Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Happy, happier, happiest...

This Sunday, CBS news had an interesting, report that highlights an engrossing story about the happiest country in the world. This story is covered in an exhaustive fashion in Yahoo! News 60 Minutes page.

Now if you look at it, happiness is by itself very subjective and can have varied interpretations. What, I could make from the video is that the study focused on life satisfaction and gratification rather than short-lived emotional states. There are many linking tags if one starts to bisect and analyze this issue.

Is happiness linked with a capitalistic system? Some may agree to this and some may not. Just take any simple family, what defines happiness for the individuals differs across age group. But a totality of all these separate fixtures when assembled together makes a content society.

Indirectly, each and every facet of happiness, apart from the emotional state of an individual is softly coupled to many external factors. Economics, politics, education system, business, infrastructure, weather conditions, social system, etc are all the bricks in the wall that contribute to a perfectly cemented society. Each nation has its share of problems and triumphs, but in this traffic of highs and lows, ups and downs, any country that has a majority of its population that is contented would definitely accelerate towards the north in any graph. I guess that's what has set Denmark, apart and this year again it is ranked as the happiest nation in the globe.

Check this video and you can know the underlying chords that contributed to this. It also provides lots of interesting theories as to why people are so content in a land that doesn't have excellent weather, has delays in its public transportations, pays one of the highest taxes in the world and has many other fractures too.

Video 1 is here.

Video 2 is here.

In this snippet, one can also see how strong the social 'safety net' meaning free education, free hospital care, state-sponsored pension plan and unemployment checks, etc is in Denmark. Also a well-regarded Harvard psychology professor seeks to find answers to a very fundamental question: Why Americans are so unhappy today and what can be done to get happier?

In the words of Tal Ben-Shahar, the Harvard psychology professor, we just expect too much: In America, part of the ethos, part of the American dream, is that more is better, and the more is better usually applies to the material realm. And that doesn't pan out, that doesn't work, it doesn't make us happier...It is about having realistic expectations. It's... it's about not trying to fit in more...more than we can handle. We can't handle it all, we can't have it all, but we can have a lot.

Well, if you ask me these are some of the cardinal issues that plague many people, especially those that live in cities and metropolis around the globe and the solutions are also quite universal in nature, its not region/country specific. One of the key points that you can find in Denmark's key to happiness is lowered and realistic expectations.

Khush raho yaar :)

Keep reading and remain connected.

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At 10:40 AM, Blogger kallu said...

Very interesting post.
So - a sense of security, low expectations, being a beeracholic rather than a workaholic and lots of fish make for a happy life.Nice.

Sounds better than trying to be No 1.


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