Thursday, January 21, 2010

don't happy.. :-)

Recently I opened a poll to obtain an idea about how the readers of this blog feel about their life. Whether they are happy, not very happy, fairly happy, or not happy at all. An overall index closer to 4 would mean that our society is a fairly happy society. From the results of this short survey, the happinness index comes to 2.4. Ofcourse this is not a representative result of the whole society. In order to determine the happiness level of Maldivians, we would need to conduct a comprehensive survey, covering a significant sample of the population.

Talking about happiness, it could be the case that different people interpret happiness in different ways. For me, happiness means feeling good, enjoying life, and think to myself, “What a wonderful world”! Happiness has many dimensions; we feel different at different times of the day, when we are with different people, and when we are doing different things. A study done in 2003 by Kahneman et al, in which 1000 working women in Texas were asked how they felt at different times of the day. The results are reproduced here.

According to the results, Americans felt least happy while commuting, and the highest index is for sex. This could obviously vary for different societies, and I don’t know which activity makes Maldivians happier.

The same study determined, how happy they were spending time with different people, and showed that they were happiest while spending time with their friends (3.3), and least happy while with their boss (2.0).

Individual happiness levels, according to Layard of London School of Economics, depends to a large extent on how happy others are. If your neighbor earns twice your income, any income raise that you get may not make you happier, as still others’ incomes are much higher than yours. Well, incomes are only one of the factors that makes us happy.

Layard raises an interesting point, that people in the west have become much richer, work much less, have more holidays, travel more, live longer, are healthier, but, still they haven’t got happier. So what shall we do, to make us happier?

1 comment:

  1. Telling any one of us to be happy is like asking us why we are sad. It like adding insult to injury..

    Money has become measure of Health. Health being everything else...