03 Aug In search of happiness
Check out this interesting article from the Huffington Post…
By Mike Indursky
There's a cool search tool on Google called Google Trends. You can enter any term and see how many people searched that term in the U.S. and around the world. It's kind of a popularity barometer in the search world. After entering Mike Indursky and seeing that absolutely no one has searched for it (not my mother, former girlfriends, people I owed money to, anyone!), I decided to be more high level in my thinking and entered three different words: Economy, Environment and Happiness. The first two are very big concerns in the world, and I was curious to see the level to which people searched these topics. Certainly the environment has been a huge concern, especially since An Inconvenient Truth came out years ago. As far as the economy, well, that's always on people's minds, especially with the seemingly-daily financial crises around the world. And, as the president of Bliss (great title, huh?), the global spa company that's all about happiness, I threw that in as well to see how the terms were related or not. The results were very enlightening and provide a huge insight into what's going on in the world today and the impact on trends in happiness and well-being.
Eight years ago, the index on people searching for environment was extremely high. The index on people searching economy was roughly half of that. And poor little happiness was less than half of that — a very poor showing in third place. However, over the eight years, the index on environment and economy have decreased month after month while the index on happiness has increased at almost the same rate to a point today where all three terms are at roughly the same level. Why would this be? Why, after a winter in the U.S. which felt like summer in India, and as Europe teeters on the brink of financial collapse, are people not searching these terms as frequently? It should be increasing, right? And why is the search for happiness increasing at virtually the same rate those terms are decreasing? Are these coincidences? Not at all. It's a dynamic where as the difficulties in the world increase and negatively affect people's happiness, we become increasingly aggressive in our search for happiness in the same proportion. In other words, the more miserable you're making me, the happier I want to be.
People realize that they cannot control the environment, the economy, or war or crime, but they can and desperately want and need to control their happiness. Think about it. Sure I recycle and I'm a damn good recycler, and I'll occasionally give my New York angry guy look if someone litters. I might even say something. And yes, I'm upset about Greece and Italy and closer-to-home JP Morgan and the market and how all this will impact my wallet. Both of these issues truly concern and upset me. The sad truth is that I can't control or have any meaningful impact on the environment or economy. But, I can control my happiness!
One could argue that the decreasing search on environment and economy indicates less interest in these topics. It's actually the opposite, I think. People are increasingly concerned about these issues because they directly affect their happiness and are taking more and more control by searching for tools and solutions to improve it…
…keep reading the full and original article HERE