Monday, February 20, 2006

The Chart to Happiness

"Money: If you're poor, money does make a difference. But above a threshold of about $40,000 a year, more won't make you happier. Comparisons, though, influence your state of mind: No matter how much or how little you make, doing better than your neighbor will make you feel better."

What matters the most to you? Money? Education? Social Skills?

What about the least?

Walking up the stairwell in Townhouse 87, you can find my little information kiosk; a magnetic board in which I put up random things such as discount coupons to retail stores, weekly bulletins, and other random things that I may find funny and/or interesting. One particular example is a printout from Psychology Today, a visual of the everyday things in life (like one's sense of humor or one's conception of beauty) and how much it actually matters to your life. It also compares how awesome or boring these things may be.

Of course, these generalizations are very subjective and will vary person-by-person. But logically speaking, the publication's placement of these generalizations on the chart seems to be quite accurate -- at least in my own life.

For example, the quote at the beginning of this post about money struck my eye when I first printed this out last September. It reaffirms just how much of a competitive society we live in and also how central of a role money plays in our lives. And with social skills, it's labeled as Matters More Than You Think: "spending time with friends lifts your mood more than spending time with family. Being cooperative and knowing how to chat up the opposite sex are also associated with happiness."

Take it for what it's worth, ladies and gentlemen. It isn't the modern day Bible by any stretch of the imagination. But next time you get stressed out over something like an exam or paper, just remember that it "opens the door to a better career, but it also fosters higher expectations that may be disappointed." Relax -- because it matters less than you think!


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