Yesterday was the twelfth anniversary of my triple coronary bypass. The days preceding and following that day in 2005 have a profound influence on how I live my life today. This experience set off a series of life changes that have led to a happier, more fulfilling life.

I struggled to write my annual Facebook post about this life changing experience. This morning the Today Show aired a segment (video) with National Geographic explorer Dan Buettner on why Denmark is considered one of the happiest places in the world. It spoke to me and gave me focus on how I should commemorate the twelfth anniversary of 10.15.2005.

Buettner visited Copenhagen where residents cycle 1.2 million kilometers a day to work and a garbage man is paid the same as a school teacher. Happiness is not about biking to work, free healthcare, free education, and the other benefits the Danish enjoy. These all byproducts of a nation that embraces happiness.

“When I think of happiness, I think of three qualities,” he said. “How much pleasure you have in your life, how much pride you have with your life, and living with a sense of purpose.”

The above sentence from Dan Buettner’s segment succinctly explains why life is so good in Denmark. They have discovered how to live a better life through these qualities. I have been doing a good bit of reading and self-discovery since my retirement. These three qualities with some variation come up in most strategies to live a good life. These happen to be three qualities I strive to live with in my life.

Many things have changed in my life over the past twelve years. I look back to the person I was prior to 10.15.2005 and see a different person that I am today. Each of us must forge our own life path. I urge you to spend a few minutes watching the Today Show video to better see how a change in perspective and concentrating on things under your control can positively change your life.

We all have control on how we can positively influence and nurture these three qualities in our life.

  • How much pleasure you have in your life
  • How much pride you have with your life
  • How to live life with a sense of purpose

This post would not be complete without a bit of heart attack education. I was ignorant of the following facts and carelessly risked my life due to my ignorance. Read and remember the following warning signs of a heart attack from the American Heart Association.

Don’t wait to get help if you experience any of these heart attack warning signs. Although some heart attacks are sudden and intense, most start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Pay attention to your body — and call 911 if you feel:

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Tom Bilcze
Happily retired guy

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