Monday, July 20, 2009

Happiness - I told you so

"You see", I told my mother, "if you expect the worse you are often pleasantly surprised".

Turns out, I'm Danish at heart ...
Lowered Expectations - Happy Days Blog -
... Mysterious are the ways of human happiness, as anyone who has surveyed the perplexing, often contradictory research findings can attest. But one nugget in particular truly boggles: Denmark is the happiest nation in the world. More than two-thirds of Danes report being “very satisfied with their lives,” according to the Eurobarometer Survey, a figure that has held steady for more than 30 years. True, Danes tend to be healthy, married and active — all contributing factors to happiness. But why, researchers wondered, are Danes happier than Finns and Swedes, who share many of these traits, not to mention a similar culture and climate?

The answer is, in a word, expectations. Danes have low expectations and so “year after year they are pleasantly surprised to find out that not everything is rotten in the state of Denmark,” says James W. Vaupel, a demographer who has investigated Danish bliss...
I have had the common share of the bitter with the sweet, but I'm generally happy. It could be so much worse.

Oh foolish optimists, so ever cruelly disappointed...

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