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Measuring Happiness

April 10, 2012

What is happiness and how can it be measured? Not an easy answer; not an easy task. The OECD has come up with a Happiness Index; the UN has a human development index (HDI), which measures quality of life but is loosely refered to as a “happiness index”. Leger Marketing has the Global Barometer of Happiness to measure people’s perceived happiness. Although there may not be a definitive answer as to what makes one happy, the results are though-provoking no less. In fact, many people are curious as to where their country stands in such rankings. The Chosun Ilbo wrote an article last May entitled “Korea Scores Low on OECD Happiness Index” which has lead to some introspection.

Students: Are you happy or unhappy? What makes you feel this way? Do you agree or disagree with any of these surveys and results? Do you have any critique of their criteria and methods? What would you consider happiness to be? What factors should be considered?

Note: You do not have to answer all of the questions above. Choose a couple of interest and write a paragaph. Also, since this is CRITICAL READING and writing, it would be nice if you read some of the links above.

57 Comments leave one →
  1. April 10, 2012 9:10 pm

    They say if you become rich, then you’ll be happy. But is it true? According to the Global barometer of happiness survey, economy itself doesn’t seem to affect critically in terms of happiness. On the other hand, struggling for better economic state reproduces more unhappiness. Although Korea has been developed in such short period of time, We still feel unhappy about our incomes, housings and work-life balances. People have been focusing solely about what country makes more money than others. But it should not be the criterion to judge nations anymore. A new measurement system should be adopted.

    • proftodd permalink*
      April 12, 2012 5:53 am

      Regarding the concept of ‘rich’, perhaps we can distinguish being rich from having an income that provides a suitable living standard – a standard that allows enough financial freedom to do or be what you desire. Living standards in developed countries usually provide their citizens with more freedom to choose a lifestyle they want and that meets their expectations, which is an important factor in determining happiness according to the OECD and the UN, and personally I agree with that. Koreans have become richer and with higher living standards. However, other economic factors such as burdensome educations costs, limited employment options, and high prices for products (especially with inflation running so high these days) have, as you said, made Koreans unhappy about their incomes. There is also the aspect, as I mentioned, of expectations. People with unreasonably high expectations or expectations brought about by external pressure (everyone has a new smartphone, so I should, too) can distort perceptions. Perhaps, if a person had more reasonable expectations and worried less about what other people though, his/her happiness might increase.
      Note: I only touched on two factors – a high standard of living and reasonable expectations – but certainly access to a good education and health care, family and friend relationships, ect. are important, too.

  2. Kij(C1) permalink
    April 11, 2012 10:20 am

    One day, I’m so happy, but sometimes this thought is rapidly changed by another things.
    Whenever I think of the my future job finding, I feel nervous. It’s really stressful! But, I’m always so happy when I talk with my family at home. My happiness changed minute by minute. According to a above survey, South Korea ranked 26th in the happiness index of 34 countries, and Japan was placed 19th in the index. According to the index, Japanese people feel happier than the Korean. Is this really true? Happiness are relative value, and these things are subject to change with time and place. This suvey is simply a average. To take the measurement of happiness by statistics is impossible, because happiness is abstract concepts and relative value. Therefore, I do not agree with any of these surveys.

    • April 12, 2012 8:43 am

      Is it a problem that Japanese people feel happier than Korean? Irish and Canadians are too apparently…

    • Dalin(T) permalink
      April 14, 2012 12:59 am

      I also think that happiness is hard to be measured because it is abstract and relative.

  3. Cold(C1) permalink
    April 11, 2012 1:20 pm

    I think that happiness can not be measured because it is so vague. The income or any properties can make people happy but that is not all. Someone might values on health, families and so on much more than money. Happy is the value that you can gaun through how you think of you. Everyone has similar backgrounds and situations in their lives, but someone says he or she is happy but the others might say not. It depends on the way you think and feel. Positive people might think that they are happy even in difficult situations, on the other hand, people might think they are unhappy in just a normal situation.

    • proftodd permalink*
      April 12, 2012 6:09 am

      I agree that measuring happiness is elusive. However, according to the studies, income is not the only determinant of happiness, and they distinguish income from living standards. Also included are access to a good education and health care, which you mentioned, expectations of citizens, life expectancy, and so on. Also, I agree that positive people perceive situations differently than negative people, but situations in high income countries usually differ from those in low income countries. It is interesting that, in general, the countries that rank highly in levels of happiness usually have high standards of living.

  4. Energizer0105(C1) permalink
    April 11, 2012 3:51 pm

    Many people try to be happy and they want to have happy life.

    However, according to “Korea Scores Low on OECD Happiness Index “, hard-working and a higher education can’t make people happy.

    Then, What makes you happy?

    In my opinion, When it comes to happiness, it depends on each person.

    That’s because everyone has diffrent criteria of happy and we have different view of happyiness.

    For example, someone consider money as the most important thing in their life, but the others take leisure activities into account.

    Therefore, the important thing is that we should keep trying to be happy and have happy life.

    I believe happiness lies in your heart.

    • proftodd permalink*
      April 12, 2012 1:49 pm

      You said, “However, according to “Korea Scores Low on OECD Happiness Index “, hard-working and a higher education can’t make people happy.”

      Actually, working too much does not make one happy. The article said, “Korea scored high in education, safety, and jobs but was in the bottom group in work-life balance, housing, and income. Koreans worked 517 hours more than the OECD average of 1,739 hours.”

