As I was watching Oprah a few weeks ago, she had a man named Dan Buettner on her show discussing how to be happier the "blue zone" way? What the heck is a blue zone? According to Mr. Buettner, blue zones are places in the world where people are exponentially happier and live longer than in other parts of the world - and these places share many commonalities. Residents have high rates of being physically active, of drinking wine (yes please!), eating a primarily veggie-based diet, of belonging to a faith-based group...there are a total of 9 indicators (the "power 9" as he calls them). One point of contention between him and Oprah was on the topic of money. He said research suggested that at a salary of $75,000 per year for a family of four, your happiness plateaus. As you can imagine, Oprah begged to differ.
But I'm wondering if that's really true. Clearly, something to take into account is location. Obviously $75,000 goes a lot further in Cedar Rapids or Cleveland than it does in Seattle or San Francisco. Another thing - happiness is kind of subjective, right? Would you be happy if you didn't own your home? Would you be happy if you couldn't take a vacation? Would you be happy if you didn't have designer clothes? Some things that might be key to your happiness might be more difficult to obtain on $75,000 a year.
Apparently, the $75,000 magic number relates to day-to-day happiness, and that once people make more than that, their day-to-day happiness plateaus. And by people, I mean persons over the age of 15, men and women, and people all over the world. There's also a difference between money and satisfaction (strong correlation) and wealth and positive emotion (more complex). Read more about the story here.
What do you think? Is $75,000 the magic number for universal happiness?