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Too Good to Be True: The Older You Are, the Happier You Become

Too Good to Be True: The Older You Are, the Happier You Become

Do you remember as a teenager, all the things you worried about that seemed crucial for your happiness? With high insight, how many of those things still matter to you?

There is a famous saying, “Youth is wasted on the young.” It would appear that young people have the world at their feet. The reality is, however, that they lack the clarity of someone who has gained those life lessons that enables real happiness.

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A recent study [1] revealed that the happiest people are the over 50s. An astounding 61% said they were happier and enjoying life more. Even more interesting was the fact that more than half had been travelling, one in five planned to learn a new language and one in ten were learning to play an instrument.

Things that you find happiness in as you get older

Your looks

When you were younger, there were so many things you obsessed about when it comes to your looks. You didn’t like your body or focused on an imperfection that seemed so much bigger than what it was.

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Ironically, as you get older and may not have a body that is as fit or agile, you feel far more content about it. You finally learn to embrace your flaws. You know that you are not perfect, and that’s ok.

Your fashion

Do you remember following the latest trend or taking two hours to get dressed on a night out?

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As you age, you are more comfortable in your own skin. That doesn’t mean that you have given up wanting to look nice. It just means that you realize that other people’s opinions about your looks aren’t as important.

Someone once told me that you know you are finding happiness in getting older when you can drive to the supermarket wearing your pyjamas under your winter coat. I can happily confirm that I have done this more than once.

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Quiet nights

Weekend do not have to mean partying until the sun rises with people you hardly know. You are quite satisfied with having a quiet night at home or going to a nice bar or dinner where you can engage in conversation (and actually hear each other speak).

Less friends

The reality is that most of those numerous “best friends” will not stand the true test of time. You learn who are your genuine friends. And you couldn’t be happier about it.

How to experience more happiness before growing too old

  • Stop worrying as much about numbers–whether it is age, weight, or bank balances. When it is near the end, you will realize these weren’t as important as you thought.
  • Be ok with being yourself–whether you are unconventional, quirky, or uncool. You are still the best “you” there is.
  • Choose your friends wisely. As time goes by, you will realise the value of genuine friendship.
  • Laugh longer and more often.
  • Appreciate your health. One of the things people miss the most when they are elderly is their good health and all the things they used to be able to do easily.
  • Understand you may fail 100 times before you succeed. And that is still ok.
  • Stop trying to control or change other people. The only person you need to change or control is yourself.
  • Live with little regrets or what ifs. Do you have something you always dreamt of doing but keep postponing? Is there someone out there who you need to tell you love?
  • Embrace not only your ups but also your downs. There is no one alive who has never experienced down moments. In time, you will realize you needed those downs to mold you into who you will become.
  • Appreciate the small things of the “now.” It could be as simple as an evening spent with people you care about or that birthday card from your grandmother–these people will not always be around.
  • Surround yourself with positive love–whether it is the things that you love or the people who you love.
  • Don’t wait for someone or something to make your life better. The only person who can make your life better is you.
  • Most people live in the future i.e. all the things they want to do or are working towards doing. They sadly miss out living in the present. Don’t be one of those people.
  • Always remember, happiness is a state of mind, not a state of being.

Reference

More by this author

J.S. von Dacre

Writer at Lifehack

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Last Updated on April 1, 2019

How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy

How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy

When we talk about happiness, we often think about staying happy all the time – every single day, every single minute with zero negativity. Many try to pursue this constant state of “happiness” as their ultimate goal, and avoid anything that may take it away from them.

But, what is the meaning of this type of “happiness”?

It’s a lot like your favorite food. The more often you have it isn’t always better. On the contrary, when you only have a chance to eat it sparingly, that’s when you really savor every bite. So is it the food itself that makes you happy, or is it how valuable it is to you when you are eating it?

Always remember that only by experiencing sadness do we understand what it is to be happy.

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Video Summary

Don’t Assume Others Are Always Happy

Most people see those who have seemingly perfect lives and assume they are happy all the time. Since childhood, we are conditioned to chase the idea of “happily-ever-after” that we see in fairytales. On social media, everyone tends to share only the best looking aspects of their lives. So, it’s very easy to have a distorted view of what “happiness” is around us.

In reality, there is always something missing, something lacking, or something unpleasant.

No one has a perfect life. Even the most glamorous celebrities or the richest billionaires have their own set of challenges and problems.

When we feel negative, we’re only focusing on a small fluctuating curve. As CEO of Lifehack, I’ve had to deal with countless problems, and some of them felt like real setbacks at the time. During those moments, it really seemed like these problems would be the life or death of my company and my life goals. But, I got through them; and, weeks, months and eventually years passed with many more ups and downs.

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You need to keep your sights on the extended curve.  Looking back now, a lot of those “really big” problems at the time now seem like only small blips in a long line of experiences. Recalling them in my mind now makes me smile!

Stop Trying to Be Happy–Just Be

It’s natural to want to be happy as often as possible.

So what can we do?

First, throw away the belief that a perfect life means happiness. Personally, I would be miserable if everything was perfect. It’s through experiencing the pains of lifelong challenges that drives us to care for others when they are experiencing similar trials. If life was perfect, you wouldn’t be able to empathize. If life was perfect, you wouldn’t grow.

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To be truly happy, stop chasing permanent happiness.

It sounds like a paradox. But, what I mean is to accept that there will be ups and downs throughout life. Gracefully understand that happiness is a fluctuation of positive and negative events.

Understand the importance of gratitude. Instead of focusing on the unpleasant moment, flash back your memory to when you didn’t have something. I like to think about my career, for example. When I didn’t have a career I was passionate about, I felt lost and demotivated. I felt like everyone was figuring out their lives but me. But, when I found my purpose and started Lifehack, I was deeply happy, even before I realized I would be successful! This memory keeps me going when I hit tough spots. It takes the darkness to make us grateful for the light.

Happiness and Sadness Exist Together

What it all comes down to is this: your life will be filled with beautiful, happy and incredible moments–happy tears and joyous shouts and funny stories. But, your life will also be filled with rain and storms that never seem like they will pass while you’re going through them.

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But, whether your face is warmed by the sunshine, or your heart is dampened by the rain, know that it’s all part of the ebb and flow of life.

Treasure the happy moments and power through the sad ones. Don’t try to avoid “sad” or “negative” experiences, and blindly chase being “happy”. In the end you will achieve a true level of contentment in your life, based on meaningful experiences and achievements. Being able to create growth and meaning out of both positive and negative events — that is the true meaning of “happiness”.

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