World Happiness

What is the reason for human existence? That’s a big question. Some will say there is no reason, others will say this is a very complex question and takes entire books to answer. But maybe one concept can sum it up: Happiness. Bliss. Joy. Contentment. Pleasure. Satisfaction. Delight. Ecstasy. Euphoria. Elation. These words encapsulate the reason for existence. But now the trickiest question of all; how do we bring these words into a constant reality?

The school of psychology at the University of Leicester in the UK has been trying to solve this problem. Through a system of thinking called Positive Psychology they are finding way to measure GWB (General Well Being) or SWB (Subjective Well-Being). The map below shows some of their findings. Here is the study and also a ranking of all the countries in the world according to happiness. Denmark ranks number one, while the US ranks 23 and the UK ranks 41. But it is my belief that this study is largely bullshit.

I did this earlier post about the king of Bhutan who was concerned with GDH (Gross Domestic Happiness)

The Leicester study found that access to health care and education were major indicator of overall happiness. However the study has serious flaws because most of the research was done in the economically developed countries that already ranked highest in subjective well-being. My main question, and what is never addressed in the study, is how does spirituality play into this research? I take the above map with a big grain of salt because I question the research methodology. However I love the direction the research is going in and believe it is one of the most important aspects of human life there is.


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