Saturday, 7 July 2012

Ways to achieve happiness

In Monocle magazine this month, they had a list of "Things to improve your life".  Now, being Monocle, they included silly things like: An island, a prosciutto slicer, good posture, special fancy blankets and a meal at some restaurant in Japan.  The list is just a bit too aspirational and unrealistic apart from a few items, so I thought I would start my own and ask for your comments to add to it.
Having thought of a few things, it appears to me that many of mine would fall into the category of: things I can have confidence in.  So here is my first take on a list of "Things to improve your life":
1.   Really appreciate good health when you have it.
2.   A favourite restaurant and/or bar you can almost feel at home at.
3.   A song or album that you love and no-one else you know has ever heard of it.
4.   Perfectly fitting pants.
5.   A favourite joke to share.
6.   A porn star that you can rely on.
7.   Truly local and fresh fruit and vegetables.
8.   At least 3 meals you can cook brilliantly.
9.   A readily available snack in the cupboard.
10. Do a regular clear out and give to charity.
11. A local place to buy freshly baked bread.
12. BBC Radio 4.
13. Ability to play one entertaining and impressive thing on a musical instrument.
14. An easy interesting route that you can walk anytime to clear your mind.
15. A good coffee maker.
16. Change your routine regularly, especially the route to work.
17. Three months salary saved for an emergency.
18. Turning off the television and having a conversation.
19. Quality shirts that fit well.
20. Write down 3 things at the end of every day that were simply good that day.
Your comments and feedback are especially welcome on this posting.


  1. Anyone who doesn't have #1 on the list has yet to learn the most important thing in life.

    #3 - Are you going to reveal what yours is? I'd love to know. (Don't think I've got one myself).

    #4 - Sounds like you're not a 'regular' guy (Ho ho!). I've been a 'regular' 34" waist/32" leg since my twenties (well, to be honest, my waist then was a wasp-like 32") and just about everything since has fitted without problem. Maybe you've just been unlucky.

    #6 - Can you really watch the same porn star over and over again in different roles? I find the novelty soon wanes after the first time and I'm demanding new bodies to drool over.

    #10 - You shame me!

    #12 - Yes! But, sadly, not as consistently high-quality as once was. (Age showing?)

    #18 - Surely sound advice for anyone not living alone who also gets no visitors. My option is to turn the thing off and read a book, which I do.

    #20 is a wise one, but not easy to keep up. (It's just too much trouble!)

    Could have said more but let's see what others say.

  2. I read your, and other's blogs, but I do not comment, because I am a nobody ;), and nobodies are viewed as creepy or unimportant it seems by the large fish pond. So I do not comment anymore, but I do read. :)


    1. Have great blogs to follow.

    2. Beautiful photographs to sit and ponder.

    3. One or two friends you know you can always call or see to renew what love and affection are to the soul.

    4. Comfort food that is eaten without guilt.

    5. A hobby that is not a financial burden.

    6. Your no. 6 made me LOL! So a daily LOL.

  3. Great list!

    I would add: walk around without socks on for a whole day

  4. Ray - If I revealed the dozen or so songs that I love, then number 3 would be ruined!

    Unknown - Your number 3 is very true. And so is number 5 - I could add to that something about finding your passion which may well be a hobby.

    1. Oh well. Was worth a try. But I know what you mean. Mystery adds to the allure.

  5. Can I add one... At least one expensive suit

  6. Hmm, I like some of them, although I'd rather add the feeling of sand between the toes whilst walking along a golden beach.

    The sensation of the first mouthful of cheesecake or ice cream after a long hard stressful day.

    Pulling a splinter out after it's been stuck in your thumb for over a week!

  7. It's a great and thoughtful list to which I would add:
    1) A job that satisfies you
    2) A great local neighbourhood
    3) A cat sitting on your lap (he is as I write this!)
    4) The ease to enjoy your own company
    5) Plenty of quiet moments

  8. Thanks Jason - Cheesecake rules.

    The feeling inside - Number 1 is so very important, but sadly not an option for some in these tough times.

  9. Hmmm... I think I may have to steal this blog idea - but here are some responses to a few of yours:

    1. I tend to act blasé about the fact that my Doctor's surgeery is 30-odd miles away in a town I left over 2 years ago but the older I get, the more I appreciate that I've not had to go in c. 18 years.

    3. This honour belongs to an album my sister brought me back from Australia (although my Australian friends may well have heard of the artist in question!)

    12. All those who call for the commercialising of the Beeb would do well to consider the impact of that on Radio 4 - there is simply nothing else like it.

    14. and 16. One of the real joys of living in a city and not having to drive to and from work!

    18. Or, as Raybeard says, reading a book. I've cut my telly watching back considerably lately - and can't say I've overly missed it!

    20. Oh, I used to do that here:

  10. I will do an updated list in a week or so, adding some of the suggestions.