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 21 Ways to Become Happier

12 Ways to a Happier World


This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Michael W. Fordyce, 12/14/44 - 01/24/11, whose pioneering work created the happiness movement we enjoy today.  Heaven and Earth are happier places because of you.  Thanks, and stay happy forever and ever.

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HAPPINESS BY KNOWING FREE WILL IS AN ILLUSION!

I explained how overcoming belief in free will can boost happiness on episode 7 Happiness and the Determinism vs. Free Will Question, 4-20-03, and 92 A Conversation about Happiness, Free Will and Determinism, 2-28-05

John Searle, the13th ranked post-1900 philosopher, says that our world overcoming the free will illusion "would be a bigger revolution in our thinking than Einstein, or Copernicus, or Newton, or Galileo, or Darwin -- it would alter our whole conception of our relation with the universe." 
 


Find out why at
my new show,
 Exploring the Illusion of Free Will

 

 

 

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What is Happiness?

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George Ortega's Happiness Skills Theory (2 drafts)

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Start a Happiness Show

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Humankind's Age of Happiness

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Key Happiness Facts
 

World's Happiest Countries:
 
1. Nigeria
 2. Mexico
 3. Venezuela
 4. El Salvador
 5. Puerto Rico
 (U.S. ranks 16th)

Countries with Highest Levels of Subjective Well-Being:
 
1. Puerto Rico
 2. Mexico
 3. Denmark
 4. Columbia
 5. Ireland

Click here for the complete ranking and more information

Americans consider happiness more important to them than money, moral goodness, and even going to Heaven.

Americans are, on average, only 69 percent happy.

The world population is, on average, less than 65 percent happy.

37 percent of the people on Forbes list of Wealthiest Americans are less happy than the average American.

At any given time, one forth of Americans are mildly depressed

14 percent of the nations on Earth are less than 50 percent happy.

Happiness Increase Experiments published in peer review journal have empirically demonstrated that individuals can be trained to be 25 percent happier through various training programs in from two to ten weeks.

All demographic variables combined, including age, sex, income, race, and education, are responsible for only 15 percent of the difference in happiness levels between individuals.

American Children feel happy 52 percent of the time, neutral 29 percent of the time, and unhappy 19 percent of the time.

Americans' personal income has increased more than 2 1/2 times over the last 50 years, but their happiness level has remained the same.

Americans earning more that $10 million annually are only slightly happier than average Americans.

(Click here for Citations and a Brief Paper on How our World Can Become Much Happier)



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The World's Happiest Countries


World "Happiest" Countries vs. Countries with the Highest Levels of "Subjective Well-Being"

The University of Michigan's World Values Surveys (WVS) has compiled data on the happiest countries in the world for over twenty years. Their results are considered the most authoritative by happiness researchers.

WVS measures the happiness of individuals by two different means. The first is to simply ask them how "happy" they are. The second is to ask them how "happy" they are, and also how "satisfied" they are.  The results are then combined to arrive at a measure of their "subjective well-being," a term generally considered synonymous with happiness.

Because of these two different ways of measuring happiness, some confusion arises in determining which countries in the world are happiest. There is support for the the validity of both measures. For example, former president of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Martin Seligman, uses the "happiness only" measure in his book Authentic Happiness.  However, Dr. Ron Inglehart, director of World Values Surveys, considers the "subjective well-being" measure a more accurate indicator of personal happiness.

Therefore on this page I present the international rankings using both measures.

When individuals were asked:

"Taking all things together, would you say you are: 1. Very happy, 2.  Rather happy, 3. Not very happy, or 4.  Not at all happy?" countries achieved the following rankings 
(Dr. Inglehart has not released the complete list):
 

Ranking of the World's Happiest Countries


1. Nigeria
2. Mexico
3. Venezuela
4. El Salvador
5. Puerto Rico

 
Ronald Inglehart et al. (eds.) HUMAN BELIEFS AND VALUES:  A CROSS-CULTURAL SOURCEBOOK BASED ON THE 1999-2002 VALUES SURVEYS (Mexico City: Siglo XXI, 2004).

When individuals were asked the above "happiness" question and the results were combined with the  following question: (On a scale of one to ten) "All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?" a ranking of "subjective well-being" for the following countries was achieved.

Ranking of Countries by Level of "Subjective Well-Being"

 
1. Puerto Rico
2. Mexico
3. Denmark
4. Colombia
5. Ireland
6. Iceland
7. N. Ireland
8. Switzerland
9. Netherlands
10. Canada
11. Austria
12. El Salvador
13. Venezuela
14. Luxembourg
15. U.S.
16. Australia
17. New Zealand
18. Sweden
19. Nigeria
20. Norway
21. Belgium
22. Finland
23. Singapore
24. W. Germany
25. France
26. Argentina
27. Vietnam
28. Chile
29. Indonesia
30. Philippines
31. Taiwan
32. Brazil
33. Spain
34. Israel
35. Italy
36. Portugal
37. E. Germany
38. Slovenia
39. Japan
40. Czech Rep
41. S. Africa
42. Croatia
43. Greece
44. Peru
45. China
46. Morocco
47. S. Korea
48. Iran
49. Poland
50. Turkey
51. Bosnia
52. Uganda
53. Algeria
54. Bangladesh
55. Egypt
56. Kyrgyzstan
57. Hungary
58. Slovakia
59. Jordan
60. Estonia
61. Serbia
62. Tanzania
63. Azerbaijan
64. Montenegro
65. India
66. Lithuania
67. Macedonia
68. Pakistan
69. Latvia
70. Albania
71. Bulgaria
72. Belarus
73. Georgia
74. Romania
75. Moldova
76. Russia
77. Armenia
78. Ukraine
79. Zimbabwe


Please note that not all of the world's countries are included in the survey.
 

Ronald Inglehart et al. (eds.) HUMAN BELIEFS AND VALUES:  A CROSS-CULTURAL SOURCEBOOK BASED ON THE 1999-2002 VALUES SURVEYS (Mexico City: Siglo XXI, 2004).

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