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Can you measure happiness?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:37 am - January 30, 2013.
Filed under: Happiness,Random Thoughts

When a friend linked an article recently on the world’s happiness countries, I wondered about the study’s metrics.  Can people in one country really be happier than those in another, provided each allow its citizens an adequate amount of freedom — and security?

That study linked Ireland and number 10, yet when I traveled in Europe, the Irish were clearly happier than the Swiss (ranked ninth) and those in Finland and the Scandinavian countries, all nations ranked higher than the Emerald Isle.  And the Portuguese (not on the list) seemed almost as happy as the Irish.

This article, interestingly, did link happiness to the free market:

Happiness means having opportunity – to get an education, to be an entrepreneur. What’s more satisfying than having a big idea and turning it into a thriving business, knowing all the way that the harder you work, the more reward you can expect?

It does seem there is a link between hard work and happiness.  I find that the days I work the hardest, particularly on a project I enjoy, are the days I am the happiest.

On Sunday, on blog talk radio, blogress Amy Alkon featured Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, who has just published a book, The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, but Doesn’t, What Shouldn’t Make You Happy, but Does.  It does sometimes seem that what we think will make us happy doesn’t, but what shouldn’t does.

There is a definitely a link between work which leads to accomplishment and/or reward and happiness.  And some lazy people I know do seem very unhappy.



  1. I am happy and proud to be a gay conservative man in America.

    Gays in Muslim countries, Iran for instance, are being executed, hanged. But liberals pay that no attention.

    They’re all upset about Christian Chick-fil-a, ok?

    Comment by Alan — January 30, 2013 @ 3:08 am - January 30, 2013

  2. Happiness is a day without thinking about liberals, their destructive politics and Obama.

    Comment by David — January 30, 2013 @ 6:49 am - January 30, 2013

  3. I find that the days I work the hardest, particularly on a project I enjoy, are the days I am the happiest.

    I completely agree. I am sure that is why people who are entreprenuers are so happy, even when they are struggling to build their business. It’s something about my brother that I envy…he picked a job he loves over stability. I picked stability and I (almost) despise going to work everyday. Thankfully, I recognize it and am planning my own career change.

    Comment by Neptune — January 30, 2013 @ 11:43 am - January 30, 2013

  4. I read an article some years back about the nicest cities to live in. I think some Swiss city was number one. The interesting thing was that the best places to live were where no one wanted to live.

    I wonder if this happiness study has the same issue.

    Comment by LondonTrader — January 30, 2013 @ 12:16 pm - January 30, 2013

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