So I’ve been reading some interesting articles on the Forbes blogs as well as the NYTimes Economix blogs about the results of recent a Gallup poll about well-being and the characteristics that are present in the happiest people. They even found the composite person who embodied each attribute that allegedly makes you happy – Alvin Wong, an old, Jewish, Asian-American man with a wife, kids, and his own business in Hawaii (are we sure he’s not just happy because he lives in Hawaii??)
I guess he does look pretty happy to me…
Anyways, the survey covers religion, gender, race, marital status, children, age, income, geography and height. Apparently, I am not happy currently, as the only things I have going for me are income (hitting the $12,000 mark is apparently enough to do it!) and height (wah wah). Protestants are supposedly the least happy of all religions (I’d like to know if witchcraft and voodoo were considered!). I’m a chick, unmarried, under 65 (this one I definitely don’t get – I would not think old people are necessarily happier. Maybe more settled… though I’d think that people over 65 might be happier just because they don’t have to work, but apparently employment is also a factor leading to happiness). I’m a lawyer (not on the list of unhappy professions, but I feel like unhappy partners in law firms abound, hellooo!), and have no children (though in my opinion, no kids = happiness for me right now…no offense anyone, I’m just absolutely not there yet). Well crap. Things aren’t looking good for me.
This blog post on Forbes makes the argument that no matter what, it comes down to money. Married people are happier, but… two incomes = more money! Good math, chicky . Geography is a factor, but she points out that the places at the top of the list are all incredibly expensive. Tall people tend to make more money. Asians, as a race (the happiest people), apparently make more money. As a legal scholar (hah), I’m not sure I think all her arguments quite follow, but it’s interesting to think about. The Economix blog at least notes that correlation is different than causation…thank you.
So really now, I don’t know what to do. I’ve been trying to get happy by focusing on myself, exercising, eating better, reading more, sleeping more. What a crock! I guess at least they didn’t tell me to buy a cat.
p.s. Click here to read about the most unhappy person in America.
p.p.s.: here’s something that DOES make me happy: