Want to be happy? I will show you a simple strategy and hopefully you can implement it.

If you do, the key is to stick with it for a long, long time.

The younger you are the more impact this will have on your life and how you choose to live it. If you are in your 60s or 70s reading this, hopefully you will say, “Hal’s right, it was a good run.”

Do the following and don’t look back:

• Be a great spouse or partner. When it comes to sharing your life with someone, challenges will arise. The easy thing is to just walk away or say, “I’m done.” What does that do for you? Nothing. The one thing or observation that I have learned from so many couples that have been married for more than 50-plus years is compromise. When I see an older couple talking or holding hands, I always ask then what their secret is, and most of the time they both say it is not to try to win the argument but to find a middle ground.

• If you are a parent, be the best one possible. Sure it takes time and patience to raise kids, but that is your choice. If you put the energy, diligence and time in, they will reward you later. Whether it is a hobby, your career or your kids, you get out of it what you put into it. We all make mistakes, but the key is the consistency, staying the course and always being there for them, with your wisdom, guidance and naturally your love.

• Find the occupation you truly enjoy. If you wake up every morning, you have a smile on your face and are looking forward to the day, then you have the dream job or career. It is out there, but you have to keep your eyes open, your mind clear and be ready to take a chance if you have to. Mark Twain said it best: “The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation.” Think about this, your time at work (and thinking about work) takes up most of your moments that you are not sleeping, so why not do something that you enjoy?

• Be a great friend to the friends that you have. I am very, very fortunate to make this statement since I have a number of close friends that go all the way back to elementary school. This naturally takes work, time and effort as well. You need to nurture those friendships by staying in touch with them, and to be there if they need you. These types of relationships (as in my case) can go back an entire lifetime.

Friendships like those are not replaceable and we all have our faults and strengths. As Crosby, Stills Nash and Young said in one of their songs, “We have had our ups and downs, but we are still playing together.”

Being happily married, enjoying work, coming home to great kids (and grandkids), really puts it all into perspective. If you have all that, congratulate yourself, sit back, smile and be grateful for a job well done. Remember, these were your choices to bring this life together, and by hard work, a good plan with consistency, you did it.

Hal Becker is a nationally known speaker on sales and customer service. He is the author of numerous business books including two national best sellers, “Can I Have 5 Minutes Of Your Time?” and “Lip Service.” Hal’s newest book on sales is titled “Ultimate Sales Book.” He can be reached at Halbecker.com.

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