As fate would have it, I had one of those chance encounters this afternoon that will forever be in my memory. While waiting for a friend at the cafe in our health club, an elegant elderly gentleman approached me and asked if the seat next to me was taken – I stood and offered him my seat, instead we both opted to remain standing. Without hesitation, we started discussing our fitness goals, and while I mentioned my passion for health and fitness, he started to discuss his state of happiness. He mentioned that he was from Massachusetts, and was in town for a long weekend to celebrate his 86th birthday with his son and grandchildren. He didn’t look a day older than 55, and just as I was about to complement him; he stopped me and asked if I wanted to know ‘the secret to happiness?’
He paused for a moment, methodically observed the morning crowd hustling from the locker room to their cars, smiled and said ‘ son this ain’t the secret to happiness…the secret is to slow down and appreciate the little things, and I mean the little things. The sun, that beautiful tree, this cup of tea, and oh by the way, that little breath I just took.‘ I was speechless for a few seconds, and thanked him for helping to remind me of one of life’s most important truth. In his book, Hardwiring Happiness, Dr. Rick Hanson states why moments like these are precisely what your brain needs to rewire itself; but you have to follow this simple formula.