Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What is the secret to happiness?

I didn't write The Secret Peace to try to make everyone happier. I did it to reveal information that I think is the truth; as a corrective to a common sense view and media perspective that I think is incorrect because it is too pessimistic. If my research had revealed that the media is often too optimistic, I would have written in the opposite direction. Thankfully, it didn't.

Nevertheless, if world peace is the goal, and one way to define that is a world where everyone is happy, it's certainly worthwhile to work toward our own and others' happiness. Lots of good research is coming out now (some of it counter-intuitive) that is finally shedding a light on just what makes us happy, and author Dan Buettner is at the forefront of it.

Listen to this 6-minute clip of Dan being interviewed on NPR. He's traveled to some of the happiest places on earth to discover their secrets: the security of Singapore, the tolerance and humility of Denmark, and the good weather and environmental consciousness of San Luis Obispo. In all the places, researchers have discovered that things like socializing, less commuting, getting married, and spending money on experiences rather than objects tend to make people happier. Listen to the interview for more great obvious-in-hindsight advice on happiness.

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