What Makes You Happy?
Want happiness? Would lots of friends or a high paying job make you happy? Apparently, studies have shown that these and the passing years are what we think would make us happy. Material wealth may bring comfort and security, but research shows it doesn’t lead to long-term happiness. Really?
I always thought that I’d like to test that assertion out for myself. There was a study recently that showed that Americans and Britons (Canadians weren’t asked; maybe we’re just happier) are actually less happy than in the 1950’s, despite being two to three times wealthier now! In fact, only 36% reported being “Very Happy” now, as opposed to 52% in 1957. Oh, those were the days, weren’t they? Life was simpler then. Every family lived like June and Ward Cleaver. Wait a minute… 1957 was a little before my time, but I do know that the end of that decade was marked by a bit of a recession. And it’s interesting that just over half of those polled in ’57 claimed to be happy. What about the remaining 43%?
Another recent study reveals that people are turning to life experiences such as vacations to achieve happiness. But, does the euphoria last? No. Vacations will bring cherished memories but not long term happiness. So, what will make us feel long-lasting happiness? Would you believe age? Yep, despite our obsessions with botox, hair replacement and lip enhancers, most people start to achieve a deep sense of happiness beginning around age 50.
Enjoying great food and wine go a long way in making me happy. How about you?