Happiness is a key requisite all over the world and is indeed the right of every man, woman and child. The charter of every nation needs to incorporate this prominently
- Why do we live and work the way we do? Why do we do all that we do in a single day and repeat it every day? Why do we work so hard? Why do we earn money?
- There will be many answers to these questions. But the one underlying theme, after the basics of living are met, seems to be a perpetual quest for happiness. The pursuit of happiness seems to be that one big thing all of us chase religiously everyday. Knowingly and unknowingly.
- What is happiness then? At the very peripheral level, happiness for me is a beach bed in Goa. Happiness is my favorite Pomfret Recheado, served fresh and hot. Happiness is a cup of coffee with my favorite biscotti. Happiness is what makes me happy. And most of these are very small things.
- What makes you happy? And are we happy all the time, or at least most of the time? Are there countries that are happier than others? And are there whole groups of people who are happier than everyone else? What nudges happiness really?
- There are many questions. If I look around at happiness studies in the world of academics, there are many. Even the United Nations takes happiness seriously. The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network publishes a World Happiness Report annually. Their studies across every one of the UN member nations collates measures and metrics of happiness, and lists the top 10 happy nations every year.
- What are the metrics they use to measure happiness? The GDP per capita, life expectancy, social support structures, trust and corruption indices, perceived freedom to make life decisions and ultimately a big word called generosity. From every country, 1,000 people are asked to rate their “quality of life” on a 0 to 10 scale.