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Live Long and Live Well – The Hat Trick to Happiness | Destination 100

The Hat Trick to Happiness

The tag line of Destination 100 is Live Long Live Well. It sounds good, but what does it really mean?   Most of us would like to live for a long time. We could probably easily come to a consensus on a range that we would consider a long life. 

Science is finding that the length of time we live is influenced more by our lifestyle and environmental factors such as diet and exercise than only genetics.  In other words, we are making the choice of whether we live long and live well. 

Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA) of Healthline recently wrote about habits linked to a long life. Don’t smoke, get exercise and eat a healthy diet are obvious.  Being happy is also a habit that can increase your longevity.  

Prioritize your happiness 

Being happy increases the quality of your life.  It can also increase the length of your life.  

You may be thinking, “ How can I be happy?” 

I’m in poor health. 

I am having financial difficulties.  

Many of my friends have died or moved away.

I don’t have any activities I enjoy. 

The list goes on of all the things that may make you feel sad, down, even depressed.  When you are caught up in the negative, happiness can seem elusive. Whatever your problems the challenge is to live long and live well.

The  Hat Trick to Happiness  

You can choose to be happy the same way you can choose to eat healthy food. There are 3 tricks to master which will produce happiness and contentment.

1. Here

The first trick is to be here.  You may be asking where else could you be. Ask yourself if you are really here.  The only moment we ever have is the one we are living with each breath. Consider whether you are thinking about things that happened yesterday. Or perhaps you are planning things for tomorrow.  

Yesterday is over and cannot be changed.  Tomorrow is not promised and it is not under our control.  

Wiggle your big toe.  Left or right doesn’t matter.  When you wiggle that toe you bring yourself to this moment.  Appreciate the moments of your life as they are happening.

2.      Amused

The second trick is to find the funny. Laughter and fun are major components of my definition of living well. What better place to find fun than in the comics?  The comic strips in a daily newspaper on any given day can be a source of mild amusement to laugh out loud funny.  

They can also be a funhouse mirror.  There I am, distorted and exaggerated. The strip “Pearls Before Swine” sounded just like me one morning this week.

I am never happier than when my behind is firmly planted in an airline seat.  The roar of the powerful engines and the feeling of the force as the plane hurtles down the runaway toward takeoff can’t be matched.  Then there is the moment when the plane is suddenly airborne. I always feel as though I have slipped the surly bonds of earth and touched the face of God.

Pig and Goat, two of the anthropomorphic characters in “Pearls” are discussing life goals. Goat asks Pig what one thing is he determined to do in his life.  Pig says he wants to go all around the world.  

“Oh yes!  I want to fly 1 million miles with Delta!”

Goat inquires further, “Where do you want to go?”  Pig replies that he wants to go home. He says the plane would just circle around.

Goat tells him that some people land and see things.  Pig says he just wants the free peanuts.

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list!  I don’t care where the plane is going. I just want to be on it! If it is going to a new place, great, it’s on my everywhere list.  If I have been there, it’s okay. I’m just here for the peanuts.

To live long and live well, be easily amused.

3.  Thankful

The third trick is to be thankful. My air conditioner died on one of the hottest days of the year, a Saturday. Thanks to the expertise of a heating and air technician it had lasted a couple of years beyond what I expected.  

A friend in the business found a replacement unit for an amazing price and got it installed in record time.  Another friend shared a cool house for a couple of nights.

Every night I write down at least 3 things I am thankful for that day.  Air conditioning definitely made the list!

Develop an attitude of gratitude.  There is always something for which to be thankful.  

You have a roof over your head when it rains.  You have a comfortable bed. You have hot water in your shower.  You have a warm sweater. Nothing is ever too small or insignificant to give thanks for. The more thankful I am, the more I have to be thankful for.

Remember the HAT trick to happiness to live long and live well.

Be Here

Be Amused

Be Thankful

Happiness is a choice.  My friends in “Pearls Before Swine” remind me that I’m only here for the free peanuts.