By Gregory K. Taylor
This was a farcical 1963 refrain from a popular song of the same name involving a general truth about man’s continuous search for happiness.
Have you seen those signs deployed on the front counters of the receptionist’s area when entering a building that read, "Director of First Impressions?" Such a business understands the penalty of not getting a second chance to make a first impression. The same principle applies to individual encounters. It is difficult to alter a negative impression into a positive one. Those initial contacts are judged as severely as one’s attire, deportment, and diction. So (1), be NICE because it’s nice to be nice and much better to be remembered in that manner than the alternative.
The world has been around for billions of years and it most likely will be around for billions more. How long will you be around? How soon will you be a footnote search on Ancestry.com? The sun is estimated to implode in 5 billion years—do you worry about that? Do you worry about small inconsequential things that don’t affect your daily life? So, stop taking life and yourself so seriously—because your future is short! Get on with the business of living a happier-fulfilling life and avoid others getting on with the business of dying. Like a yawn, happiness can be contagious and so can worry. “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy,” Leo Buscaglia. So, surround yourself with like-minded people and enjoy today. Be forever mindful of the maxim about irreplaceable persons because the graveyard is, indeed, full of irreplaceable people. A day without laughter is like a day without sunshine and though others may deem you crazy (2) Laugh as loud and often as you can.
Recent studies have attributed longevity of centenarians to, among other things, good sleeping habits. That is to say, eight hours of sleep per night gives the body enough time to send out its repair teams to complete an all-night overhaul of its vital systems. A diagnostic, if you will, of every bodily function. Those who boast of needing only four or six hours of sleep are simply, over time, running on empty. Think back to the last time you woke up truly rested and happy to take on the day. Look to nature for most answers and one will find that every creature, large or small, needs a time-out period to allow for repairs. (3) So, Sleep at least eight hours per night and your mind/body will reward you for it.
If you don’t already have one, find a partner to love—requited love. The chemical reaction of released pheromones is believed to be the invisible attractor we subconsciously act upon. One need only look to the billion dollar fragrance industry to determine if pheromones play a role between male and female. If you find yourself in a relationship of unrequited love—get out of it! The damage done in such a relationship can negate the effectiveness of the initial three things to do. You’ll find yourself not being nice, seldom laughing, and losing sleep in this situation. There can be only two outcomes in this Bernoulli trial, “love” or “hate.” (4) Find a Mate! Not just any mate, but one you truly can love.
Lastly, you must find a reason to get up in the morning—to be alive! What’s the point of taking up space and breathing good air if you’re unproductive? Death by a swift blow rather than a thousand cuts would be more preferable—would it not? So, go out there and build bridges, roads, edifices to the benefit of society. Advance the art of music, dance, and acting. Travel and pursue romance, but don’t forget to seek the noncorporeal quest of the spirit through meditation (any form), prayer, and calmness. (5) Still yourself and listen to the world around you and join its rhythmic cadence. Filter out the noise and clutter of distraction which serves only to impede one’s communion with nature.
If you do these 5 things you just might be happy for the rest of your life.
1.) be Nice 2.) Laugh 3.) Sleep 4.) Find a Mate 5.) Still Yourself