Today, many people are suffering just to make ends meet. Once, I was considered somewhat wealthy compared to most. Life experiences changed that.
Not many know this, but I was actually homeless for a while. I took a retirement job at a golf resort. This allowed me to sleep safely in my pickup, shower in the locker room, eat healthy and make wonderful friends. Homeless was only temporary, but I learned plenty about life and happiness. Each day at work for 9 years my goal was to make 100 people smile or laugh. I counted them daily.
For many years it has been a personal ambition to make others feel better about themselves and have a positive outlook when they walk away. It makes me happy.
After a long successful and busy career, I counted on my investigation and writing skills to earn more money. It became natural to just look around for every little thing I could be grateful for in my life. The main secret to happiness is to appreciate what we have. I became rich in my own way.
There are many ways to live a happy life. These are things that make me the happiest I have ever been:
🔹Do free or low cost activities. For us it means enjoying a walk, swim, bike ride, library, community center, attending classes, hiking, camping, gardening, and picnics. We don’t watch TV or spend hours on social media. It is similar to being a child again, full of wonderment and discovery.
🔹We made changes. Instead of spending every night in an expensive hotel, we take our tent and gear to ocassionally camp out overnight. It’s healthy and beautiful outdoors. We have no Internet at home. I don’t even know what internet and cable/satellite TV costs these days. We take our garbage to the local dump less than two miles away. We average $18 a month. Our nearest neighbor spends $45 to have someone pick their trash up.
It’s a simple and awesome existence. Less stress.
I learned that you can be happy when you don’t have the means and money you once had. In fact, some of the saddest people I know have plenty of money. They pay taxes on their homes and real estate. Their lives are complex. Ours is simple and cheap. We don’t spend and accumulate “things” much anymore. We survive and accumulate memories. We laugh and smile a lot.
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