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If you plan to age, prepare yourself — it's later than you think. The challenge of aging well should be taken seriously, but not grimly! Whatever your age, it's never too soon, or too late, to learn and apply the fine art of aging well, really well. Discover what aspects of aging can't be changed and improve the rest that can. Mold your own realities with REAL wellness, Ardell-style.

The 69 tips — one for each year of the author's life — are thought-provoking, challenging, eye-opening, manageable and fun to read. And all provide practical guidance for intelligently designing your own life-style evolution.
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by Donald B. Ardell, Ph. D.
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Wellness in the Headlines
(Don's Report to the World)

Consider a New Wellbeing Goal for Every Workplace, for Every Home: Be as Happy as a Norwegian

Friday March 24, 2017


Forget about trying to be “happy as a clam at high water.” You can do better, provided you’re not a bivalve mollusk free (for a while) from the attention of predators. Instead, start thinking, acting and living like a Norwegian.

Why? Because according to the latest report of a U.N. agency, Norway is the happiest place on Earth. While that’s no guarantee you won’t still be despondent, disconsolate and downcast, it might help. A reading of the World Happiness Report suggests it’s worth a try.

You could probably be a happier person if you would just be more Denmarkian, Icelandish, Swiss-llke or Finnish, the next happiest people in the world after the Norskis. But, why settle for less than #1?  

Norway Is # 1

Happy people in NorwayWhat makes the Norwegians so happy? The first thing to know is that there is no happiness magic bullet—many things must come together to create a climate for happiness to break through the clouds of gloom and melancholy. The U.N. report assigned high importance to Norway’s superb levels of economic strength, social support, life expectancy, freedom, the generosity of the people and low levels of crime, corruption and constipation. (Consider the latter an interpretative reading between the lines of the Report variables.) No mention was made of completing triathlons, attendance at National Wellness Conferences, subscriptions to the AWR, adherence to the principles espoused in my book (co-authored by Grant Donovan) entitled, “The Wellness Orgasm” or your ability to cite speeches by Robert Green Ingersoll.

I was intrigued that an entire chapter of the U.N. Report was given to "restoring American happiness.” I did not realize happiness in America needed restoring, at least not before the national calamity that occurred on Tuesday, November 8th last year. However, the suggestions offered are certainly in order now and I recommend them all, particularly those that might reverse our egregious inequality, political corruption, divisions, isolation and distrust at all levels, within limits. I say “within limits” because the current Administration has done little to nothing to earn trust, in my humble opinion.

Individuals in America can’t do much about the above noted system-wide perturbations, but people can influence their own fates in other ways. For instance, consider the following changes to boost prospects of at least some degree of increased happiness:

REAL Wellness Equations for Happiness

Readers of the delightful daily feature called A-Word-A-Day recently sent in happiness-related equations; a few may be of special interest given the U.N. Report. (

Not to be outdone, Grant Donovan, Downunder happiness wellness expert and polymath orator with whom I will be presenting a session on happiness at the upcoming June NWC, calculated the following formula, which he called “The Ardell Happiness Equation:”

H = F + C + EE + M + WM.

This means happiness ensues when these elements marked by the letter symbols are present. Specifically, F = possessing the mental freedom to think and say anything, C = having the rational capacity to think critically and question everything, EE = eating well and exercising liberally, M = embracing the inherent meaninglessness of your life and WM = experiencing multiple wellness orgasms on a daily basis.


There you go. Recognize the wisdom in the U.N. Report and adapt your thinking and lifestyle to its findings about Norwegians and their neighbor countries, learn the happiness formulas, especially the last one noted, and you should not only be more like the Norse people but help America rise in the rankings of happiest nations. Think of it as your patriotic duty to be happier.

If you get into this in a big way, you will be following in the footsteps of none other than Robert Green Ingersoll, whose creed was that happiness is the only good, the time to be happy is now, the place to be happy is here and the way to be happy is to make others so.

Don’t worry, be happy and be well. 

Signed Don Ardell

(Ed. Note: Views expressed in this and other columns are those of the author and not necessarily those of the SeekWellness Editorial Board.)

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