5 Decisions For Happiness

Image.ashxInfluence, popularity and money do not create the most happiness for people; rather, autonomy, life purpose and relationships top the list of Marilyn Tam’s new book “The Happiness Choice: The Five Decisions that Take You From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.” The author is CEO of Aveda, President of Reebok Apparel Products & Retail Group and VP of Nike and the Founder and Executive Director of Us Foundation.

Therese Borchard interviewed Tam in Sanity Break.

Research has shown that a person is happiesthealthiest and most successful when he/she is making a positive difference; taking care of himself or herself physically, mentally, spiritually and has loving relationships. There are five decisions we make every day to bring us either more happiness or less – what we choose to do with, and how we treat our:

    1. Body
    2. Relationships
    3. Money
    4. Spiritual life
    5. Community

Knowing your life purpose will help guide you in allocating the proper amount of energy and attention to each of these five key aspects of your life. Dynamic balance is what we strive for—we can’t do it all but we can adjust the resources we dedicate toward each part of our life at each stage of our life. Situations and priorities change over time but knowing our reasons for being will guide us along the way. By being conscious about what we choose to do, we can get buy-in and cooperation from others more easily than when we are acting without awareness.”

This interview is a positive jolt of adrenaline toward listening to our selves, then acting with integrity to achieve our highest purposes. See it here:


Romance European Style

21WALK13-articleLargeWhat could be more romantic than wandering through a beautiful city or the countryside in Europe? Last Sunday’s New York Times Travel section’s lead article recommended 9 areas to explore on foot. From Berlin’s Landwehrkanal to Istanbul‘s Golden Horn to Paris’s Promenade, the choices are dizzying. Pick one and take someone special for a memorable trip.


Host A Guacamole-Making Party

deal_1365706605Get psyched up for Cinco de Mayo with your own guacamole-making party, complete with margaritas or beer and tacos … plus the dip you’ve just created, at 51% off. Dates offered are May 7, 8, 13 or 14 at 7 PM. SideBAR at 118 East 15th Street, New York, NY is the venue. Tickets must be bought before 12 PM Tuesday, May 7, 2013.


Web U

21MOOC-articleLargeContinuing the theme of yesterday’s blog on mid-life career change, here are some excerpts from A.J. Jacobs’ New York Times article about the pros and cons of online courses.

“When it comes to Massive Open Online Courses, like those offered by CourseraUdacity and edX, you can forget about the Socratic method.

The professor is, in most cases, out of students’ reach, only slightly more accessible than the pope or Thomas Pynchon. Several of my Coursera courses begin by warning students not to e-mail the professor. We are told not to ‘friend’ the professor on Facebook. If you happen to see the professor on the street, avoid all eye contact (well, that last one is more implied than stated). There are, after all, often tens of thousands of students and just one top instructor.”

“MOOC boosters tend to speak of these global online classes as if they are the greatest educational advancement since the Athenian agora, highlighting their potential to lift millions of people out of poverty. Skeptics — including the blogger and University of California, Berkeley, doctoral student Aaron Bady — worry that MOOCs will offer a watered-down education, give politicians an excuse to gut state school budgets, and harm less prestigious colleges and universities.”

Jacobs, an editor at large at Esquire magazine, decided to enroll in 11 web classes to observe himself. He grades each category of the online experience, such as “THE PROFESSORS: B+.” Reading through his opinions is interesting; the overall grade is a B.

Here’s an example:

“STUDENT-TO-STUDENT INTERACTION: B- As psychologists will tell you, if you don’t talk about what you’ve learned, the knowledge will evaporate. With MOOCs, there is no shortage of ways to connect with other students: Facebook, Google Plus, Skype, Twitter, Coursera discussion boards — even shutting your laptop and meeting a classmate in a three-dimensional Dunkin’ Donuts. Despite the variety, my peer interactions ranged from merely decent to unsatisfying.

Consider my history study group, which met at a Brooklyn diner. Well, ‘met’ might be a generous verb. I showed up, but no one else did. A few days later, my Twitter study-buddy also blew me off.”

I can relate as I went to art school in my forties, though, I must brag that I was never stood up for sketching dates and many nineteen year olds lugged my supplies up the hill from the parking area and wanted to sit with me during coffee breaks. It was actually energizing for me to be learning with another generation.

Despite the cons of “Web U,” I’m psyched. With traffic, the hassle and expense of matriculating in college and graduate courses, I’m sold. The biggest problem I’m now facing is which to take.


It’s Not Too Late To Change Careers


The Road Not Taken …

Certainly, you’ve put in a lot of hours studying, interning, learning, building a network, business or profession. How could you let all that go? Well, there are layoffs, deep discontent with your current situation or just plain wanderlust. You may have elderly parents to care for, children still in school, big mortgages and credit card debt but it’s not too late to start a new career.

Marilyn Katz, who runs the BoomerCafe’s Over 50 Website, reminds us that sometimes there is no choice but to reconsider a new start.

“Unemployment rates for people over 50, who have been looking for work for more than a year, rose in 2010 by almost 50%. The number of people who reported themselves as unemployed for two or more years rose by more than a quarter.

Baby boomers can also see a “grey wall.” Sure, everybody suffers from a tight job market. But boomers have been suffering more. The unemployment rate for workers over 55 has tripled over the last decade. Younger employers may be judging us as stodgy, selfish, and unwilling to embrace change.”

It may be too late for such endeavors as going to medical school, but many boomers are currently being hired in other jobs in the healthcare sector. As well, starting a business is always an option and community colleges and online programs make it easier than ever to retrain or pick up necessary skills. It just takes some introspection and ingenuity to realize what would work for you given your experience, talents and interests.



Meet 16th Street … A Charming Walking Date

W16th-55-St.FrancisXavierChurch-2A perfect Sunday outing would be a stroll along 16th Street in Manhattan while the cherry blossoms are out. Some of the landmarks are Stuyvesant Park, Friends Seminary, St. George’s Episcopal and St. Francis Xavier churches, the Dream Downtown and Maritime Hotels for trendy lobbies, restaurants and lounges and Danny Meyer’s famous Union Square Cafe.


See all the spots on 16th Street here:


Dating Over 50: What These Celebrities Know About Relationships

The Hollywood Reporters 35 Most Powerful People In MediaThe Huff Post‘s Post 50 presents a list of dating tips from famous women over 50. Some are funny, some not, and some are thoughtful.

My favorite, of course, is Angelica Houston‘s about catching horses.

Enjoy: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/19/dating-over-50_n_3116077.html?utm_hp_ref=fifty&ir=Fifty