Since the talk of town seems to be happiness I’m going to chime in for a minute. Actually, I am going to let Eric Weiner chime in. I finally finished his book “The Geography of Bliss” and I have to say I learned a lot. He’s laugh out loud entertaining and soberingly profound all at the same time. He traveled the globe looking for answers as to what conditions, attitudes, culture, etc make for a happy country. I found it an adventure as it was like traveling myself. Anyway, I highly recommend it, but if you don’t want to read it I’ll wrap it up nicely for you.
In the end he concludes –
“only a fool or a philosopher would make sweeping generalizations about the nature of happiness. I am no philosopher, so here goes: Money matters, but less than we think and not in the way that we think. Family is important. So are friends. Envy is toxic. So is excessive thinking. Beaches are optional. Trust is not. Neither is gratitude.
To venture any further, though, is treacherous waters. A slippery seal, happiness is. On the road, I encountered bushels of inconsistencies. The Swiss are uptight and happy. The Thais are laid-back and happy. Icelanders find joy in their binge drinking. Moldovans only misery. Maybe an Indian mind can digest these contradictions, but mine can’t. Exasperated, I call one of the leading happiness researchers, John Helliwell. Perhaps he has some answers.
‘It’s simple,’ he says. ‘There is more than one path to happiness.’ “