What is Happiness?

There's a difference between a happy feeling and happiness. You feel happy when you do something nice such as eating an ice cream on a hot day.

Happiness is how you feel about your life. It's also called Subjective wellbeing.

What is Wellbeing?

Wellbeing is about the whole person. This concept is based on the science.

Research has found that there's more to life than just money. Life is also about feeling connected, curiosity, being motivated, experiencing awe and so much more.

All these different factors connect to every other factor in your life to produce a whole, single entity - your wellbeing.

Wellbeing factors are divided into 3 categories:

  • Subjective wellbeing or Happiness. It's made up of:
    • How you feel about your life.
  • Psychological wellbeing: It's defined as:
    • How you assess the meaning and purpose of your life.
  • Objective wellbeing, which includes features such as:
    • Material living conditions, like housing, jobs, income
    • Quality of life, like health, education, environment, governance, safety

Your overall wellbeing is better when one of these categories improves.

“ Genes aren't your destiny ”

What causes Happiness and Wellbeing

Scientists have found that 40% of your subjective wellbeing can be explained by your genes. This may be regarded, for example, as the tendency of your personality to express happiness.

But your genes aren't your destiny. The research shows that better wellbeing is possible, above and beyond your genes.

Improvements happen due to the connections between non-genetic wellbeing factors. These factors can influence each other, in a two-way flow. Here are a few examples:

  • Vision and purpose in your life can make you more productive at work
  • Better relationship with family can provide you with more support
  • Happier individuals spend less, save more and take more time when making decisions
  • Positive mood is associated with lower rates of viral infections, stroke and heart disease

MAP is a unique program that can achieve happiness and wellbeing by influencing many different factors.

See How MAP works

“ You improve the likelihood of a better life when you have better wellbeing ”

Balanced and Centered

Let's be clear. Better wellbeing is not a cure-all for your life. People who are happy do get sick and lose friends.

Yet the science clearly shows that - all other things being equal such as genetics - you improve the likelihood of a better life when you have better wellbeing. Learn more about The Science.

But at the same time, better wellbeing is not based on feeling extreme bliss or happy all the time.

Instead, the research shows that an optimal degree of happiness tends to achieve the benefits of better wellbeing. This means feeling mildly to moderately positive most of the time, with occasional negative emotions in appropriate situations.

At MAP we see this as achieving balance and being centered in your life. See How MAP works

“ On average people have grown no happier in the last fifty years ”

The rich field of Happiness and Wellbeing

"There is a paradox at the heart of our lives…as societies become richer, they do not become happier.

All the evidence shows that on average people have grown no happier in the last fifty years, even as average incomes have more than doubled.

What is going on?"

Professor Richard Layard asked this question in his 2006 book Happiness - Lessons from a New Science. Layard is Director of the Wellbeing Programme at the London School of Economics.

It shows how far the world has come with wellbeing when this question is being asked by someone like Professor Layard.

GDP (Gross Domestic Product) was developed in the 1930s to measure economic production. For decades it was incorrectly used, under the title of ‘living standards’, to also indicate progress of our wellbeing, when clearly GDP is an objective wellbeing measure.

About 20 years ago recognition of subjective wellbeing started to grow with green shoots. Now it is a rich field of interest and insight. Academic departments and researchers, private companies and governments all around the world are investing time and funds into measuring and understanding wellbeing.

Some leading contributors include:

  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) - Better Life Index
  • United Nations - Human Development Index
  • World Health Organization (WHO) - Health and Development Programme
  • Gallup-Healthways, USA - Global Well-Being Index
  • UK Government - Office for National Statistics - National Well-Being
  • USA - States of Maryland and Vermont - Genuine Progress Indicator
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics - Measures of Australia's Progress - Society
  • Bhutan - Gross National Happiness
  • National Australia Bank (NAB), Australia - Wellbeing Index
  • London School of Economics, London, UK - Wellbeing Programme
  • Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia - Australian Unity Personal Wellbeing Index
  • University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada - Canadian Index of Wellbeing
“ Happiness and Wellbeing are rapidly growing fields ”

Unique MAP program

Happiness and Wellbeing are rapidly growing fields.

There are at least 60 subjective wellbeing measuring tools alone used in research. Many programs are also available to help improve happiness. Many of them focus on positive psychology.

MAP is a unique program because it:

  • Enables you to measure your current happiness and wellbeing.
  • Also enables you find your way to more happiness and better wellbeing through:
    • a clear vision of what happiness and wellbeing personally means for you
    • personalized directions on how to reach your destination
    • checking how you're going online, wherever you are, whenever you want so you can stay on track
  • The process of feeling happier and better about your life is made more efficient and effective due to the:
    • MAP understanding of happiness and wellbeing
    • Mechanisms that drive MAP
    • Algorithmic analysis of your happiness and wellbeing

See How MAP works

© 2010 - 2017
© 2010 - 2017