Happiness is a Matter of Perspective
By the most recent measurement, many of my friends should be happy -- if not blissful, at least content.
Well-educated and with plenty of job experience under their belts, they bring home enough money to make the magical cut of
A new study by two
There are actually two types of happiness, according to the researchers: day-to-day mood and the deeper, longer-term emotional state that reflects life satisfaction. Annual household income has no effect on the former once you surpass the 75K benchmark.
But when it comes to judging how satisfied one is with life generally, money talks -- and it says plenty. The more someone makes, the higher their overall life satisfaction runs. Those who rake in
Put another way: A speeding ticket can ruin the day for Ms. Big Shot earning a six-figure salary. Her mood will likely take a short-term dip, but her overall outlook will remain positive. By the same token, her administrative assistant making a fraction of her pay will be bummed by the ticket, too, but he'll continue to feel unsatisfied with the direction of his life even if the ticket is later dismissed by a forgiving judge.
All this means that with the exception of the occasional day-ruining roof leak or computer malfunction, my social circle should be a happy bunch. They're not -- or at least some aren't. And I doubt a fatter paycheck would change that.
My corner of the world seems populated by Eeyores on one hand and Winnie the Poohs on the other, and changes in life circumstances, income included, have done little to budge temperaments either way.
Well-to-do Eeyores continue to sing their woe-is-me refrain. And the Pooh Bears? They always find a pot of honey in their Hundred Acre Wood.
True, mine is a perfectly unscientific survey, but I'm sure my results can be replicated in other forests.
"Happiness is a choice," my mother used to say when one of her children wallowed in self-pity. This from a woman who was orphaned at 7, spent most of her childhood dirt poor, fled
Happiness is all about perspective; about knowing the difference between mountain and molehill; about gratitude, appreciation and acceptance; about celebrating the little victories and enjoying the small pleasures. Pooh said it best: "Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon."
Ain't that the truth. And a balloon is pretty darn cheap.
Available at Amazon.com:
Read the latest political news.
- Eliminating Poverty: Lesson From Childhood
- Wall Street Had a Meltdown, and All We Got (Besides the Bill) Was an Interminable Argument
- Changing Our Tune to Natural Gas
- Supreme Court's Citizens United Decision Will Warp Policymaking
- Citizens United Decision: Money at Issue Funds Speech Not Candidates
- Education and Wealth: Strongest Predictors of a Long Life
- 'Citizen Journalism' Fad is Not Journalism
- Life's Little Lows Big Part of Going to High School
- Happiness is a Matter of Perspective
- Binge Drinking Numbers Rising
- The Republicans' Bizarre Attacks on Elites
- Joe Klein and Diane Sawyer Tour the Real Reality
- Troubled Times: When Mark Zuckerberg's Generosity Is Not Good Enough
- Why on Earth Does America Want a Stronger Chinese Currency?
- A Nation of Peasants?
- Public Sector Workers Are the New Privileged Elite Class
- Raising Retirement Age Will Help Save Social Security
- Cutting Benefits Isn't the Way to Save Social Security
- How the New Consumer Bureau Will Help You
- Setting up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- The Truth Behind UFO Sightings and the U.S. Air Force
- American Dream of Home Ownership Has Become a Nightmare
- 5 Traits of the New American Consumer
- Stoned on Righteousness
- Frank Assessment of Teacher Performance Not Pleasant but Useful
- Large-Spirited America
- America: A Labor of Love
- America: Love's Labor Lost
- What We Need to Do to Save America's Middle Class
- Out of the Media Muck an Idiot Emerges
- Dilemma of the Open Megaphone
- Let's Keep Our Enemies Straight
- Can the CIA Put a U.S.-Born al Qaeda Figure on its 'Kill List'?
- A Christian Voice Argues for Banning Nuclear Weapons
- Will New York's Mosque Protests Aid Terrorist Recruiters?
- Repealing 14th Amendment Would Not Fix Immigration System
- 14th Amendment Doesn't Make Illegal Aliens' Children Citizens
- Immigration Reform Requires More Than Getting Tough or Feeling Good
- Defending a New Domain: The Pentagon's Cyberstrategy
- Before Katrina, There Was New York's 1896 Heat Wave
- EPA Surrenders to NRA on Gun Control Issue
- Rare Sighting: Common Sense from the Bench
- Is the Great Mosque Debate Making Us Stupid?
- Ground Zero Mosque Madness
- Ground Zero Mosque: Islamophobia? Not Really
- Gingrich and Palin: Twin Towers of Intolerance
- Detroit's Agony, America's Choice
- Iraq: U.S. Combat Troops' Departure Leaves Uncertainty in its Wake
- Corporate Rotten Eggs
- Strengthening the Political - Military Relationship
- A New Plan For Nuclear Postures
- Why the National Security Establishment Is Outdated
- Protecting the Pentagon Budget
- Approving the New START Treaty Keeps America Safe
- The New START Treaty Weakens U.S. National Security
- 'Ground Zero Mosque' Controversy Shows America's New Nativism
- Ground Zero Mosque Presidential Paradox
- Lack of Foresight Let 'Ground Zero Mosque' Controversy Balloon
- Republicans Hit Obama for Ground Zero Mosque Comments
- Obama's Ground Zero Mosque Mess
- The Sum of Our Parts
- The End of Books
- Steven Slater Airline Meltdown Hardly a Surprise
- Conversation on Race? We're Not Ready
- Everyone a Bigot?
- Let's Preserve Freedom at Ground Zero
- 10 Things You Didn't Know About Social Security
- Illogical Immigration
- Constitutional Amendments and Citizenship Rights
- Iran - The Next War
- How to Maximize Your Social Security Benefits
- How Working Longer Helps Build Retirement Security
- Social Security Inflation Adjustment Debate
- 21 Ways to Make Extra Money in Retirement
- Will You Run Out of Money Before You Run Out of Years?
- The Economy's Lasting Impact on Your Retirement
- Unconventional Retirement Investing Strategies
- Another Retirement Challenge for Women: Income Gender Gap
- 15 Ways to Tell if You Are Ready to Retire
- Investing Your Social Security Check? Consider These Factors
- Alternatives to Traditional Retirement
- 10 Uncommon Sources of Income in Retirement
- Sizing Up Your Retirement Nest Egg Needs
- Biggest Sources of Retirement Income
- Assembling a Sturdy Retirement Portfolio
- Retirement Savings Strategies for Late Starters
- 7 Reasons to Downsize in Retirement
- How to Tell if You Are Saving Enough for Retirement
Happiness is a Matter of Perspective
(c) 2010 Ana Veciana-Suarez