Life after 50,  Wellness

Happiness is . . .

In junior high school and high school, my walls were adorned with Snoopy posters identifying what “Happiness is. . . ” and Peanuts Gang books filled my shelves.

The messages in this book focused on happiness and what happiness was.

Several years ago, I gave a speech at a Toastmaster’s Meeting about happiness. I began by asking the members to finish a stem sentence: “I would just be happy if . . .” I asked them to write down 3 to 5 things that would complete this sentence. I also asked them to identify if they were happy at this moment.

Most people complete that stem sentence with thoughts about money, work, or family/spouse. Most of these kinds of completions leave us wanting more. If I just made more money, but then we get a raise and we are still not happy. If my boss recognized my hard work, then we might be given a special project to complete because of our hard work and skill, and we feel worthwhile. If my kids just helped with the chores or did well on a test, but then the next week, I felt they slacked off.

You see, the only person that can make you happy is YOU!


We don’t like to be unhappy, blue, or depressed, but looking for others to bring you happiness will leave you unsatisfied and wanting more. You must look at yourself and determine what truly makes you happy.

Kenny Chesney, in May of 2020, released the song “Happy Does.” It was a song that we desperately needed as the world became stressed with the social distancing and restrictions that governments mandated in order to combat COVID. In the chorus, he challenges you to grab your guitar, swing on a rope, hang something that makes you smile from your rearview mirror, have a drink, dance in the rain, and kiss your lover – if it makes you happy – DO IT!

If you are seeking happiness in your life and not finding it, maybe you are looking in the wrong place. Instead of looking for happiness in your job or in your family, start by looking for the happiness inside of you. In the grandest scheme of things, you really are the only one that can make you happy.

You have to be happy with the way you look or like the way you look.

Don’t like it? Work to change it. And yes, I know how hard that is. It might mean beginning to exercise or living a more active life. It might mean using good judgment and eating with your health in mind. Will it make you happy? You are the only one who can determine that.

You have to be happy with what you do on a day-to-day basis.

– Don’t like it? Work to change it. Yup, that’s hard too. It might mean going back to school which means applying to get in and determining how you will pay for it as well as working through the schedule of classes. Will it make you happy? You are the only one who can determine that.

You see, in order to be happy, there is only one person you can truly change and that is you.

I know there are days when life gets you down or life feels too difficult. I know that there are times when you feel others have let you down.

Want to add some happiness to your life? You have to realize that it is probably already there, but the negative seems to loom over the happiness and overtake it.

Either take a single sheet of paper or use a notebook and each night before you go to bed write down the following:

  1. Three things that you are grateful for that day.
  2. Three things that brought you joy or happiness.
  3. The most positive thing that you accomplished today.

That’s it – those three things. Keep it up for a week and see what it tells you about yourself.

Thanks for reading.

I would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions, and questions in the comment section below.

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As you move through your day, please remember to

Live Life –

Keep Things Simple –

Look for the Positive –



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