What makes people happy?

This is an interesting video talk on what makes people happy.

Arthur Brooks described a study examining the overall happiness of individuals before and after becoming quadriplegic. According to this study, six months after becoming quadriplegic, these individuals had achieved an overall baseline of happiness only slightly lower than their able-bodied baseline. This same study compared the overall happiness of individuals before and after winning the lottery. Six months after winning the lottery, these individuals reported a somewhat lower baseline of happiness than they had enjoyed pre-lottery.

What does this suggest?

Well, it suggests that people are much more resilient than you might assume. And it suggests that getting the Big Win—that shiny luxury car, that huge promotion, that enormous mansion—doesn’t satisfy for long. More generally, the study suggests that happiness isn’t about carefully avoiding the Really Bad Things in life, nor is it about rushing full-steam ahead for the Next Big Pleasure in the Sky. It’s about living your life in the Here and Now, connecting to each simple moment as it is. Its about Faith, Family, Community and Work. It also speaks to all of the recent news about government trying to end poverty when the truth is that the best thing government can do is get out of the way. It also tells us that people with HSP and PLS are more likely to be happy than a lottery winner.