One of my favorite thinkers is Dr. Larry Schweikart. He was a history professor of mine at the University of Dayton and still teaches there and is the author of many best selling books. From time to time he sends out some comments or some thoughts. Recently, he was doing some research on happiness, of all things. Below are the thoughts he sent me; I found them interesting and compelling.

Take a few moments to read this and think about his comments. For one, his comment that countries that have a lot of trust are also happy. I have found that to be true in business as well. If your team knows you trust them and you do trust them, happiness seems to find everyone! Have a great week!

Are you aware of that there is a journal for the study of happiness?

Paul Veenhoven of Rotterdam is one of the leading “experts” in the scientific basis of happiness in the world. Among his (and other) findings, reported in Eric Weiner’s book, The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World (12 Books, 2008):

1) Money does buy happiness to an extent. Surveys showed that happiness quotients are increasing even in western countries, and increasing a lot as poorer countries get richer.

2) Homogenous nations like Finland and Denmark are happier than diverse nations like the U.S. There appears to be a connection between “diversity” for its own sake and unhappiness.

3) Countries with larger gaps between the rich and poor are . . . happier than those with more equal economic levels. (My take: People are happier knowing it’s possible for them to get ahead, even if they aren’t there yet).

4) Africa is the unhappiest place on earth. No African nation got above the middle ranking on the happiness index; most were at the bottom.

5) Trust and happiness go together. Nations with high levels of trust also report high levels of happiness.

6) Generally, too many choices make people unhappy. There is a “happy medium”—with one exception: the USA always favors more choices rather than fewer in psych experiments.

7) People who report faith in God “test out” as happier on surveys.

One thing seems to universally assist in happiness, according to the studies. Chocolate.

Thanks, Larry. Also click here for more insight on happiness.

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