      From the study, working too much and not having a proper work-life balance can make one unhappy.

      To Chaily below: I understand the workers’ plight at most companies and agree with you. Actually, what I stated above is not my opinion but information from the article. I was merely pointing that out.

      • Chaily (T) permalink
        April 12, 2012 7:07 pm

        Yeah, but you’ve got to understand the social atmosphere, too! You’d probably know since you’ve been here over 16 years . In Korean companies, employees can’t usually get off work at the exact finishing time due to constraint feelings brought by superior officers – if they don’t want their subordinates leave the office, the poor guy just can’t. They don’t really comply with work hours, and it has been this way since half a century ago. They need a law to strictly prevent this phenomenon.

  5. Zakk (C1) permalink
    April 11, 2012 4:36 pm

    I have been heard about this subject. Many people always says “Wealth is not the only criteria to measure happiness.” Yes that’s right. I completely agree with this. But what I want to say is wealth is not ‘the only’ criteria, but it is still important for us. Some surveys have shown us that even they are living in poor condition, people in undeveloped country seems happier than us. It may suggests the importance of grateful attitude to our life rather than the wealth. This is really good idea but we need to consider about other aspects.Because speaking words is easy, but doing them in real life is very difficult. To poors feel difficult to survive everday, needs not only that kind of hope but also the wealth. Another people, who had lived as rich then became poor may feel difficult to have a positive mind. But I mean I don’t deny the importance of the attitude. I think we should not ignore the importance of wealth. It can’t be the only criteria, but it’s very important factor too.

  6. Jack (c2) permalink
    April 11, 2012 5:28 pm

    Which conditions do I have to satisfy and which situations do I have to be in to reply ” Yes. ” to a question ” Are you happy? ” ? In several surveys, organizations which conduct a survey ask about safety, leisure, economic situations, religion, etc. However happiness is too subjective and flexible. Although people meet same conditions, some people feel happy and other people feel unhappy. A man who was the happiest man in the world yesterday can be the most unfortune man in the world. Happiness is also very sensible. Therefore it is stupid and not effective to ask about some conditions and calculate happiness by other figures to measure happiness. The best way to measure happiness is only to ask ” Are you happy? “. The answer to that question is right answer only at that moment. In one second or one minute, the answer can be changed. To measure happiness is meaningful but impossible.

  7. Ohmygoodness (c2) permalink
    April 11, 2012 7:22 pm

    Is it possible to measure an abstract concept “happiness”? Many organizations have been trying to measure the degree of happiness and list of which country people are happy and less happy. We got to hand it to their efforts. However, happiness contains enormous conditions, states and situations. On “Korea Scores Low on OECD Happiness Index”, they categorized happiness of OECD member countries on the way asking question “Are you happy?” to the citizens of the country. The way was totally depends on the people’s moods on the day. Like this, making standards of happiness is hard even it seems impossible. If someone asks me “are you happy?”, I would say “I think I’m usually happy but sometimes i’m not happy”. One word more, in my case, one of factors that makes me happy is to think as “I’m happy and I’m thankful to everything” even though my situation is not that good.

  8. April 11, 2012 8:09 pm

    I slightly agree the investigation. But it is not considered important because each person has the meaning and factors of happiness differently.
    I am happy when I am with my girl friend or I eat delicious foods such as a chicken and a pizza. Also when I get a good grade or jisung-Park score goals , I am happy. ^^
    I think the most important factor of happiness is the self-esteem(self-confidence). We are often happy or unhappy by comparing other people. So we don’t satisfy continually many things such as money and beauty. And we will be nervous finally. It is not genuine happiness.

  9. Jasmine(C1) permalink
    April 11, 2012 8:41 pm

    According to “Korea Scores Low on OECD Happiness Index”, the happiness index is compiled based on 11 categories. But, I strongly think that happiness index is not measured by any criteria. The reason is that happiness is personal feelings by self-satisfaction regardless of wealth, job, or education. The rich are not always happy if they are not pleased with themselves. Moreover, just feelings can frequently be changed, and it depends on one’s situation. For example, the student with the upcoming exam will probably be sensitive and unhappy before taking an exam. On the other hand, if the student gets good grades after the examination, the student will certainly be happy and delighted so much. It’s the same in my case. As I mentioned earlier, for these reason, I have to differ on the results of the Global Barometer of Happiness. I just think that everyone has the happy moment in one’s life.

  10. watson (T) permalink
    April 11, 2012 9:29 pm

    Most people including me go about repetitive daily lives. They are tired of routine but they can’t free from it.
    As the article says, Korean people work a lot for a living. Many people work every day without rest and often work overtime at night. I think they lost individual time, freedom, pleasure, leisure and just work.
    Because Korean people live in intensely competitive society, people just run without considering their aptitude, enjoyment, meaning and life purpose. I am so sad and frustrated about this situation. I am also living like them. So I am not too happy and satisfied with my life.
    Our society and people these days measure other’s life and success by wealth such as a car, the size of house and income and status. This causes much more intense competition and makes vicious circle. We must find what we really want to do and change the view of life. If we do that, we will be happier than now. Happiness is always near to us.
    Our attitude and view could change many things.
    We must not forget happiness depends on ourselves.

  11. Laura(c1) permalink
    April 11, 2012 10:13 pm

    I totally agree with the survey’s results because whenever I ask to someone about

    happiness they thought they were not happy. I frequently think about happiness of our lives

    and I guess I might not feel happy in Korea if the situation going on likes these days.

