Purchasing power does NOT build happiness.
INSEE (French statistics organization) has released its “France, portrait social – 2008 Edition”. In this publication, there is a study on the level of feeling of happiness over time in Western societies, especially in France.
It is inspiring! The steady increase in gross national income per capita, has nothing to do with the change in the number of people satisfied with their lives.
The old adage “Money does not buy happiness” obviously comes to mind. This is so true, and I saw it every day in my office, many of our customers are beginning to integrate into their business plan, the happiness variable !
Another key interest of this publication, happiness is also a function of the comparison which is done to others. We are happiest when we are comparing favorable and less happy when the comparison is unfavorable to us.
To go further, the purchasing power has nothing to do with happiness. Happiness that many sociologists and other professionals trying to quantify is primarily subjective. Any ethnicity, culture, holds her outside the financial levels, a certain level of common good base. Depending on countries, regions, there are disparities in the level and understanding of the concept of well-being and happiness.
We (the French) are well world widely known to be grumpy and especially the world champions of antidepressants comsumption. So there is a question to ask on the roots of such evil. Quest for perfection? High self-concept and shift in the means to get there? Soil structural cultural pessimism?
What is certain is that this is reversible! See the highlights of the World Cup 1998 Soccer or two days ago the election of Barack Obama. The thrill of happiness that have come on our hexagon are evidence that happiness is a psychological concept mainly influenced by external factors.
Bhutan is one of the poorest countries and yet says BNB (Gross National Happiness) as an important variable in the progress of his country.
The filter that one builds itself between it and external events is directly related to it’s abilities and knowledge. Teaching and demonstration of the helping staff (psychologists, psychiatrists, coaches …), will be needed and vital.
It’s to each of us to take our share and disseminate. Happiness is within the reach of our compatriotes as others do in other countries.