Bruce Bean, Guest Contributor

Pleasure & Happiness – By Bruce Bean

editors note: This is my stepdad, Bruce, writing for #mybackyard! (Look back in my past columns and see the financial advice — this is “that guy”.) Bruce brings incredible perspective. Life experience. His friends love him, I love him. He is a man of thoughtful introspection, not to mention a big reason I love to cook.  You are a gift Bruce Bean.  You challenge me, teach me, love me. You offering up a post for our site is amazing …you make me happy. 

enjoy the read,


Image: Peter G. Marton

Image: Peter G. Marton

At 79 years young I continue to remind myself of “the difference between Pleasure & Happiness”.

The two words relate, of course, but affect your life very differently.

Having only Pleasure will affect your total Happiness.  Happiness, affects not just your own life but, most often, the lives of others.

Happiness, unlike Pleasure, gives you an internal burst — one that makes you young, and probably live longer. (if not longer — certainly you live with a greater feeling of positivity, towards yourself)

Happiness is the tonic which eases our collective trip — as I like to say — “sliding down the razor blade of life”.

I learned much of what I’m telling you from a doctor friend of mine, who said: “There are three things in life that affect your health, and ad to longevity, 1. healthy living, 2. family history and 3. happiness.”

Two you are in your control, one your are not.

Now, ask yourself: how do I handle internal pressures? The day-to-day?

When presented with a challenge, whatever it is, do you take a moment and analyze it — then make a decision as to how to go about solving it?

Does this problem affect your relationship with others?

Does this problem affect your health?

If you do not have control of the problem, forget about it.

If you have control, move toward a solution.  

If you think of the solution and yet simply stop and “hope it will just go away” – you are being toxic, eliminating Happiness..  Procrastination is a killer of positive thinking.

Have you ever tried to help a person with four problems?  (Place four fingers up) When eliminating one of those four problems, by taking one finger down, does that person simply add another? Does the finger pop up?

“Problem People” always have problems, want them, thrive on them….they require problems to exist.  I have found these people bring me down, so — I am nice, but I keep my distance.

Identify Problem People and move on.  Let them go. Tell them, “Make it a great day!”

You can only work at keeping yourself healthy by asking, “Are the people around me positive and happy?”

My personal experience has taught me much in my 79 years.  I was fortunate to have worked in a positive environment, with positive thinking people.  When I started out in my career, my boss gave of himself – his knowledge – so that I could be successful.  He did not keep this knowledge to himself.  It made him happy when I achieved success.  That motivated me to work hard, to follow his example.

He saw the fruits of his gift when three people I trained became successful, in our business.  (Two ended up being though competitors..) We are all still friends to this day.

Pleasure was giving them my knowledge, Happiness was what I received from their success.

Now, your health is something you cannot always have control over, but I see people with disabilities who are happy, truly happy, because they are enjoying LIFE.

When life gets tough, look around you — soak up how fortunate you are, every day. This too shall pass — with a solution and perseverance.

Notice I did not say “Lucky”?  Luck is related to what you do to succeed.  Luck is winning at the Casino, but you have to go there to win, to Succeed.

Here are some tips to keep you happy.

Say hello, good day, to everyone you pass.  Ask the server at the restaurant, about their day, their family. Engage Life.

My wife constantly stops people and mentions; “I love your dress, your hair, your smile”.  You cannot believe how people relate to simply being acknowledged.  The smile on my wife’s face, when she has been acknowledged by someone is an equal return on investment — the gift of Happiness returned.

For the record: I used to think, “stop doing this you are bothering people”, but I was wrong.  She was right.  So, I started to emulate that behaviour…. it’s brought me Happiness.

For example: This morning, while out for a stroll I witnessed a beautiful sunrise.  I happened on a lady, taking a selfie with the sunrise to her back.  Her arms holding her iPhone up high.  As I walked by I commented, “If you keep doing that you will soon be stopping traffic!”.  Her girl friend replied for her, “you just made her day“.

Just like that — we were three happy people, the girls, and this old man.

One rule, do not be a phony, be real.  The receiver will know the difference.

You cannot make Happiness for others, if the person receiving the message, does not want to be happy.

We have a sign above our door, “Love, Laugh, and Friends are always welcome in our Home”

This is birthday card I received from my friends in Australia, really says it all.

Image: Hallmark Cards

Thank you Hallmark

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  • Reply Ben Lu October 2, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Reading this made my day. I chose happiness and will continue to do so.

  • Reply Jess October 2, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    A much needed read today…thank you!

    • Reply Jody Vance October 3, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      Share it!

  • Reply Robyn Brown October 2, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    Amen Bruce…Your words really resonate with me, I too believe that happiness is crutial to our overall health, and reading this today made me feel great!

    • Reply Jody Vance October 3, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      He’s successfully spreading Happiness.

  • Reply Wendy Beckett October 3, 2016 at 10:35 am

    LOVE this post……how very true…., this man has found the secret to Happiness and I agree with all he says……..

  • Reply eva October 4, 2016 at 12:11 am

    love this post 🙂

  • Reply Leesa October 5, 2016 at 5:57 am

    Worth re-reading on a regular basis, Bruce. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Reply gerry halpern October 5, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Hi Jody, my name is gerry halpern and I have known your step dad for 58 years! Its good to know he has learned a thing or two over the years ( just kidding). Bruce and myself have travelled the same road in life and believe me that road was not always paved. I was interested in your comments on the hate literature that has been spread of late. My comment is the world has always had hate, its part of the human condition, but I find that there is so much anger out there that did not exist when I was younger. Road rage has become an every day experience, leading to murder. Anonymous hateful comments on social media a result of real anger. Civility seems to have gone the way of high button shoes. Thats my rant for this week.

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