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Our Ultimate Search For Happiness In Life

Happy man

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A lot of people have examined and written about happiness and the search for happiness throughout the ages. Today people seem to seek happiness in what they have, especially in comparison to that of others. But happiness may have more to do with how you act and react to the world around you than from how much you have acquired. As we get older the quest for happiness often becomes more meaningful and profound.


Being happy helps you adapt to life changes. Happiness supports the ability to face retirement, possible health issues, and changes in family dynamics. Focusing on how to build happiness can greatly improve your quality of life. For guys over 50, it is necessary for personal development with the goal of regaining their edge. 


happy hormones

Understanding Happiness

Happiness relates to positive emotions and satisfaction with life, which is necessary for overall mental health. Being happy helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by having a more positive perspective on life. 


Happiness is caused by the release of “happy” chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphins into your body. These neurotransmitters play an important role in regulating mood, reducing pain, and introducing feelings of pleasure and well-being. Having a happy life can lead to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which reduces the risk of stress and anxiety. However, happiness is not just a pleasant emotion but an important part of a healthy, fulfilling life. 


Key Principles of Happiness from Various Experts

Authors like Jonathan Haidt, Jordan Peterson, the Dalai Lama, Shubham Kumar Singh and others talk about finding happiness through different principles of behavior or action. Some of the main principles or themes to finding happiness relate to having a purpose and bearing responsibility. This relates to being busy, having positive habits and SMART goals. Other principles relate to having strong social connections and community, where having positive relationships with friends and family lead to happiness. Still other principles focus on the need for continuous personal and physical improvement through lifelong learning, exercise, and building a resilient, positive and grateful mind.


The Role of Responsibility in the Search for Happiness

  • Psychological Benefits: A baseline to happiness or at least contentment comes from bearing responsibility for something or someone else (as well as yourself). Supporting a family or being responsible for what others depend on gives you purpose and meaning. 


Similarly, as Jordan Peterson, a popular social commentator and psychologist, puts it, having responsibility for yourself, as you would for a loved one, has meaning. This idea of responsibility, particularly for yourself, seems to be a baseline for all other themes as it encourages personal development which eventually extends to improving one’s family and eventually one’s community.



‘Happiness’ is a pointless goal. Don’t compare yourself with other people, compare yourself with who you were yesterday. No one gets away with anything, ever, so take responsibility for your own life. You conjure your own world, not only metaphorically but also literally and neurologically.

~ Jordan Peterson, author and psychologist


  • Real-Life Example: The “taming” of the young man, especially in the past, often occurred when they settled down, got married and had a family. The responsibility of taking care of a family helps give clarity of direction and meaning. It also fosters personal improvement so as to earn more and provide a better standard of living for the family. 


Another example shows, a person tasked with a job who has control over the work, the process and the results of the task are more fulfilled then someone who doesn’t have the same amount of control or responsibility.


Happy man with spouse - Search For Happiness

The Benefits of Staying Busy

  • Mental and Physical Health: Being busy keeps one from thinking too deeply about one’s concerns. Being busy also provides direction. While being busy itself doesn’t necessarily make you happy, it does hold meaning – whether being busy at work for income, or at home working for the family. As we will see shortly, purpose and meaning enhance happiness.

Being busy may also mean that you are physically active and or mentally stimulated, which have positive psychological benefits and may produce dopamine and endorphins depending on if the activity is task or goal oriented and/or strenuous.



He who has health has hope and he who has hope has everything.

~ Arabian Proverb

Life Is What Happens While You Are Busy Making Other Plans. 

~ John Lennon


  • Engaging Activities: One of the things I do while taking my dog for a walk, which is not particularly rewarding as the dog has to sniff everything, is to listen to an audio book while walking. I feel good about the exercise, caring for my dog, and engaging my mind while listening.


Building Happiness Through Daily Habits

  • Power of Habits: While bad habits such as sitting on the sofa all evening, eating snacks frequently, drinking alcohol, and waking up late lead to depression, good habits make you feel good about yourself [1]. Although forming habits is not easy, having a positive habit like exercising daily or waking up to catch the first morning rays is empowering. You realize you are able to do things that benefit your health and wellbeing and are able to override automatic behavior driven by bad habits.



Happiness is a habit – cultivate it.

~ Elbert Hubbard, author, philosopher and salesman


  • Key Habits for Men Over 50: Check out 12 Micro Habits to Improve Your Life: Regain Your Edge. In that article I talk about small manageable habits that can lead to large changes in your life, such as drinking more water, breathing deeply, Smiling, and taking your Vitamin D3. Although there are many micro habits you can introduce, these 4 simple to implement habits can have a profound impact on your life over a relatively small amount of time. For example, the simple habit of smiling, even if forced, can make you feel better almost immediately and reduce stress. 


a man laughing

Setting and Achieving Goals

  • Importance of Goals: As I discuss in my article SMART Goals for a Year – Regain Your Edge, goals are necessary for setting a foundation for a fulfilling and active later life. Goals help in maintaining focus, motivation, and a sense of purpose, all crucial for overall wellbeing and happiness.


People usually set goals for personal improvement or improved outcomes. The feeling of achieving a goal usually provides satisfaction and empowerment to continue setting new goals. This in turn, provides a path for growth and fulfilment.



If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.

~ Andrew Carnegie


  • Actionable Steps: Make sure your goals are: 1/ clear and specific, 2/  include measurements or metrics, 3/ are realistic and attainable, 4/ matter to you and align with your values, and 5/ have a deadline.


