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The Key to Happiness on 60 Minutes

February 20, 2008

I find it intriguing this whole idea of what really makes us happy. Because my life so far as been a case study in finding out what things I thought I wanted that don’t actually make me happy. When I was 18, I looked forward to my future as a Marketing VP, living my perfect life in my perfect house with my perfect husband and kids. 15 years later, I’m learning that no logoed purse or Plasma television makes me feel happier than simple time spent with my family and friends.

So intrigued I was to see on Yahoo a link to a 60 Minutes segment called “The Key to Happiness.” Turns out – surprise, surprise – that Americans aren’t actually that happy as a whole. In fact, we score pretty darn low among free nations, and the wealthiest zip codes in the country have some of the unhappiest residents. In our quest to have it all, in our belief that more is better, we’ve lost the focus on what is most meaningful to us, and let those family and friend relationships slip. The professor interviewed in the segments commented on how American women are particularly unhappy, not enjoying time with their children, because they don’t engage with their children. Apparently, they’re too busy admiring their new designer handbag?

So why do so many people equate their happiness with how many toys are in their house? And by toys, I’m not talking about Fisher Price, I’m talking HDTVs, SUVs, MP3s, and all other manner of cool abbreviations.

So take a look at The Key to Happiness, and let me know what you think. On one hand, it all seems so obvious, but if it’s so obvious, why are we all still trying to attain more things rather than relationships?

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