5 Secrets of Happiness

Secrets to Happiness

I recently read a story  about a 92 year old woman and her ‘5 secrets to happiness’. I suspect the story isn’t authentic, just a metaphoric tale but really it makes no difference as it is the message that is important. The story goes like this.

A spritely 92 year old lady had been married for over 70 years when her husband died. She decided she had no alternative but to move into a nursing home because she was legally blind and she arranged to visit the nursing home that was to become her new home. After waiting in the reception area, one of the staff came to collect her, to accompany her to the room that would become her new bedroom.

Believing before seeing

As they made their way to the lift, the staff nurse began to describe the detail of the new bedroom.  “I just love it!” said the lady enthusiastically, even before the doors had closed.“But you haven’t seen it yet!” the nurse pointed out.  “Oh, that doesn’t matter.” The old lady replied, “ I’ve decided to be happy and happiness is something you can decide to be ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it’s about how I have arranged my mind, and I have decided in advance that everything will be perfect. When she was asked how this philosophy worked she explained. ” Every morning when I wake up I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work,  or I can get out of bed and be thankful for the bits that do. Each day is a gift and every day I focus on all the happy memories I’ve stored away. Old age is like a bank account and you withdraw from what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories. There are 5 simple ways to happiness.” 

The Five Simple Ways

  • Free your heart from hatred
  • Free your mind from worry
  • Live simply
  • ?Give more
  • Expect less

Through the filter of Positive Psychology it is possible to see that these 5 ways could reflect principles of appreciation, mindfulness, gratitude, hope and resilience and the most important tenet, we choose how we feel. It may not always possible to completely free the mind from worry but if one avoids catastrophising, keeps things in perspective and appreciates what is going right, then there is a strong possibility that life will be experienced in the best way possible.

Happiness is NOW

Happiness is a ‘NOW’ experience. This old lady may or may not exist but the wisdom of the story is worth reflecting upon. We create our own experiences of life dependent on the choices we make. Today we decide whether we will be happy or unhappy. Without knowing what the future will bring you can decide, in advance, to make the most each day that passes.



1 Comment

  1. Great stuff as always, Lesley.

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