    Korean society makes people work a lot without leisure time or spare period. It doesn’t give

    the motivation to live. Also, the reward from works doesn’t enough to make feel happy.

    Even though I spend quite much time in works, I couldn’t get enough money even during

    the night. The staff of coffee shop’s salary for one hour is cheaper than coffee’s price. We

    have to change the policy if we want to be happy.

  12. Chaily (T) permalink
    April 11, 2012 11:58 pm

    No one can possibly insist the Better Life Index of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development is the be-all and end-all, however you can grasps some ideas here. No wonder the world’s number 1 tycoon America does not take up in any of the high rank position – just like a corny old saying, “piles of money is not necessarily going to make you happy.” What I do find from Australia which ranked the first place of that index out of those 34 nations is that public welfare has been set solidly. The Australians have more education opportunities, have more jobs but work less, live longer than the OECD average. In order to achieve the well-beings of citizens, while working and living earnestly in each position, everyone has to consistently watch over the government to see if they bear themselves right, and even be ready to fight if there is any unjustness. The index finally states the civic participation of Australia shows a higher level than other nations in terms of politics as well. South Korea’s case of happiness cannot be fixed into the way it is in western nations considering cultural backgrounds and lifestyles, but before complaining about their lives, people need to realize how much effort they have actually put in to make things better already. My parents’ generations (who were mainly born in the ’50′s and ’60′s) sacrificed their youth to make the economy better, but only some of them were brave enough to fight the dictatorial government who were exploiting their people. Now things have become a lot better for each citizen, even for a cowards like me, to participate in the politics area. Today, the 19th general election was held in Korea but the voter-turnout allegedly marked only “54.3%” in the end. Where were the other 46 or so? Matters of life such as education and job security are so convoluted that they cannot be changed unless there are well-guided laws, or else people would do things whichever ways they want to do. If the citizens will keep remaining dormant in their political awareness, there will be nothing changing for the future but only more complaints.

    Sorry, this is the revised version.
    And please vote next time, folks!

  13. Elena(T) permalink
    April 12, 2012 12:29 am

    I think the element of hapiness is that do not have a concern about future. In this case, I agree with that survey’s result. Most Korean have too much concerns. They have to get a good grade in Korean SAT, get a good job after graduate. If they don’t have a good grade or job, they will get a lot of worries.
    In other aspect, I think the hapiness is depends on our perspective and mind. If we take a cheerful view of life, our life can be changed. We can enjoy our life more and search small hapiness in our daily life.
    The most important thing is that we have to make an effort to be happy!

  14. angela11 permalink
    April 12, 2012 1:11 am

    I agree with the survey conducted by the Chosun Ilbo, which came to be low on OECD Happiness.
    Philippines they are poor but I heard that they are in high ranking for feeling happiness.
    I think its because if some people have lots to loose than they feel uneasy and anxious, however if they have nothing to feel I think they tend to feel okay. Like saying go with the flow . So I think this is why Koreans are not feeling happy because Koreans wants everything in rush , if they dont think their life is not going right way they tend to get more depressed than others the reason is that they have high expection for themselves .

  15. April 12, 2012 8:42 am

    Here’s a thought!

    It would be interesting to see a survey that measures how angry people in the world are according to the country they live in, because if these surveys show people are particularly satisfied then a level of anger should coincide, right? Do you think it would be easier or more difficult to answer a question that basically asked, “how angry are you”?

    I think education has a lot to do with understanding where you stand in the world, be it happily or not. This understanding relates to knowing what is your right, what you deserve, and what you have to fight to achieve.

    Perhaps this imbalance has a lot to do with happiness levels. If you have to struggle to get everything in your life and you know you are struggling, then perhaps this effects your happiness, or more importantly, your anger.

  16. YSY(T) permalink
    April 13, 2012 1:25 am

    I can say that I’m happy now, and factors of my happiness are various. The factors are existed from a trivial thing to an intrinsic background. In other words, they can be a coffee that I drank just before, today’s event that I watched a movie due to the early finished class, plan to visit department store tomorrow for new shoes, and my parents who gave me some money for the new shoes. Happiness is made up by not only one factor, but it is the combination of all the situations which she/he is in. As a result, it is hard to get a definitive answer what makes one happy.
    Some people think they are unhappy, although they have everything they want except only one thing. This is the case that one part of the happiness-combination is frustrated. It doesn’t matter how much he/she has, but it is the matter that he/she doesn’t have the thing they want mostly now. Other people think they are happy, thought they aren’t wealthy in happiness-combination. The reason is that he/she has the thing they want exactly, or he/she is so optimistic that he/she doesn’t matter the poor situations. In sum, most important factor of happiness is that how much he/she is satisfied with the situation or happiness-combination.

  17. gom0509(C1) permalink
    April 13, 2012 2:44 am

    What is happiness?
    It is very difficult to answer the question.
    Are you happy?
    What is happiness?
    If anyone asks, most of people will hesitate and they will deeply think about it. Even for me, this week’s topic made me think over the word “happy” for few days. I still have no answer for the question. I heard from a friend that Philippines spend their money right away which mean, they don’t chase money. Most of the Korean people value the wealth and honor to avoid others looking down on them. Due to the fact that Korean parents pressurize their children, the value of happiness goes up gradually without letting them know.

