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A Matter Of Opinion

What makes you happy?

Politics is not mentioned in this article, yet here we are discussing it every day. Are we masochists?

Anyway, this article has a lot of data on the distribution of wealth and the correlation between that and happiness. It also mentions other things that make people happy and miserable.


Among the things psychologists say won’t make you happy in the long run are material possessions in general (we get bored with them, and they require maintenance), luxury items (every car goes the speed limit, every watch tells time), long commutes, wealthy friends or neighbors (you’ll be envious), complicated lives, bad marriages and, on a day-to-day basis, kids (they’re a lot of work) or one’s spouse (great for security, but not all that entertaining).

What will make us happy, shrinks contend, is simply aging: people tend to be most unhappy in their late 30s (often the peak of juggling career and children), then happier the older they get, on into retirement. Other things that work are good health, security (a home, job and retirement fund), independence, a good marriage, an interesting job, free time, having children (they’re good over the long run even if they do drive you crazy), friends and family, a challenge or sense of purpose, and interesting experiences like a vacation that can be remembered.

What makes you happy?

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A Matter of Opinion is really a matter of many opinions — those held by the people responsible for the opinion pages of The Spokesman-Review ... and yours. Check in regularly to follow the discussion and help keep it lively.

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