Integrating Purpose and Meaning

  • Purpose-Driven Life: Finding a purpose in life, although difficult for many, can improve your level of happiness.  When you have a purpose you have a sense of direction and your actions are guided. Doing something meaningful for a career or hobby makes life more meaningful. When doing something with purpose you fall into a zone of creativity and enjoyment where time seems to lose meaning. Some of us have experienced this through creative pursuits where we lose track of time. With purpose, you wake up each day enthusiastic with a positive outlook.



For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.

~Viktor E. Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning


  • How to Find Your Purpose: Here are four things people can do to help find purpose in life:
    • Think about what you like to do and what you are good at as well as any causes you support
    • Volunteer or join groups or clubs that focus on your interests
    • Set SMART goals that align with your interests
    • Join group chats or befriend others with the same interest


happy man with family and friends - Search For Happiness

Community and Connection

  • Social Bonds: Building and keeping strong social connections is important for happiness and well-being. Having friends and family to talk to, share experiences with, and support each other can make life much more enjoyable. Social bonds help us feel connected and less alone. 



When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.

~Dalai Lama


  • Activities to Foster Connection: There are many things men over 50 can do to build and maintain social connections. Reach out to old friends you haven’t seen in a while. You may find getting together for a coffee or beer easier than you think. In fact I did just that after not being in contact for almost 25 years with 3 of my high school friends who I got back in touch with.


Joining clubs or groups that focus on shared interests like building models, playing sports, or joining book clubs if you like to read, can be enjoyable and can lead to long term relationships. In addition, volunteering for community projects or attending local events can also help meet new people and strengthen existing relationships. I recently joined a martial arts school to further my interest and get into shape. There are a number of people my age there who share my interest.


Mindfulness and Meditation

  • Benefits of Mindfulness: Both mindfulness and meditation are great ways to increase happiness. Mindfulness means paying full attention to the present moment. This helps reduce stress, improve focus, and ease your mind. Meditation, an element of mindfulness, helps calm the mind and relax the body, leading to a serene, content feeling.



In today’s rush, we all think too much, seek too much, want too much– and forget the joy of just being.

 – Eckhart Tolle, author of the Power of Now


  • Practical Tips: To use mindfulness to improve your state of mind, begin by taking a few minutes each day to sit quietly, focus your breathing and either clear your mind or singularly focus on elements that bring joy. You can also practice mindfulness at any other time of the day, such as while eating or walking by paying close attention to the beauty around you and the great things you have seen or done in life. I often stop and look and think about the beauty of my surroundings while walking my dog.


Embracing Gratitude

  • Power of Gratitude: Being grateful has a very positive impact on mental health and happiness. When we focus on what we are thankful for, it shifts our attention away from our problems and towards what’s good about our lives. This small shift in perspective makes us feel happier and more content.  



When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.

~ Willie Nelson, musician


  • Daily Practices: Take time each day to reflect on what you are grateful for. Better yet, write down in a journal three things you are grateful for each day. You can express gratitude for your loved ones, your health and the great experiences you have had. Try doing this before bed to end your day on a peaceful happy note.   Also, Make sure to take the opportunity regularly to tell others how grateful you are for them. This will help strengthen your relationships.


Lifelong Learning and Growth

  • Continuous Learning: Lifelong learning is crucial for personal growth and happiness. It keeps the mind active, helps us stay engaged with the world, and provides a sense of accomplishment. Learning new skills or gaining new knowledge can be very rewarding. This leads to contentment and happiness.



Authentic happiness derives from raising the bar for yourself, not rating yourself against others.

~ Martin E.P. Seligman, author of Authentic Happiness, known as the father of Positive Psychology


  • Opportunities for Learning: At no other time in history has the opportunities for learning been so plentiful. You have access to the cumulative knowledge of all of  mankind through the smartphone you carry around. You can take online courses, join community college classes, sign up for discussion groups or pursue a hobby that challenges your mind. All of these actions and more can provide fulfilment. 


Conclusion: Embracing the Search for Happiness

A search for happiness is important for men over 50, especially as they navigate life changes. This article explores how finding purpose, staying busy, and forming positive habits can enhance well-being. Drawing on insights from various experts, it highlights the psychological and physiological benefits of happiness and hope. It emphasizes the importance of social connections, mindfulness, gratitude, and maintaining a positive mindset. Practical steps for incorporating these elements into daily life are provided, along with real-life examples of individuals who found purpose later in life. By integrating these practices, men over 50 can achieve greater happiness and resilience, leading to a fulfilling and enriched life. Embrace the journey and actively engage in your own search for happiness.


Reference Books in our Search for Happiness

  • Jonathan HaidtThe Happiness Hypothesis
  • Jordan Peterson12 Rules for Life
  • Dennis PragerHappiness Is a Serious Problem
  • Jeffrey RosenThe Pursuit of Happiness
  • Dalai LamaThe Art of Happiness
  • Shubham Kumar SinghYou Become What You Think
  • Martin E.P. SeligmanAuthentic Happiness
  • Eckhart TollePower of Now
  • Viktor E. FranklMan’s Search for Meaning

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Therefore always seek the support and guidance of your physician or a mental health expert when you are unsure about any health issues.

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Alcohol? Red Wine is the Better Choice

Pouring a glass of red wineChoose red wine when drinking alcohol for a number of health benefits. First, it contains antioxidants like resveratrol, which support heart health by improving cholesterol levels and blood flow. Additionally, it can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that boost overall health. Plus, moderate consumption of it may help improve gut health and support longevity. With these benefits, it stands out as a healthier option compared to other alcoholic beverages. So, next time you want to drink alcohol, choose red wine for its health benefits.

Check out Easy Choices Hard Life, Hard Choices the Best Life.

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