  18. IDGOMIN(T) permalink
    April 13, 2012 8:53 am

    I think that the standard of OECD isn’t everything to judge happiness. Statistics collected by the OECD shows each country’s economic level, the averages of labor time, and purchasing power parities, etc. However, happiness depends on not only people’s perspective, but also their minds. Of course, a person who has a great amount of money can feel happy. But a person who has little amount of money and not enough food to eat can also feel happy. People have different point of view about what brings happiness. I actually want to say that there is no criterion to judge what happiness is. What happiness is differs from person to person. For some, happiness comes from wealth and honey, and maybe for some, it’s from others’ happiness. But I don’t think there is an absolute way to measure happiness. You see, I am happy because I have family who cares for me, I can do what I want to do, and I can study in a good educational place. Surely, I could say that if there were no supports and encouragements from my parents, I could feet unhappy and sad. For me happiness is to love and to be loved.

  19. wipa(c2) permalink
    April 13, 2012 10:47 am

    According to an article ‘Korea Scores Low on OECD Happiness Index’, they measured the criteria of happiness based on housing, jobs, income and education. I think, however, the criteria is related to a person’s satisfaction for anything. For example, if one person is satisfied with high income, he or she will work diligently for getting high-paid. Then he or she would feel pleased with this, so the person could be happy. Also, if another person feel satisfied with education, he or she will study much harder than other people. So the person could feel the happiest when he or she reaches the goal.
    In other words, the criteria of happiness would be up to an individual’s satisfaction for anything. Therefore, I think the criteria for happiness can be different individually.

  20. SUN(T) permalink
    April 13, 2012 10:52 am

    According to the surveys, happiness can be measured in a number of ways, such as income, job-quality, education, leisure. The survey shows that West, North Europeans and South Americans feel happier than Korean and other asians. I was little surprised that Latin Americans feel happy compared to other countries. It is common to think that the economic factor influences people’s lives for the most, but, it finds out that South America is one of the countries having high happiness index . Latin people are happy because they have passionate characteristic. From this statistic, Global Barometer of Happiness, I could know happiness can be affected by culture, custom and even religion.

    With these statistics I can know a variety of criteria that affects people’s happiness and I think mathmatical expectation can also be one of the barometer because when the people have low mathmatical expectation, these people can be happy with little small happy thing.

  21. April 13, 2012 11:28 am

    I can say ‘I’m happy’, but korea ranked 26th among 34 OECD member countries in the Better Life Index. I saw lots of document that says korea ranked under the half among the countries. I think it’s because koreans are too busy and they don’t consider the small things as a happiness. When I talk about happiness, I consider Health, Money, People around me, Being loved one, and leisure time. ‘People around me’ means having someone who I can trust, and talk a good thing or a bad thing with all my heart. ‘Being loved one’ means that I should have a good relationship with another people with understanding. I think ‘to love and to be loved’ is the best thing in my life.
    Among these, I think ‘Health’ should be considered although all of these are important because this is the most basic thing. I mean I will not be happy if you lose your health although you have a big money, a good people around me.

  22. Heather(T) permalink
    April 13, 2012 11:44 am

    The factors the surveys show are quite correct and I personally agree to their results. It’s very unfortunate that Korea is not evenly ranked high in every list. It means even though Koreans can be happy with one part of their lives such as education or safety, they still have to worry about things in other parts like income or housing. For example, some Koreans may have a hard time finding a job even after they graduate from a prestige university. Korea can’t guarantee complete happiness to its citizens with this kind of system. Because of this reason, I don’t feel really happy. Although I’m a student of a good school and I don’t have to worry about burglars or gangs as much as people of other countries do, I still have a possibility that I would be bothered by low income. Since Korea is a little peninsula with a large population, tough competition is inevitable to get a well-paid job. In addition to that, I think the national welfare system plays a crucial role in determining how happy citizens are. I’ve heard that many Northern European countries have very great welfare programs and the articles prove it. Many Northern European countries are ranked high in the surveys. In my personal opinion, Korea doesn’t have a good welfare system and many people feel that Korea needs an improvement in that field. Sadly, Korea is failing in using its good systems to improve other systems which need further development. Therefore, it should put more effort on ensuring better systems of income, housing, work-life balance or any other parts not mentioned here for the citizens.

  23. Asutin(C2) permalink
    April 13, 2012 11:48 am

    I’m that kind of person who is always trying to look on the bright side. I’d like to make people laugh, so I thrive on collecting funny stories to get them more closely. I know that If you do not smile in front of mirror, the mirror never give you a smile back. I’ve seen a impressed lecture which was ‘The Happy Planet Index’ at TED by Nic marks, a statistician, on the You tube. He addressed five ways how make us happy by way of conclusion in his speech. The first thing is to connect. Social relationships are the most important cornerstones of our life. The second one is to be active. Being active is necessary for our positive mood. The third one is to take notice. He asked that how aware we are of things around me. The fourth one is to keep learning and be curious. And the final one is to give. People get more accustomed to take something unconsciously in daily life. There is an interesting experiment. A man give two groups of people a hundred dollars in the morning. He said that some of them to spend it themselves and the others spend for other. The statistic of this study shows the group which spend a one hundred dollars for other are much happier than another group. I absolutely agree about those ways. People consider GDP, the social position of their income as the standard of happiness and surely we can’t deny these. But I want to say who want to be happy. It’s up to you!

