Riding the Happiness Curve
Morgan Freeman just turned a spry 76. Happy Birthday!
You have to believe that someone as successful and talented as Mr. Freeman has a lot of wisdom to share about life, happiness, and birthdays.
There has long been a belief that as we age life gets harder, if not financially, at least physically. As we approach the mid-point of our lives we face a growing pessimism about what aging inevitably brings.
The studies bear this out; up to a point, that is. Recent studies done in England, using data collected in 80 different countries measuring levels of anxiety, depression, happiness and satisfaction of adults over 35 year period found that the happiness curve was “U” shaped rather that the classic bell curve.
What does that mean?
Basically, no matter what your economic or social status, whether you are a man or a woman, with or without children, you are at the bottom of the happiness curve between your 40’s and 50’s (the average low appears around age 44) and then your happiness levels begin to rise.
Morgan Freeman, at the age of 76 would appear to be living proof of this hypothesis. According to Mr. Freeman, “You have to reach for the happiness in your life.”
In this interview from “Style Goes Strong,” asked Mr. Freeman about his life now and finding happiness, good health and retirement and on retirement he said…
“I’m well beyond retirement age,” says Freeman. “I’m going to borrow a line from my good friend Michael Caine who said, ‘You don’t retire from the movies. The movies retire you.'”
He’s also excited about the new season of his paranormal series, “Through the Wormhole.”
“Science and physics have always fascinated me. I’m fascinated by space travel and what’s going on out there,” Freeman says.
Freeman says he keeps in great shape by moving. “You can’t sit it out. Good health comes from moving. I walk. I go on my boat. I work. You have to keep the body moving,” he says. “I also eat well. The focus is how can I continue to feel good.”
Freeman says water helps him escape it all.
“Acting means waiting, so way back in the ’70s when I was waiting, I bought a little boat. When there is no work, I’m on my boat and happy about it.”
“Just try to make each day happy,” he says. Continue reading here…
There are other factors that have positive effects as we age; one of them is called crystallized intelligence.
What is crystallized intelligence? Crystallized intelligence is intelligence that develops after years of experience, knowledge that’s locked in, as opposed to fluid intelligence, which is raw processing speed.
Another study concludes what we knew intuitively, that with age comes wisdom. As we age and realize that our time is growing shorter we begin to put out attention on things that are, at least for us, more important.
Laura Carstensen, who is the director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, concluded that older people suffer less from anxiety, depression, and substance abuse the young.
It’s becoming apparent that happiness isn’t just for the young, and that as we age we learn to live in the moment, or to quote the venerable Ram Dass Age (82 years old), we learn how to “be here now.”
I think Morgan Freeman advice on happiness and birthdays is the best, “Just try to make each day happy.”