The Happiness Equation

The other day, a book was introduced to me. It’s called “The Happiness Equation” and was written by John Hallward (President and Global Product Development with Ipsos ASI, a Canadian leader in market research). At only 100-200 or so pages, I figured it would be worth powering through.

Though it didn’t really offer any earth shattering revelations, what it was able to do was shed some light on what Canadians think and offered some direction for those seeking to lead “happier” lives…and honestly, who doesn’t?

The nine major indicators of overall happiness were as follows:

  1. Mental piece of mind (Generally leading a life with low stress levels)
  2. Financial happiness (Not being in debt and being satisfied with financial situation)
  3. Friendship (The more close friendships you have the happier you are)
  4. Physical Health (The better you feel the better your view of yourself will be)
  5. Marital status (Married couples reported being happier than single individuals)
  6. Family (Similar to friendship)
  7. Job quality (Based on the time spent at work, doing something you are passionate trumps almost everything about. If you aren’t passionate about work, then the more time you can spend on your passion the happier you will be!)
  8. Charity (Helping others feels good pure and simple. A poll of 1000 Canadians discovered that a majority of Canadians feel that all but the poorest Canadians should be able to donate 3% of before tax income to charity.)
  9. External community (Volunteering, builds the friendships and connections that lead to happiness! It is also an investment in the community and society that you live in. A survey polling 1000 Canadians reported that a majority of Canadians felt that  3 hours per month was an appropriate amount of time for most Canadians to volunteer. So turn off the T.V. and get out there!)

Then this morning I stumbled upon the following video clip posted by accomplished thinker Simon Sinek:

So how do you make sense of all this? Well I’ll leave you with a quote from Stephen Huddart of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and remind you that our greatest obstacles are often self imposed:

“In the midst of our struggles to contend with social and environmental issues of mounting urgency and complexity…the answers have always been there: consume less, give more, and engage in community.”

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One thought on “The Happiness Equation

  1. I love the ending of The Happiness Equation when Hallward comments on Club 21. Club 21 was started by his grandparents. When each grandchild turned 21 they received a letter from their grandparents with a check for $500. The letter said happy birthday – here is $500 but it is not for you! The letter went on to explain that the money had to go to 5 separate charities. They had to choose two charities in the province the grandchild lived, two in the province of Quebec where they grew up and one anywhere else. The grandchild then had to write a letter to the grandparents explaining which charity they gave to and why. Once the task was finished they were welcomed to Club 21 and received another $500 check to spend on themselves. I love the idea and hope to do the same someday with my grandchildren.

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