Happiness, what makes us happy? In the documentary Happy, we travel all over the world to gain a deeper understanding of what defines this emotion. Apparently, Americans on average are as happy as Ricksha drivers in India. This is an enlightening opening towards reorienting our scope of analysis. When we analyze what makes us happy vs. what makes us depressed, we open ourselves to a deeper understanding as to where and how to orient ourselves. Surf in New Zealand? Live on a small Island off Japan? or in the Swampland mania of Louisiana?Intriguing film.
In the article, Can Money Buy Happiness, it is highlighted how after a certain income bracket has been reached, our levels of happiness remain virtually unaffected. I think the important piece here is more along the lines of what authentically makes us feel happy and fulfilled? Not, what makes us comfortable. We miss the boat, when we stop analyzing quality of life, of down time, or communication.
From the article… ”
Can money buy happiness? Yes, but only $83,000 worth of it.
Drs. Kahneman and Deaton conducted a now famous study in which they showed that an increased yearly income level predicted an increased happiness level only until $75,000, at which point further increases in income did not affect happiness (1). This study was conducted with data from 2008 and 2009; the inflation-adjusted happiness limit in 2016 would be $83,000 (2).
It is important to note that the original study was cross-sectional and looked at static income and happiness levels for over 450,000 people in the United States. The study did not address how dynamic increases in yearly income, such as a raise, affect happiness. That being said, separate research reveals that although a raise causes an immediate and significant spike in happiness the effect wears off after about two years and the individual returns to his or her baseline level of happiness (3).”