A different way of surveying happiness

So David Cameron’ first results are back from his survey into  the nation’s happiness:

See the results here

In a nutshell – the majority of people (76%) rate their happiness in the UK as around 7 out of 10.

Additionally:

  • People who were unemployed reported lower levels on average compared with those who were employed
  • Married people are happier than single or divorced people
  • Teens and pensioners are more content with their lives than those in their late-30s

Nothing too startling here but one does have to wonder about that statistic of 76% rating their happiness as around 7 out of 10. Is this not a reflection of that typical northern hemisphere conversation:

“Good morning Mr Smith and how are you?”

“Fine, thank you. Can’t complain.”

I think most people really wouldn’t admit to feelings of happiness to someone that they don’t know that well. Also this ‘mustn’t grumble’ approach is one knocked into us from a young age:

  • ‘Stiff upper lip’
  • ‘Count your blessings – there are thousands more unfortunate than you’.
  • ‘Don’t be selfish’ etc. etc.

It makes for very dodgy happiness measuring, if you ask me.

What I’d like Mr Cameron to do is to hit the streets and ask:

  • Do you feel you are following your passions?
  • Would you say you are on track to fulfilling your full potential?

I’ve mentioned it before but I love Dan Pink’s measure of fulfillment:-

AUTONOMY  – feeling that we are in charge of our own destiny

MASTERY – experiencing ourselves getting better and better at something

PURPOSE – sensing that we are part of something bigger than ourselves

(See his TED speech here).

They should ask this question too – “how much do you feel you have Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose in your life?” Give each a percentage rating.

It would at least get people thinking.

 

Advertisements

One response to “A different way of surveying happiness

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s