Everyone wants to be happy and healthy. Right? Some folks would probably give you a strange look for even asking such a question. If you followed that question with, “so what does it mean to be happy and healthy?”, they probably couldn’t answer the question. Perhaps they’d respond with some vision that they once saw in a magazine or on the television. Maybe some vague idea of “the good life” or “being rich and skinny”, that they saw in a yogurt commercial.
Ironically, vague assumptions like these can lead to confusion and misconceptions for many people. Why? Many people buy into someone else’s notions of what happiness and health mean. Sometimes it’s their family and friends who are telling them how they “should” feel or think about their life. Their told they should be further along in life, or that they should be happy because of all the stuff they’ve accumulated.
Mass Marketing’s Fake News
Advertising can be valuable. It can educate you about products that could save you time and money. Commercials, also play a big part in the twisted misconceptions that we develop regarding our happiness. They prey upon negative feelings. The wants and desires for sex, power, and money are all exploited to great effect. They spin a web of lies and half truths. “The good life can be yours, with one easy down payment!” They drum their bullshit stories into our heads, and we buy, buy. buy.
Most ads are directed at the coveted sweet spot of 18 to 34 years old. They call this the “key demographic”. Mass marketers want to hook you on their product when you are young and make you a lifetime consumer of their brand. As you get older, you see your age group represented less as vibrant and happy go-getters and more as dull and boring workers and parents. Advertisers are no longer peddling sports cars, and sexy clothes to you. They’re trying to sell you minivans and Rolaids Rolaids???
Don’t Believe the Hype
If you have identified strongly with the advertising world’s view of happiness, health, and success, then the lack of a positive identity could be a real downer for you. You’ve bought into their story. It’s the story that the only truly happy people are young people. Let me start by saying this is complete nonsense. Youth is not a predictor of happiness. If you doubt my assertion, then think about all the people who’ve had unhappy childhoods. If you’re to believe the ads this should be the happiest time in a person’s life. In fact, if you look at international studies, and even back in American history, childhood was a pretty miserable time.
The point is, happiness is an inside job. Only you can make you happy. Only you can define happiness. Besides, why would you leave your own happiness and your own sense of self worth to cheesy marketers, and snake oil salesmen? You can’t rely on someone else to define happiness for you, especially as you get older. So who can define what happiness means? You can!
Revealing Your Happiness
I have several tools and methods for helping you to define, and achieve your own personal goals for happiness in this new chapter of your life. Since revealing your happiness can be a process of self discovery for many, I’ll be going into those methods in depth in later articles and podcasts. The process can be pleasurable in itself, if you experience it slowly as a journey of self discovery. No need to rush the personal details.
Universal Definition of Happiness Includes – Health
Every definition of true happiness always begins with a wish for good health. To ruin your body and mind in the pursuit of status and wealth, is a fool’s journey. I have known many people who busted their asses at work for many years to end up on all manner of medications, and living in miserable pain in their expensive homes. A few have even keeled over and died – at work! This is the opposite of being happy and healthy over 40.
Life after your 40th birthday can be amazing if you maintain and work toward good health. For many it’s the best time of life, in many respects. You’ve had time to develop relationships with life long friends. You’ll discover, as you get older, people treat you with greater respect. They listen to your ideas, because you have the advantage of experience. You’ve developed wisdom based on personal expertise, developed over many years. AND – in many cases you’ve accumulated a decent amount of resources, like houses and bank accounts. It’s all available for your continued growth and enjoyment as long as you’re healthy!
I’ve already pointed out that happiness is an inside job. Here at HappyandHealthyOver40.com you can expect to find lots of tips to reveal and develop your own happiness. We’re going to have great interviews with some and tips from some of the happiest people that I know who are over 40 years of age, and how they stay that way. I’ll give you tips on what to eat and how to prepare delicious, quick, and inexpensive meals that will keep you trim and energized.
Below are 6 points that should be universal for us all in achieving and maintaining good health and happiness over 40. Feel free to write me with your feedback, and your own ideas of personal happiness.
- Stay active and strong, for many reasons. A short list is better sleep, and increased libido.
- Love and respect yourself. Being kind and reward yourself with great things (not food) when you achieve a goal.
- Don’t put emotional judgments on food. Eating a donut does not make you “bad” no more than eating a salad makes you “good”. If you ate a donut – no big deal. Make a different choice tomorrow.
- Get plenty of good quality sleep.
- Have friends. Don’t let mundane events stand in the way of connecting with people.
- The best medications: Laughter, sunshine, exercising outdoors in nature, lots of fresh water, plenty of good sleep.