world's happiest places to live

The other night, I read an article by National Geographic's Dan Buettner about the world's happiest places to live. So it got me thinking, what really makes someone happy? Why do people in Denmark, Costa Rica and Singapore report being happier than the rest of us. I know for a fact that here in North America, our lifestyle is rushed where everyone is always on the go, so does that mean we are less happy? Two things struck me...

What makes someone happy?
Define happiness. What does it mean to people? This is something that I've been thinking about. It is important to know what makes up true happiness. He wrote it stems from three main ideas: pride with your overall life, your career, your family and values, pleasure like highs and lows in life (marriage, graduation) and purpose using your strengths to reach goals.

What do the happiest places have in common?
This I found so interesting to read about. Places like Costa Rica have the happiest populations and environments because of the following. All kids can read and the education of girls is especially important. This creates a healthy cycle. Everyone is more educated and aware. And the whole society benefits when girls receive education. Public healthcare is important where they have systems to catch health issues before they become major problems. There is also pure trust in these places. And equality. This is no liberal mumbo jumbo but just common observations on the happiest countries. The citizens trust their leaders, politicians, police and each other and there is also more focus on quality of life than just economic development. Another thing I noticed is that there is no army and little guns in Denmark, Costa Rica and Singapore. It makes all of the difference.

Just some Saturday thoughts. I hope one day other countries will take note of these notions to improve their societies as well.


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