You won’t find a happier guy than Zeke. He didn't let life's setbacks get him down.
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TD Ameritrade

It's easy to feel like life is a treadmill.

We're constantly working to make a living, running forward full speed. Sometimes, regardless of how hard we work, there just isn't enough money to go around. It's hard, and it's frustrating, and it can be completely consuming. When you work hard, you want to enjoy life, but access to so much is tied to being able to afford it. 

Here's one guy who's found that his bank account didn't have to determine his happiness. His memories and experiences mattered more. 



Zeke, a World War II pilot, hasn't had the easiest life, but you can't tell by listening to him. He's filled with a love for the small moments that changed his world and made it better. As he puts it, "I'd rather be rich in life than rich in money." 

Now, there's no denying that money is critical to survival.

It's a little easier to take a step back and have this perspective when every single day isn't a fight just to keep a roof over your head. But what Zeke discovered is that once he managed to get the necessities covered, his happiness didn't come from acquiring more things. 

There are ways to find moments of pleasure, regardless of what's in your bank account.

Following Zeke's lead, here are a few tips on how we can all find moments of pleasure in the midst of life's chaos, regardless of what's in our wallet.

1. Relationships matter. So much.

Relationships take a lot of work, but they’re worth it. And I'm not just talking about romantic relationships — although apparently committing to a life partner can add three years to life expectancy. Think about shows like "Friends." Could Rachel have dealt with career challenges and the back and forth of her relationship with Ross without her friends in her corner? Maybe, but it would have been a lot harder.

The people in our lives shape our view of the world and the ways in which we experience it. Healthy relationships make us healthier.

Arthur Aron, Ph.D., psychology professor and director of the Interpersonal Relationships Laboratory at New York’s Stony Brook University, told The Nation’s Health that “relationships are — not surprisingly — enormously important for health, and there are lots of studies on the biological processes that account for the link between relationships and health.” 

So make friends. Dive into love. And nurture those relationships. Because they just may help you to live longer and happier.

2. Go outdoors and smell the fresh air!

Getting outside as often as possible has proven health benefits. From increased brain function to aging gracefully, it seems like spending time outside is the cure-all for a lot of things.

Environmental psychologist Judith Heerwagon told The Huffington Post, “just looking at a garden or trees or going for a walk, even if it’s in your own neighborhood, reduces stress. ... There’s something about being in a natural setting that shows clear evidence of stress reduction, including physiological evidence — like lower heart rate.”

Best of all? Outdoor activities usually don’t cost a dime. So take a walk, look around you, and let nature work its magic.

3. Enjoying art — for free? Yes, please.

There are some cities that have free events down to a science. In other areas, finding a free show takes a little bit more effort, but they’re out there

Regardless of whether you’re being treated to a world-class performance of Shakespeare or a band of kindergarteners practicing their choir tunes, getting out of the house helps you to form memories, meet new people, and do something. Best-case scenario, you see an amazing show that stirs you in some way. Worst-case scenario, you have a story to tell. Either way, you just may have some fun mixing things up.

4. Remember, there's always a new day.

As Victor Hugo wrote in "Les Miserables," "even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise." There’s no science there, just the wise words of a revered author. We’ll take it. Life is an obstacle course, but it’s good to remember that there’s always another day, another chance to wake up and make your day and your life what you want it to be.

Each day won’t be the best day ever, but it also won’t be the worst ever. It’s essentially the Kaizen theory: If we make continual small improvements, in time we’ll see big change.

Money will always be a stressor; we can't escape it. But if you keep working toward the life you want to live, hopefully after a few years you’ll look back and see that you're living it. 

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Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Even as millions of Americans celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden this week, the nation also mourned the fact that, for the first time in modern history, the United States did not have a peaceful transition of power.

With the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when pro-Trump insurrectionists attempted to stop the constitutional process of counting electoral votes and where terrorists threatened to kill lawmakers and the vice president for not keeping Trump in power, our long and proud tradition was broken. And although presidential power was ultimately transferred without incident on January 20, the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops around the Capitol reminded us of the threat that still lingers.

First Lady Jill Biden showed up today with cookies in hand for a group of National Guard troops at the Capitol to thank them for keeping her family safe. The homemade chocolate chip cookies were a small token of appreciation, but one that came from the heart of a mother whose son had served as well.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.