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Secrets of Happiness from the Oldest of the Old

Thinking like an older person

Thinking like an older person is a conscious practice of gratitude. It means focusing on what is rather than what is not. It also means accepting your mortality and being motivated by it: if your days are finite, you might as well enjoy the ones you have left.

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Secrets of Happiness from the Oldest of the Old

Secrets of Happiness from the Oldest of the Old

https://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T037-C000-S004-secrets-of-happiness-from-the-oldest-of-the-old.html

kiplinger.com

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Key Ideas

Thinking like an older person

Thinking like an older person is a conscious practice of gratitude. It means focusing on what is rather than what is not. It also means accepting your mortality and being motivated by it: if your days are finite, you might as well enjoy the ones you have left.

Happiness is a choice

The quality of our lives isn't based on the events of our lives but on the reaction to the events in our lives. 

Make the choice to declare that you won’t be defined or determined by the circumstances of your life. This declaration is liberating.

"Optimism doesn’t mean the future is going to necessarily be better. It means seeing that the present is better."

"Optimism doesn’t mean the future is going to necessarily be better. It means seeing that the present is better."

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Anxiety is rewarding

Each time we worry and nothing bad happens, our mind connects worry with preventing harm:

Worry → nothing bad happens.

And the takeaway is, "It's a good thing I worried."&nbs...

Beliefs about worry
  • If I worry, I'll never have a bad surprise.
  • It's safer if I worry. We believe that the act of worrying itself somehow lowers the likelihood of a dreaded outcome. 
  • I show I care by worrying. We need to distinguish between caring about a situation and worrying needlessly and fruitlessly about it. 
  • Worrying motivates me. We need to differentiate between unproductive worry and productive concern and problem solving.
  • Worrying helps me solve problems. Extreme worry is more likely to interfere with problem-solving. 
Tools to assist us with worry
  • Calm the nervous system with guided muscle relaxation, meditation, and exercise. 
  • Notice when you're worrying and any beliefs that reinforce worry.  Awareness of the process gives us more choice in how we respond.
  • Embrace uncertainty. Most of the things we care about in life involve uncertainty. It takes considerable practice to begin to embrace it.
  • Live in the present. Practice focusing your attention on the present in everyday activities like taking a shower, walking, or talking with a friend, as well as in more formal practices like meditation or yoga.
  • When we face our fears head-on, they tend to diminish. Deliberately accept what you're afraid of: "It's possible I'll miss my flight." 
Worrying about the future

Worrying is the mental habit of trying to solve a problem that either can’t be solved or isn’t really a problem. 

It gives us the illusion of control. Worrying about i...

Isolating yourself

When we hide our pain and isolate ourselves, we throw away the most powerful antidepressant: loving support from people who care about us.

You don’t need coping strategies when you’re sad discouraged, or helpless. You need people. You need support. You need someone to give you a hug and listen carefully to your story.

Keeping quiet

Most of us hesitate to push back and stand up for ourselves because we’re afraid of being perceived as aggressive or rude. And so we default to being passive.

But there’s a middle road between being passive and aggressive: You can be assertive. It means standing up for your own wants, needs, and values, in an honest and respectful way.

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The Caffeinated and the Un-caffeinated
Morning commuters seem to fall into one of two categories: 
  • the Caffeinated: ready to take on the day—they're reading their morning papers, ...
Grown Ups and Coffee

By 1988 only 50 percent of the adult American population drank coffee. In 1962, average coffee consumption was 3.12 cups per day; by 1991 had dropped to 1.75 cups per day.

At the onset of the 1980s, coffee growers and retailers realized that the current 20-29-year-old generation had little interest in coffee, which they associated with their parents and grandparents.

The "Me" Generation

For the coffee industry to survive, it needed a new marketing strategy. The consumer was changing and coffee-players needed to pay attention.

Crucial questions the 'me' generation will ask: "What's in it for me? Is the product 'me'? Is it consistent with my lifestyle? Do I like how it tastes? What will it cost me? Is it convenient to prepare?"

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