  24. Nasri(C1) permalink
    April 13, 2012 12:28 pm

    I always tried to find the definition of happiness. The time I was 22 years old, I wanted to find what is the happiness, and which can give me the happiness. I read a book about money, that led me decide money can do it, so I decided to make money by working in Australia. I’ve never tried cleaner, dishwasher, farmhands and pizza maker before, at first I worked overtime just because of money, working 7days a week 12hours a day. Keep working like that I started feel this is wrong, although I earned quite a bit huge ,but had a vacation for a while. I spent 2weeks for vacation nothing but hanging out with my friends and sleeping. One day on vacation I just woke up, and had breakfast at cafe, during eating I finally realized this is the happiness for me not money. In my case I totally agree with the survey, money is important,could be forever, doesn’t mean a measure of happiness, may be happiness is just a simple thing but too simple and small that couldn’t recognize it.

  25. Celine(T) permalink
    April 13, 2012 1:09 pm

    I think the articles above make so much sense. To be honest, unfortunately, I don’t consider myself as a person who feels happy. There are a lot of factors which keep me from regarding my life as a highly qualified one. These are roughly consisted of wealth, educational backgrounds and even appearance and so on. All of those values which dominantly decide whether someone is happy or not are mostly constructed by the society. People are actually evaluated to be happy or unhappy by these measures as long as they are the member of Korean society. At the same time, they use that to pick out the successed among the failed and it is directly related to the happiness index. In other words, Korean’s happiness is determined by how many income they earn, how much they are educated and how good looking they are against their will. It is sort of a tragedy but we can’t abandon our conception because it’s been already solidly established in our lives. I think if our society persists in considering those measures as sole mean to be happy, it would be tough to achieve the desire to be happy. I hope that the society would turn its eyes on other factors rather than the existing ones. Then I think I could call myself as a blessed person.

  26. Chrono(C1) permalink
    April 13, 2012 1:31 pm

    I always think about ‘what is happiness?’. Because life would be aimed to the happiest life. But the survay shows that Koreans are not happy apprently, even feel terrible. I agree this results. I know that happiness is not money, education or jobs. They are perceptions of looking what happiness is. I would say happiness is ver vary from country to country, because it needs to be concerned by context of the country’s situation.

    Thinking avout korea, we were terrible war about 50 years before, that made country a huge mess ruin. Everybody who looked that chaos said this country couldn’t recover. But now, Korea is the one of powerful country in the world. What makes this happens?

    In my opinion, Koreans always think about the ‘obligation’ about all of things what they should do. For example of me, I thought that I had to study hard to enter good university, I had to go army to defense my country for national security, I had to get a decent socres to qualify big promising company, and I had to take care my perents when they are getting old etc…

    These ‘obligations’ are core of how this country made a miracle development, but it also made lots of chains binding our minds. It would not be a good answer becasue someone feels happy by doing this, but not for me. absolutely.

  27. Jess(C2) permalink
    April 13, 2012 3:23 pm

    According to the OECD Happiness Index, Korea has relatively less people who are happy about their life. Nevertheless, I personally think that measuring whether your happy or not really depends on where your priorities stands. For instance, if you value money and material possessions, than anything else of this world, than that will determine the person’s standard of happiness in life. I personally value relationship with my family and friends more than money, and I’m satisfied with my life seeing that I’m keeping good relationship with people around me. Likewise, each person can find happiness in such different aspects of life. Therefore we cannot fully rely on those statistics and define our life in Korea with its results only. Everyone has different opinion on particular things, e.g. even if you go to the same university, some people are satisfied with their education system while others aren’t. Furthermore, one might be happy with what they currently have, while other might want some more to it. And, this kind of idea can go on and on…

  28. savanna (c1) permalink
    April 13, 2012 4:17 pm

    Defining happiness is difficult. However,once I came across a slight idea of happiness. The moment came when I was choosing a chewing gum in a store during an exam period. At that time, I was so stressed out, but while I was occupied with choosing a gum, I felt happy. It may sound silly and I thought that too. However, this cast some insight on happiness to me: I feel happy when something I like takes up my mind so intensely that I forget everything else.

    Likewise, I feel happy when I read a weekly edition newspaper on saturday morning in a tranquil mood, when I chat with friends and family, when my mind goes blank while excercising, and when I’ve achieved something. A peaceful and positive state of mind is happiness to me.

    I think some factors for happiness are frequently referred to ,such as monthly income and education because without the factors, that kind of peaceful and positive state of mind can be disrupted easily. Yet, I don’t think those factors are absolute standards. If someone can stay in a peaceful and positive state of mind without the factors, then he or she is happy, but I guess those cases are less common.

    In addition, I also think that expectation toward the future can affect the level of happiness because people with hope are likely to percieve the same situation more positively.

  29. (T)Mary permalink
    April 13, 2012 4:31 pm

    Recently, I had hard times. I couldn’t satisfy myself, so I wasn’t happy at all. It seemed like everyone looked perfect and happy except me. I couldn’t find any strengths of mine. I think many senior students would have experienced these feelings just like me. The more pressure we get, the more unhappy feelings we get. Then, what pressure makes people unhappy? Many Korean seniors worry about getting job after they graduate school. Unemployment is huge social problem in Korea. According to the ‘Happines Index’, Australia ranks high among many other contries. In Australia, their employment rates higher than the OECD employment average, and they paid more than the OECD average. It shows that earning money is one important factor of being happy. It is true that when people have enough money, so that they are afford to enjoy wealth, they become happy. However, life became more complicated these days. People want more and more. The society became competitive. In this situation, sometimes people who know less than others or have less money than others look happier than those who have all. Because they haven’t experienced any rich life before, they don’t get stressed or worry to lose what they have. From this fact, I realized that happiness is coming from inside of myself, not from outside. When we don’t satisfy ourselves and continuously comparing with others, we cannot be happy forever.

