Article by Andy Cope
Two rules for a great article. First, great content and second, a cracking title. With the latter sorted, here’s the best bit…
Having reached 50, I’ve realized that the ageing process is inevitable. You can look after yourself, go to the gym, each healthy food, moisturize and take cod-liver oil, but ultimately, those birthday cards will have bigger numbers on them year by year.
But what if it isn’t about vitamins and Nivea? What is the secret of eternal youth was in our heads – our thinking more specifically. And we could maintain some of that youthful, carefree exuberance that the young children manage to generate. They’re not fussed about the news. And, to be fair, they don’t have the same responsibilities of career, money, mortgage, bills, looking after poorly relatives, etc. No wonder they’re so happy!
Brace yourself for some big thoughts. As we go through life we accumulate experiences and add layers of who we think we should be. We’re striving to be a good parent or a good employee, partner, lover and carer, whilst also keeping on top of our emails. There’s certain etiquette about how we think we should behave in certain situations. And, to be frank, life can get a bit serious. We become mummified under layers and layers who we think we’re supposed to be.
But what if all those layers means we sometimes forget who we really are? What if we all have that youthful abundance bubbling inside but it gets covered over? And therefore what if the secret to eternal happiness isn’t to learn a whole load of new stuff? What if the secret to being our best self is to peel back some of the layers to reveal who you truly are when you’re being your best self. It’s more than self-improvement. I call it ‘self-remembering’.
I’ve been studying happiness and positivity for a dozen years, even managing to bag a Loughborough University PhD. So as the UK’s newly crowned ‘Dr of Happiness’, here’s my favourite prescription.
Look at your underwear drawer
Pop upstairs to your bedroom and open your underwear drawer. In that drawer there will be some pants that you don’t really fancy. You know the ones, your ‘last resort knickers’? They have been in there a long time and have maybe gone from white to grey. Or you bought a 3-pack of knickers that have never been quite right but they’re still in there; emergency knickers, for a very grey day. I want you to identify said knickers and remove them. Then bin them, burn them or bury them in your garden so you never have to wear them again.
And on Monday morning, when you’re showered, deodoranted and are getting dressed for work, you will open your underwear draw and in there will be your ‘special knickers’. Once again, you know exactly which ones I mean. Your absolute fave pants that ooze confidence and sexiness. And I want you to wear your special knickers for work on Monday. That means when you pull up in the car park and stroll in to work you will have a certain sparkle and je ne sais quoi because you know what’s cracking off down below.
Science behind the Special Pants
Please note, this is not some sort of crass sexual laugh, there is a lot more science behind my special pants top tip than meets the eye. The sad fact is that on Monday morning most people’s aim is to get through the week or survive until their next holiday – wishing their weeks away and placing happiness as a destination on the horizon. Similarly, we tend to save our ‘special pants’ for a special occasion.
Here’s a focusing fact, the average life-span is 4000 weeks. Life is indeed a very short and precious gift. You’ve got 4000 weeks to make a dent in the universe so my ‘special pants’ top tip is simply to quit waiting.
Life is the ultimate special occasion.
Andy Cope is the author of Happiness – your route-map to inner joy. Available now on Amazon. Find out more about Andy at http://www.artofbrilliance.co.uk/