Living the Happiness Formula

Living the Happiness Formula

A 92 year-old man, small built, but with an erect posture, is fully dressed each morning at 8 o'clock, with his hair well groomed, and clean shaven, even though he is legally blind. Today he is waiting to be moved into a nursing home.

His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making it necessary for him to move. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of his nursing home, he smiles sweetly when told that his room is ready.

As I help him maneuver his walker to the elevator., I provide a visual description of the new room in the nursing home, about the furniture, including the design and color of the curtains. "I love it," he says with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old who is presented with a new puppy.

"Mr. Parker, you haven't even arrived in your room yet, just wait." "That doesn't have anything to do with it," he answers."Happiness is something you decide ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the room is furnished or arranged...It's how I arrange my mind. I already have decided to love it."

"It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice, I can spend the day in bed thinking about all the problems I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or I can get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do work."

"Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away, just for this time in my life. Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put in. So, my advice to you is to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories."

"Thank you for your part in filling my memory bank. I am still depositing."

Remember the five rules to be happy:
- Free your heart of hatred
- Free your mind of worries
- Live simply
- Give more
- Expect less

Gerry Hopman is a humorist, motivational speaker and author, who believes that humor and laughter are essential to finding and maintaining balance in life and career.
Humor and laughter are the most underrated and undervalued tolls in society today.

By Gerry Hopman
Published: 7/14/2008