Seniors of my advanced age are typically labeled as cranky, with the cliché attitude: Hey, you damned kids, get the hell off my lawn! We complain endlessly with another elderly rant: Things just ain’t the way they used to be! Well, I’ve done my best to turn those feelings around, and believe there are many positive attitudes that will bring grins instead of growls. You, too, can become a teddy bear if you consider:

1. The most important ways to find happiness is to give it to others. Years ago, Barbra Streisand sang a sentimental song that perfectly expresses my theme:

Make someone happy,
Make just one someone happy,
And you’ll be happy, too.

2. To get started, you must be happy within yourself. Face each morning with optimism, and you’ll get through the day’s worst problems and toughest obstacles. Old goats just butt their heads in useless anger, while teddy bears just grin and win the day. Truly happy people are thankful for what they have. Instead of complaining, they count their blessings. Try it, and you’ll be amazed how well it works.

3. Constantly show and express your love to those who love you. Beyond family and friends, extend your daily efforts to help others. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, hospital, religious organization or school. You’ll be happily surprised to discover that improving the lives of less fortunate people brings you well-deserved personal joy.

4. Nurture and build friendships. Hang around with upbeat people who share your positive attitudes and lifestyle. It can happen at family events, reunions, sports and social clubs. Whenever and wherever you can enjoy the benefits of friendships, you’re creating personal happiness.

5. Daydreaming can be positive. Imagine getting a great job, meeting that right person and traveling to exotic lands. Enjoy your most ambitious dreams, and you’ll find reality easier to face.

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