As if somebody else could tell us what makes us happy. But it is true. There are limits to how much happiness money, education, and employment can buy. (Ask Bill Gates).
Beyond a limit ($40,000 per year as of date), money is only able to buy comparative happiness (10-15 percent). Its not merely about keeping up with Joneses, its about being one up on Joneses. But then, it is to get social attention. Which means, we hate to be ignored, and forgotten, as if we didn’t exist.
Personal beauty brings happiness only if we are able to flaunt it and benefit from such flaunting. Like getting more attention and better job.
For those who religiously go to Church every Sunday, it may come as a surprise that it is not the faith, but social life that accompanies such ritual that accounts for most of that feeling of happiness after such a visit.
Friends are major contributors to happiness according to the author. Age – yes age is another major factor for happiness. How come? They don’t compete, they don’t fear not meeting the deadlines, and they have enough in their kitty to see them through for the rest of their lives, which is not much., while the young ones still have a long life to plan for.
Intelligent people (read perfectionists) are a unhappy lot for obvious reasons.
Recreational activities contribute to happiness, and so does social work. Social work in particular, brings in a feeling of meaningful contribution to the society and prompts a feel good factor.
Sense of humor allows the person to genuinely relax, and take things easy.
Narcissism is a great rescuer from the clutches of unhappiness.
In a nutshell, friends, social circle, social work, recreation, sense of humor, love for self, age, and to certain extent, beauty, job, money, and education contribute positively to happiness. Inadequate money, excessive intelligence, and inability to cope up with Joneses makes us unhappy.
Conditions apply. Those who want to be unhappy with all positive factors in their kitty can still manage to be so.