  30. soojpoo(c2) permalink
    April 13, 2012 4:42 pm

    Searching for happiness has always been the number one life target throughout the history of humanity. Still, millions of people are spending most of their life time, looking for ways to become happier and yearning for factors which are necessary in achieving happiness of their own. But before measuring happiness, we first have to be aware that different factors have different degrees of influence on individual’s perceived happiness. For some of them, achieving social status could be the most important happiness factor in pursuing of higher living standards. However, money could be the crucial factor in defining happiness for others. Therefore, I think that ignoring all these various factors and rating individual’s perceived happiness according to one set of barometer is not appropriate in measuring how happy they are. Well, living in a capitalistic society where high income is intimately related to the word “success”, it is true that money is an essential factor which can never be neglected. However, to me, the state of well-being and being happy does not always go with economic wealth or with social status if it is lack of things I value the most such as caring and heart-warming feelings between families and friends.

  31. Ferrari(T) permalink
    April 13, 2012 4:52 pm

    People have been desiring for happy life. However, there is no definitive answer how to be happy. Am I happy? well… Strictly speaking, I’m not unhappy! What is standard of happiness? The main criterion is one’s own value for happiness. There’s no abolute standard of happiness. Therefore, I disagree with any of these surveys and results. One thing I can make sure is fame and wealth are not necessarily proportional to one’s happiness. The rich can buy a lot of things, but not happiness. I felt happiness through smile of the poor who live with their beloved people and never lose their dreams. As a result, the only one way to be happy is belief ‘ I’m the most happy man in the world!’

  32. Gee(T) permalink
    April 13, 2012 5:33 pm

    What make us happy?

    It is difficult question to answer. Someone think being a rich is to be happy. Someone think differently. Going over the happiness index, barometer of happiness, I am certain that it is clear wealth is not consistent with the happiness.

    The fantasy that makes people dream being a rich is prevalent in media and it is changed fast into different form of fantasy. The criterion that decides what life is better or not is just is made by something or someone.

    The fundamental things to keep our life better, for example ersatz, commodity, furniture and etc., partly assure happiness but those don’t be a criterion. There are los of chances that makes us reconsider the happiness through literature, movie, personal experience and etc. So if someone asks me “Are you happy?” Then I’ll answer “I don’t know what the happiness is”. Albeit the barometer and data are useful to estimate how many people feel happy in terms of theirs nation, economic status, those don’t exactly explain the happiness People experienced. The try to gauge happiness to data is good only in trying to data an abstract idea.

    The definition of happiness is different by people. Personally I think happiness comes from duty. This idea comes from literature, “night flight” written by Antoine maric Roger De Saint Exupery but my best friend disagree this opinion put it “The Happiness comes from achieve during One’s service”. Therefore I think the happiness is conception in our mind and whether I am happy or not is just up to our thinking about the happiness.

    It is time to think about what the happiness is thorough introspection not using barometer that can’t reach fundamental answer.

  33. April 13, 2012 6:06 pm

    To acheive real happiness, we must be able to meet good consort.
    It sounds like very nonsense. but It is true. How much we earn money, How much we get lands and How much we learn information aren’t mean happiness. we have to get human’s emotions. Why Korean unhappy? because, we are very individual, not cooperative. we just know ourselves. Think about that If we see a man who lies on a road, then I think anyone access easily. I saw this situation on TV last year. But If foriegner such as amerian and others saw this, they move him into hospital. It’s difference between Korean and others(conturies). and this is why Korea has low happiness lank.

  34. Stella(C1) permalink
    April 13, 2012 7:36 pm

    These days, I have got stressed too much. Whenever I commute to school, the bus or subway is always packed. I really hate crowds, but it is unavoidable unless i give up the university. In spite of this problem, I am really happy now. I feel happy when I chat with my friends and boyfriend, and escape from crowded bus or subway. I feel happy when the class finishes earlier than i expected, and when I have a good lunch with best friends. These trivial things make me happy. I am grateful for every little things and what i have. I believe happiness depends on how people think about it.

  35. Julie(C2) permalink
    April 13, 2012 8:23 pm

    I think we cannot objectify ‘Happiness’. First of all, happiness is highly subjective. For example, It makes me feel happy to eat delicious foods and play with my dog. But other people might think that earning a lot of money or doing leisure activities makes them happy. Also, Happiness is very variable. We even feel happy or unhappy at irregular intervals for a few minutes. So we cannot judge someone is happy or unhappy person. A lot of people have their own ways and time to feel happy, how can we determine the ranking of ‘happiness’?

