Gallup has been conducting public opinion polls for the
past eighty years.
Founded by one of the great market researchers of the last
century, their name has become synonymous with relevant, timely, and accurate
research on what people around the world think and feel.
In their annualhappiness and well being index, their survey
questions ask people to think about yesterday, from the morning until the end
of the day, reflecting on where they were, what they were doing, whom they were
with and how they felt. And they pose a series of specific questions, asking
people to remember the following:
If they were
treated with respect all day, if they smiled and laughed and learned something
interesting, if they were satisfied with their job and the work they did, if they
got to use their strengths to do what they do best, and if the people at work
created an environment that was trusting and open.
Happiness, then, seems to be driven more by experiences
than by things. Not just by the hedonic
pleasures of the senses, but also the eudaimonic
joys of connection.Having a horizon to point to. Having multiple
centers of belonging. Having a daily doorway toboth sustenance and sanity.Having
things in our lives that make us excited to wake up in the morning. Having a
combination of positive emotion, engagement and meaning and satisfaction.
The irony is, inasmuch as we need to relate to and connect
with others to become happy, the world will not devote itself to makingus happy.
Ultimately, we are still accountable for our own happiness.