Back to Back Issues Page
Choosing Happiness
May 31, 2008


Midlife Wisdom For Men Issue #106, May 31, 2008

=========== TABLE OF CONTENTS ==========

Handy Trick For Protecting Your Computer

Choosing Happiness


Written by Noel McNaughton
(c) copyright 2008


If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a big favour and forward it to him. If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting Midlife Wisdom for Men.


Welcome to this issue of Midlife Wisdom for Men.

Elizabeth and I had a great two-week holiday in England. Saw a lot of old buildings, some really pretty countryside, and met some wonderful people.

Spring back here in Alberta has been cool so far, and the grass on our farm is a little slower than usual getting started. But we have had a couple of nice rains, and it has began to warm up during the last few days. I have been fixing fences and water lines in preparation for the cattle that will arrive Monday for summer grazing.

There are thousands of computer viruses, and more created every day. There are also other vicious programs - trojans, worms, spy ware - and all of them have an Achilles heel: they must execute themselves in your computer in order to do you harm. See below for a simple technique for neutering the vast majority of these nasty little beasties.

One time a man was walking down a road and came to the outskirts of a village. An old man was sitting there. "What are the people like in this village?", asked the traveller.

"What were they like in the village you came from?" said the old man.

"They were wonderful - warm and friendly, and great neighbours." replied the traveller.

"You are in luck", said the old man, "the people here are the same."

The next day another traveller trudging down the road, came to the village and met the same old man.

"What are the people like in this village?", he asked.

"What were they like in the village you came from?" said the old man.

"They were miserable - unfriendly, dishonest, and hard to get along with." replied the traveller.

"I am sorry to say", said the old man, "they are the same here."

This little story contains a universal truth: our outer world is a reflection of our inner world. Happiness can be that way.

There are about 930 words in this issue, which should take you about two and a half minutes to read.



Handy Trick For Protecting Your Computer

Mike, my good friend and computer guru, told me recently how to avoid about 95% of computer viruses on a Windows-based computer. It is very simple.

If your computer runs windows, you have a 'user account'. If more than one person uses your computer, you can have it set up with several user accounts. The default status of user accounts is 'computer administrator', meaning you can install programs, and do other administrative things.

Most of us never change the settings of our user account, because the computer comes already set up that way from the dealer.

But here is the catch: viruses are executable programs that you unwittingly download. Once in your computer, they install themselves and raise havoc.

The Cure

You can set up a 'limited' user account, that does not have the authority to execute programs, AND NEITHER DOES A VIRUS. That means it doesn't matter if you download a virus when you are in a limited user account, because it can't insall itself, so can't do harm.

You should still use a security program - I use AVG (AVG Antivirus, which is said to be one of the best, and doesn't slow my computer down the way some of the other most common security programs do.

You should use your 'limited' account for all your normal computer work, and only use your 'computer administrator' account when you want to install a new program, or change computer settings, network settings and so forth.

How to set it up

I use windows XP, so will give you instructions about how to do it with that operating system. Other versions of Windows will be slightly different, but easy to figure out.

Click on 'Start', then 'Control Panel', then 'User Accounts'.

In User Accounts, click 'Create a new account'. Another window will open. Name the new account and click next. On the next screen, it will give you a choice of what kind of account you want. Select 'limited', then click 'create account'. You can set up a password for it if you want.

That is all there is to it. From then on, when you log onto your computer, log on to this new limited account, and do all your work, emailing, etc. from there. Most viruses, even if they get into your computer through this account, will not be able to do anything.

The only inconvenience is that if you want to install a new program, or change your computer's settings, you will have to log into you administrative account. To me, it's worth it just to have the extra layer of protection.


Customer: "How much do Windows cost?" Tech Support: "Windows costs about $100." Customer: "Oh, that's kind of expensive. Can I buy just one window?"


Choosing Happiness

I used to think my happiness depended upon other people - my wife, my boss, the circumstances of my life. I spent a lot of my time feeling anxious, resentful and angry. Why couldn't the people around me just treat me right, so I could feel happy? I remember reading personal growth books, and popular psychology books, which suggested we create our own reality, but I was sure that was not true for me.

When I joined AA and did the steps, I ended up having a profound spiritual awakening, and with it came the realization that I had, indeed, been running my own life, and 'creating my own reality' all along! I finally understood that my happiness did depend on me. How I saw and interpreted the world around me depended on my internal state of being. "As inside, so outside."

I have been a subscriber to Courtney Milne's wonderful daily 'Pool of Possibilities' emails (, with his incredible photographs and wise observations on life for several months now. Here is a quote from his Poolside Wisdom for May 22, 2008:

Being here at the pool today makes me happy. There just is not a better way of expressing my joy of the moment. I am happy because the water is mirroring such vivid colours and the trees are so verdant.

But this is a mere surface description of the deeper story. The truth is, I create the happiness, and the pool reflects what is already within me. Just like this image of trees and clouds, the idea that the pool 'makes' me happy is an illusion. My observation is that most people most of the time acquire their happiness from circumstances that fluctuate from moment to moment, thus their happiness is always short-lived.

If, instead, we realize that happiness is a choice, we can easily be happy throughout virtually all of our waking day. In her book, Happy For No Reason, Marci Shimoff says when we no longer rely on our surroundings to be happy, our souls can be nurtured anytime. We don't have to wait for a reason.

It is common at midlife to go through periods of discontent, depression, irritability and unhappiness. If we don't realize our world is a reflection of our inner life, we can end up casting about for someone to blame. If you are at that stage, know that 'this too shall pass', and try looking inward for the cause of your pain, and the possible source of peace, contentment and happiness. Prayer, meditation, psychological counselling, and even Marci Shimoff's book can all be helpful.


Shameless Pun: Did you hear about the guy whose left side was cut off? He is all right now.


Unusual travel Web sites: - If you want a normal, preplanned, tour-operated vacation with every waking minute planned for you, is not for you. What it does offer are grassroots adventures (179 trips in 49 countries), including travel on public transport, eating like the locals with the locals, and staying in small family-run hotels or home stays.


Like coffee, but are afraid it is not good for you? I use 'healthy coffee': Gano Cafe



If you have something you want to advertise, just send me a note at

******************************************************************** I Need Your Questions and Feedback!

Got comments? Questions? I'd love to hear from you.

Just email your suggestions and/or questions to . I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks.


Well friend, that's it for now. Again, if you enjoyed this and/or found it useful, and know of anyone else who might like it, please pass it forward. And if you have questions or recommendations, I would love to hear from you.

All the best, Noel

Back to Back Issues Page