  36. Ray(C2) permalink
    April 13, 2012 8:27 pm

    In a modern society, everybody want to feel happy. Although we have enough money, food, healthy body, we terribly think ourselves as a useless thing. What is the measure of happiness? All i want to know is we need love. There is a food we didn’t feel hunger. Also we have money we can buy needed thing. Therefore little satisfaction for reality make us sate. In addition, The feeling about caring someone or protected from somebody help hurted people. Remember, trival happening is mostly unimportant in our life. We must enjoy a present – carpe diem-

  37. Nathan(C1) permalink
    April 13, 2012 9:41 pm

    As the proverb that “Even though we get the world, it would be of no use to lose the health.”, health is my most important thing, when I think about happiness.
    Chosun ilbo said that housing, jobs, income and education are the index of happiness, but those of things are no useful without health. As I’m getting older, I have seen that so many people have various disease or died. Imagine If one of your family got a sick, can you feel happy even though you have a lot of money and power?? When my mom had a surgery, I was very depressed. That time I had lots of money and a plan to go to the abroad, but I was not happy. Now I don’t have money and I am struggled with assignment, I’m enjoying them because I am health. If we lose our health, we can not do anything. To enjoy your life, you should be healthy.

  38. ROTC (C1) permalink
    April 13, 2012 10:08 pm

    I think that happiness is not related with wealth or power.
    Some people think these factors decided how much people are happy . But it’s wrong fact. Some years ago there was a case that can certificate happiness ,wealth, power are not related. One woman whose parents are president of big company suicided because she thought she was not happy enough and she had a mental disease though she had lived very abundantly. Another good case that proves three factors have no relation is that lots of people who won the lottery are not happy after they got an ocean of money . However in the scores of happiness index , country who got high score is Bhutan . As we see happiness is not related with money or power . I think that happiness is just on our mind and thinking . Person who thinks everything in good way and thankful will be happy . But person who think everything in pessimistic will not be happy forever even if he is a millionaire.

  39. mintlover(C1) permalink
    April 13, 2012 11:51 pm

    First of all, I am happy and partially I am satisfied with my life. Because, I have a lot of friends and acquaintance and I can do many things by myself. However, those are not possible for some people. Whenever I feel dissatisfaction about something, I remember that there are many people who are in the worse situation than me. Frankly speaking, I am not satisfied with my life 100%. Especially money is always not enough to buy all things what I want. In addition, I am not good at drawing, so I cannot draw well like painter. I want to travel once a week, but it is not able to do because of more important things. I think the satisfaction or contentment can come from the affirmative mind and positive attitude. Even if there are any adversities, positive thinking makes me act in positive ways. In my opinion, radical economic progress in Korea influenced for people do as fast as possible whatever they do. “Quickly, quickly” is one of the representative characteristics of Korean. I think that kind of attitude cause negative mind or attitude so people cannot easily be satisfied with their life. People always want to all thing going fast and all problems solved as soon as possible. If not, people usually feel discontentment and become more dissenting their life.

  40. Goldrena permalink
    April 13, 2012 11:58 pm

    People mostly think that the feeling of happiness cannot be measured and the factors which affect on how people feel happiness are totally different depending on people. I think, however, there is something specific which make us happy. Among the surveys above, I believe that the most interesting and accurate thing for me was ‘Global Barometer of Happiness’. That’s because we only ourselves know whether we are happy or not. This is my basic thought, though, I feel certain that some culture is better than the other in making people happy since I looked over those surveys. The factors of happiness could be money, education, health, employment and so on. I consider, however, how people spend the rest of time apart from work is the most important. For example, in Nigeria and Ghana, people ha ve strong family bonding and they prefer to spend time with their family in most of time. In brazil, – I can say Brazilian know how to enjoy life, you know The Carnval festival-. Lastly, north european who live in the rich countries value their leisure time. Money doesn’t matter. The only important thing is that you spend your time on making you feel happy!

  41. Dalin(T) permalink
    April 14, 2012 12:55 am

    Although people today have lots of outside conditions such as wealth, and honor compared to the past, most of them feel unhappy. This means that outside condition like money is not indispensible to human`s pleasant life. Then what makes people happy? As to me, I am unhappy when I don`t have enough time to think and play. I have no choice but to do my work and study even during weekend. I can`t even dream about learning something interesting because of lack of free time. This kind of situation makes me feel unpleasant about living life. Therefore, I think when people have many interests and hobbies, they feel happier. It is because hobbies can relieve people`s stress. In addition, even if people lose one thing to do, they can still depend on other things. Liberty is also a crucial element for happiness. Quoting ‘Brave new world’ written by Aldous Huxley, if there is no liberty, people will lose their individuality completely and become nothing but a meaningless existence. There is no happiness when there is no meaning. In ‘conquering happiness’ written by Bertrand Russell, maintaining health, keeping abilities generally, retaining money enough to sustain life, and carrying out social assignment are essential factors for happy living. I totally agree with this opinion. Lots of people think money is the best and believe money make them happy. However, money can`t be a ultimate aim in human life. As a result I disagree with criteria and methods above.

  42. HJE(T) permalink
    April 14, 2012 1:26 pm

    According to the surveys above, they measured people’s happiness by objective factors, such as income, housing, education, and so on. The surveys present a question why the rich cannot feel happiness, despite of their wealth. That is, people generally think that they should make lots of money to be wealthier. However, it is a common misconception about the happiness. Money should be used as a means of being happy, not happiness itself. Also, happiness is a very subjective concept that should not be measured in any way. I think all people who have at least one thing to be thankful for are happy. For example, I’m thankful that I have family and friends, and that I can study in university even though I’m very tired because of assignments. We can easily find these kind of things around us to appreciate. Happiness is not up to wealth, but a little thing around us. Happiness cannot be measured by objective factors like surveys above.

