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My favorite blog takes a look at how we should all take the data produced from "happiness" studies with a grain of salt, especially if you’re letting them help determine important life decisions.READ THE ARTICLE
I’m always interested in reading studies based around happiness – How to elevate it, how it relates to aging and most importantly, retirement. However, my favorite blog takes a look at how we should all take the data produced from these studies with a grain of salt, especially if you’re letting them help determine important life decisions.
What makes you, “you”: Off the bat, there is the issue that comes along with individual personality. In many cases, your personality can be the strongest predictor of happiness, as extroverts naturally tend to report being happier than introverts in such studies. Often times, this “happiness data” doesn’t take into consideration the manner in which your personality sways the numbers, nor the outlying factors or additional circumstances that might make you feel less or more happy.
Don’t let the numbers dictate: Additionally, the simplistic scale of rating your level of happiness from say one to three can create an incredibly narrow concentration of happiness. Not only does it leave out bigger factors of joy, such as meaning and purpose, it also often fails to incorporate the accomplishments you achieved through hard work or obstacles you overcame. Living near children in retirement might lead to greater happiness for many, but what if it is due to your declining health and need for care? Rather than reading the numbers and running with them, take time to look inward and base big decisions on what you know best about yourself.
Bottom line: All data can be skewed due to interpretations, input and any number of other variables. The same is true with retirement planning and what you hear on the news. Take any generalizations with reservations.