There was a re run of These Days on the other morning interviewing David Schkade, an economist at UC San Diego who, “with a handful of scholars across the country are involved in new research that seeks to determine what makes people happy.”

It was a great little piece and I am very tempted to read the academic research that they put out. A lot of it is just reinforcing stuff we already intuitively know [buying that thing won’t really make you more happy] but it is always nice to have cold hard quantifiable data backing you up. The way Schkade put it, if you increased your income by 8 times, it only makes as much of a difference as having a better commute, or having a good job, that things that are more in your control in the short run can have just as much affect on your happiness. I think the most important point he articulates is that “the currency of your life is the way you spend your time”, if you spend your time doing activities that you enjoy and that are meaning full to you then you might well be happier. He talks a lot about the commute; I have always been vehemently against any sort of commute. We should all live within a stroll or non sweat breaking bike ride distance to our workplace, I think.

Again, a lot of kind of common sense ideas, but still insightful and inspiring- it re affirms why I might choose a career that pays a lot less money if it is fulfilling on a daily level [something that has been on my mind a lot lately with the big graduation approaching] which is nice to be reminded of now and then.

{yes balloons are the "next"}


  1. I'm totally with you. I've read a lot of psych research on happiness and try to take it to heart. I have a low paying job but don't care because I love all the free time I have to enjoy the little things in life outside of work. If only I could get my boyf onto the same page...

  2. thank you for this reminder. $$ does not equal happiness! (nor does the perfect bag. sigh.)

    olivia hopped the balloon train! hilar.