  43. April 14, 2012 3:37 pm

    It is true that with enough money one can buy all the things one wants, and live a life of comfort and security. However, it is equally true that lack of money causes great distress.
    Nowadays, a lot of people in society think the more money they have, the more happiness they will obtain. As a result, they will try their best to get money, even without considering the law.But in my view, the greatest happiness lies in one’s satisfaction with one’s surroundings. So long as we can look at things with a happy heart, we can be happy. It has nothing to do with the amount of money we have. Therefore, people shouldn’t pay too much attention money we have. On the contrary, what they should do is to put their money to good use and try to have an optimistic outlook all the time.

  44. April 14, 2012 3:46 pm

    Nowadays, a lot of people in society think the more money they have, the more happiness they will obtain. As a result, they will try their best to get money, even without considering the law.But in my view, the greatest happiness lies in one’s satisfaction with one’s surroundings. So long as we can look at things with a happy heart, we can be happy. It has nothing to do with the amount of money we have. Therefore, people shouldn’t pay too much attention money we have. On the contrary, what they should do is to put their money to good use and try to have an optimistic outlook all the time.

  45. Ann (T) permalink
    April 15, 2012 10:36 pm

    Usually, I think i’m happy but I sometimes feel unhappy for many reasons. I usually feel happy when i eat my favorite food or have time with my beloved people. However, I sometimes think i’m unhappy when i feel tired and overwork. According to this article, Korea in the bottom group in the OECD average for satisfaction with life have higher rank rather than Northern European countries that ranked high in that. For my expriences, I agree this fact but disagree the total rank that Korea are higher than Northern European countries because satisfaction with life is sometimes more important than other things. Also, I think it is impossible to measure happy because everybody has different standards.

  46. Molly(c1) permalink
    April 15, 2012 11:58 pm

    I’m happy. Of course, I’m tired because of money, job, test and so co. But I’m happy. Around me, there are my family and friends who love me, whom I love. I spend my time with them. They belives me and I belive them. The components of happy are how I am sastisfied.
    I satisfiy my life. And I have positive mind about my future. I have confidence to myself. Happy is depend on own mind. It can’t mesure by anything. In the same situation, someone feel happy , someone does’nt. Happy is not a temporaly emotion. So, same situation can be felt diffrently depend on person. Also, If someone change his/her thought, he/she can be happy is same situation.

  47. Amy(T) permalink
    April 16, 2012 12:03 am

    According to Choseon Ilbo news, Korea ranked 26th among 34 OECD member countries in the Better Life Index OECD released. Even though Koreans worked much more hours than the OECD average hours and had a higher educational level compared to the OECD average, their average household income was not as much as they worked and they didn’t feel satisfaction with their life. Why this phenomenon could happen?
    I think this survey can show us the problem of our society. Korean have been trying to earn a lot of money and become the rich. In this regard, people have been trying to study hard and go places. Then they could get money. They keep themselves busy. They don’t let themselves relaxed and feel free. It means they do not have time to spare for themselves and think back to the days they’ve been living. I think the most important thing in the happiness we should consider is satisfaction of our own life. Do not be greedy and thank for everything you have. Even though I am a rich, I cannot be happy if I cannot feel satisfaction of my life. On the contrary, I can be happy, if I like my life and have the feeling of happiness despite I do not have enough money.

  48. Wicked(T) permalink
    April 16, 2012 12:41 am

    I am so happy these days because I got a job at the company that I have really wanted to work. Therefore, I totally agree with the result of “Global Barometer of HAPPINESS FOR 2011” They said that the unemployed and retired are less happy. In my case, I just eased pressure about getting a job in youth unemployment status. That makes me happy. In this study’s case, however, they pointed out social activities. When people stop working, most of them feel lethargic. They rarely get chances to meet many people and to feel a sense of achievement. In addition, they usually have to worry about their financial status. That is why these people are less happy. Moreover, I absolutely agree with the statement that “it is not the amount of money you have but the relative status which you enjoy in your society makes you feel happy.” It is undeniable fact that money is one of the important factors that people feel happy but, it is not the most important factor. I believe that happiness is in all the mind.

  49. Nora (T) permalink
    April 17, 2012 12:11 am

    Nowadays, I am not happy. I am a student and I should be faithful to my study, but I am studying and working together. Too many works that I have to do are pressing me and making me tired. It is too much for me. What is worse that I cannot stop working to my livehood. I feel I am always tired and I think I am always doing something, but the outcomes are usually not enough. It is the unsolved mystery in my today’s life.
    In the meantime, however, happiness dpends on what I am thinking, so I can feel happiness when some positive thinks come to my mind. It means, although my life is hard, it is not that I feel always unhappy. There’s only a very fine line between the happiness and unhappiness. Therefore, it is hard to say “I am happy” or “I am not happy” in a word.

  50. angela11( CR2) permalink
    June 22, 2012 12:45 am

    Now a days Im not happy. Im stressed and worried about my unclear future. Since Im a senior who is searching for the job, now a days I get happy when I get invited to the interview and accepted to the next round . I get really sad when I fail the interview right before the final round. And that after the interview I get sad for one month. Keep thinking about the my dream company that I wanted to work for and keep thinking about what I did wrong in the interview and I cant stop myself regretting the interview. I think I will he happy if I get a admitted from my dream company. Hope they can hire me.

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