Today is my birthday; OK, my 70th birthday. Wow! I just got used to being in my sixties. Oh well, I’m lucky because I am in wonderful health. I’m not medicating for anything and I’m proud of it. So on this auspicious day I decided to help everyone feel happy. I’m passing on a tip about the “7 Things Remarkably Happy People Do Often.” The tips are from Inc.com.

The article says that 50% of our level of happiness is determined by personality traits and heredity. That leaves 50% we can focus on to make ourselves happy. Here are the 7 Things … (drum roll please):

1. Make good friends. Someone came up with a stat that says if you double your number of friends, you increase your personal happiness by 50%. You’ll live longer and be happier.

2. Actively express thankfulness. Thanking your spouse gives a boost to your relationship. It works with friends too. But it also makes you feel better about yourself. They suggest you write down five things you are grateful for and read it before going to bed. Update it regularly.

3. Actively pursue your goals. If you’re not pursuing them they are dreams not goals. Don’t compare where you are to where you want to be. Instead, compare today to where you were a little while ago. We don’t always progress as quickly as we’d like.

4. Do what you excel at as often as you can. Starving artist? They may not be as wealthy but they are usually more happy because they are pursuing some form of art. Maybe you can’t spend as much time as you’d like on your favorite activity. But whatever you do spend on that activity will make you happier.

5. Give. People who give time or support to others actually benefit by feeling more fulfilled than those who don’t. Giving always makes you happier.

6. Don’t chase “stuff”. Money is a tool. After earning about $75,000 per year, more money does not buy you more happiness. In fact, chasing possessions tends to make us less happy.

7. Live the life you want to live. A woman who spent time working with patients who had only a few months to live, found that the most common regret the patients had was living the life others expected of them instead of  living in a way that was true to themselves. What other people think, especially people you don’t know very well, doesn’t matter. Surround yourself with people who support you and your goals, hopes and dreams.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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