A few years ago I made a list of 100 things that make me happy. I know…that seems like a lot. But I picked that number deliberately.

Although miserable people exist across generations, I’ve discovered that as we age we sometimes have real — and unavoidable — things to complain or be sad about. Health issues, deaths of loved ones, ageism, and career and money struggles can all fuel depression and anxiety.

The 100 List is a great way to remind yourself of those things — small and more significant — that bring us joy. It could be as simple as getting a great night’s sleep or canned pineapple. Or, perhaps it’s traveling to an exotic place with a loved one to explore.

Some can be work-related. They can be a combination of things you do alone and with others. And at least can be self-indulgent and slightly naughty.

I store my list in the cloud so I can refer back to it whenever I want — from whatever device happens to be with me. (Playing with tech gadgets and learning new technologies on my list, by the way.)

By targeting a really big number, you’re challenging yourself to think about the many sources of pleasure in your life. I’ve even shared my list with select people I love so they gain insights into my passions and the simple things that make me smile.

You don’t have to make the list all at once. Add to it as you experience happy moments in your life.

Most important, look at the list when you’re feeling down and choose something on the list to do or plan. Perhaps you can’t find a lover to whisk you off to a remote island at that moment, so make sure your list contains a good balance of things you can control and easily engage in and those moments/activities that are aspirational.

Knowing that I inspire others is on my list, so I hope I’ve achieved that with this short post!

Start listing…be happy!


  • Nancy A Shenker

    The Silver Hair Playbook: How to Be a Bad Ass >50™

    Nancy A. Shenker is a marketing innovator, brand builder, writer, speaker, and self-proclaimed rule breaker. Over the course of her 40-year business and marketing career, she has been a C-level executive, an entrepreneur, and a mentor to hundreds of small businesses at all stages. Founder of theONswitch marketing, Nancy was formerly a senior executive for major consumer and business brands, including Citibank, MasterCard, and Reed Exhibitions. She has written four books, and publishes a women’s entrepreneur community (www.sheBOOM.com), as well as AI/machine learning/robotics site www.EmbracetheMachine.com and travel and lifestyle site www.BleisureLiving.com. She also wrote a column for Inc.com called Bots & Bodies (about the human side of tech) and is a contributor to a wide range of consumer and business media. She recently won the "Killer Content Award" for a major project for a fast-growing technology company.