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The Happiness Puzzle

There has been a ton of research conducted worldwide to determine the tenets of happiness. Though I'm not a professional researcher and can only speak from my humble experience, I firmly believe there are several critical components to what seems to be an elusive puzzle. These are to:
  1. Appreciate what you have
  2. Think beyond yourself
  3. “Keep it simple”, in other words, as I have said here before, less is more. A TED Talk by Graham Hill reinforces a similar notion.
Nowhere has this been more apparent than in my travels to countries where people live with only the bare minimum, yet their appreciation shines through in their bright smiles. I was reminded of this again when reading an article ranking the happiest places on the planet. Determined by an organization called the Happy Planet Index, they "combine life expectancy, satisfaction, and ecological footprint to process ratings and aim to change the sole measure of a country’s well-being through the use of strictly economic measures."
Their findings are telling. With eight of the top ten “happiest” countries deriving from Latin America where they "report being far less concerned with material issues than they are with their friends and family", the value and impact of social bonds cannot be understated.

However, if you are so inclined to throw money at happiness, there is an interesting
TED Talk by Michael Norton arguing that we CAN in fact buy happiness. The catch? In order to derive happiness that money must spent on others...


Is more research needed?

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