This book contains 12 things you can do to live a long, healthy, happy, fulfilling, fun life. The ideas are creative, fun, and challenging and each chapter has some questions that are designed to help you along the way. The focus is mainly on those in their mature, slightly more golden years but can be very useful for others as well. It is written by someone who has spent most of his years as a creative thinking expert.
Below is a sample of this book:
Table of Contents
Chapter One – Finding Your Reason for Being – What Makes You Essential
Chapter Two – Focusing on the Positive
Chapter Three – Taking Care of Your Body and Your Mind
Physical/Mental Workouts and Eating Habits
Chapter Four – Continuously Tapping Your Creativity
Chapter Five – Smiling and Laughing a lot
Chapter Six – Always Having a Long List of Things to Do
Chapter Seven – Writing Your Life Story
Chapter Eight – Continually Learning
Chapter Nine – Taking Time Out Each Day for Dumb Stuff
Chapter Ten – Loving a Lot and Connecting with Your Friends
Chapter Eleven – Cleaning House
Chapter Twelve – Following Your Spiritual Belief
Closing Thoughts and More about the Author
Appendix One – Happy Words
Appendix Two – Some Titles You May Want to Give Yourself
Appendix Three – Quotations to Tickle Your Brain
Appendix Four – Tips for Being Creative
Appendix Five – A Few Dumb Things You Can Do
Appendix Six – Interesting Facts to Stimulate Your Thinking
How to Live Happily Ever After
“It takes a long time to grow young.”
This booklet contains some very different ideas on how to live forever. It even comes with a money-back guarantee. If this doesn’t result in your living forever, your money will be cheerfully refunded. I’ve spent most of my life studying how people can be more creative in their personal and work lives, and the following is my attempt to apply some of these ideas to happily attaining longevity. We are all different, and some of these may not be suitable to you for various reasons. And, there will be some ideas that won’t be entirely new to you. But there are also many ideas here that are very new and different, great fun, and highly creative. A few of them may even seem a bit weird at first. But sometimes you really need to venture on to the “roads less traveled” to find those life changing experiences. As they say, “If you always use the same ingredients, you’ll always get the same bread”. Although these ideas are mainly meant for those of us in our “mature years”, they really apply to you no matter what your age.
One of the overriding things to keep in mind as you grow older (or throughout your life for that matter) is what Earl Nightingale calls the secret to life:
You are what you think!
Another way of putting this is that “we are what we think about”. If you think about yourself as being old, then guess what? You will feel old, act old, and do things that will support that negative feeling. If you think of yourself as still young, or even just “nicely matured”, then there is a good chance that you are putting yourself in a position to act that way. Is the glass half full or half empty is an old cliché, but it’s still a great one to keep in mind here. The ideas that follow will help you grow old (or maybe I should say grow young) in style, but they will work far better if you have a positive view that you are, in fact, still young and in the “half full glass” phase of your life.
Some other things to keep in mind are embodied in theses quotations:
“Old age is like flying a plane through a storm. Once you’re aboard, there’s nothing you can do.”
I don’t believe this! There are lots of things you can do while on board in your life to extend it and make it much happier, and that’s what I want to share with you in this booklet.
“Don’t take life too seriously; you’ll never get out of it alive.”
I think we all take things too seriously much of the time. Sometimes we just need to loosen up and let life flow. Consider the following and see if this helps you to loosen up a bit:
The nucleus accounts for almost all the atom’s solidarity yet occupies one million millionth of its total volume. The rest is empty space (with electrons spinning around). Bodies are mostly empty space. The solid matter for all the human bodies on earth lumped together would be no bigger than a pea. The solid matter for the entire world would fit inside a football stadium.
Now – do you feel better and less serious about this whole thing knowing that you are really just a lot of empty space?
My wife, Jean, and I live in a wonderful retirement community in Central Florida called The Villages (even though I will never admit to being retired). The majority of the residents there have a great outlook on life. We sometimes refer to The Villages as “God’s Waiting Room.” And those who live there year round call themselves “Frogs” as in “I’m here till I croak.” The majority of residents are very active, physically and mentally. There are over 2000 clubs to choose from touching every subject imaginable. There is even a club that calls itself “The Villages Idiots” that claims to have no redeemable value whatsoever. Golf is king here but there are many other sporting activities to choose from. And there is a College of Continued Learning that offers hundreds of courses to keep those aging brain cells percolating. The most popular saying there is, “It is what it is.” Keep that saying in your mind, and use it whenever you can.
I spent the majority of my life as an engineer for a major company (Eastman Kodak in the good old days) followed by a period of consulting, writing, and speaking. My expertise and my speaking and writing topics revolved around creativity and innovation in your life and work. I wrote 3 books, The Whack-A-Mole Theory, Get Out of Your Thinking Box, and Quotations to Tickle Your Brain that were mainly aimed at creativity, innovation, and breakthrough in groups and organizations. My fourth book, Organizational Mental Floss; How to Squeeze Your Organization’s Thinking Juices, was 75% complete when I lost my wife of 40 years to ovarian cancer. I am happy to say that I have now published that book. My process of healing from this terrible loss was greatly enhanced by the writing of my 5th book, Surviving the Loss of Your Loved One; Jan’s Rainbow. In this book, I used some of my knowledge of creative thinking to develop ideas to help others recover from similar losses. The inspiration came from a rainbow that surrounded our home after her death. I teamed up with 28 other authors who told their stories about how their loved ones had communicated with them. I believe this book has helped hundreds of people in coping with loss, and that makes me feel great! It also contributed a great deal to my own healing.
In How to Live Happily Ever After my goal is to lay out some creative ideas for growing old in style. Let’s start by changing that to growing young in style. I hope you will have a few laughs, get some great new ideas, and incorporate them into your own lives. So loosen up and fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride!
I’ve grouped these ideas into 12 fairly short chapters. At the end of each chapter I’ve included some key questions for you to explore to help you expand your own thinking in each area. A very good friend of mine has a men’s discussion group, and has used the ideas in this book to form his topics for discussion. I invite you to also give this a try. I realize that you will be tempted to just gloss over these questions and go on to the next chapter, but please don’t. Answer these questions as best you can before moving on. And then when you finish the book, expand on your answers. The model that I find useful is to write down the first answers that come to mind. Then at a later time go through and expand your answers. This will help you take advantage of what I call creative marination. Your original thoughts will hang around in your head, some interim thoughts will connect to them, and when you go back to the question there will be some more brain fodder to help you expand your thinking on the question.
And there is one more point I’d like to make. I’ve done a tremendous amount of reading in my life. And I’ve noticed that a lot of books tend to contain a lot of “fluff”. I feel your time is important and that you don’t need the fluff, so I apply some “anti-fluffinator” to all my writing. I take a few side trips here and there but always ask the question, “Will this add value to reader’s experience?” and, if not, it gets canned. Enjoy!