Everybody wants to be happy. The key is to find the right strategy and then stick with it. This is a short lesson in life and how to live it. If you are truly content with your life and say, “Hey, I really am pretty happy,” then just skim this article and do the things that continue to give you joy.
For the rest of us, let’s look at a quick lesson on what you can do today to give yourself a more meaningful life that brings you pleasure.
If you are in your 20s and reading this, consider you just got a huge head start for the race and you will be way ahead of the pack. For those in your 30s, it is time to get moving before the race enters its second lap. People in your 40s, you still have time but not as much as you might think. The groups that are in their early 50s, let’s go now! You are basically on hole No. 15 if you are on an 18-hole golf course. If you are in your 60s and reading this, you are going to say, “I agree with Hal,” or be really depressed when you finish.
• Find the occupation you truly enjoy. If you wake up every day and it seems like Friday, 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. “Your vocation should be a vacation.” Work takes up most of your waking moments since sleeping does not count. So why not look for something you enjoy?
• If you are a parent, be a good one. Nope, let me change that. Be a great one. Sure it takes time and patience to raise kids, but that is your choice. If you put the time in, they will reward you later. Whether it is a job, a hobby 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.
• Be a good spouse or partner. When it comes to sharing your life with someone, challenges come up from time to time. The easy thing is to just walk away. What does that do for you? Nothing, but wondering if you did the right thing, or maybe even leads to regrets later in life. The word here I have learned from so many couples that have been married for more than 50 years is compromise. When I see an older couple talking or holding hands, I always ask 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.
• To have good friends you need to be a good friend. I am very fortunate to make this statement. I have a number of close friends that go all the way back to elementary school.
This naturally takes work. You need to nurture those friendships by staying in touch with them, and to be there if they need you. Friendships like those are not replaceable. These types of relationships go back an entire life. We know each other as best as we can. No one judges each other. We all have our faults and good points, but 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.”
Well, that is my little take on life and how to find the one, that when it is nearly over, you can look back and have a smile on your face.
Being happily married, enjoying work and then coming home to great kids, really puts it all into perspective. If you have all that, congratulate yourself, sit back, have a cold beer and be grateful for a job well done. Remember, it was all of your choices to bring this life together, and by hard work, a good plan and vision, 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.