same way about your life. Because happiness is a very important component of your life. And from my experience, there really is no such thing at too much of it.