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