A new Harris Poll Happiness Index indicates that Americans are not as happy today as we were just two years ago.
Minorities, the disabled and college grads were less happy than they were previously. Only a third of the poll said they were “very happy”.
It could be the job market. Or the sequester or for that matter political issues like immigration. Women were happier than men (35% vs. 32%). Independents (32%) were not has happy as Democrats and Republicans (35%).
What is happiness?
One of the best definitions I have ever seen is from Martin Seligman, a well-known researcher in positive thinking and author of Authentic Happiness. He says it comes in three parts:
- Pleasure (the “feel good” stuff)
- Engagement (“good life” or work, family, friends and hobbies)
- Meaning (using our strengths to contribute to a larger purpose)
Of the three, engagement and meaning are the most important to living a happy life.
Sometimes it takes a roadmap to find where we want to go.
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions” – The Dalai Lama