If you're like me and Wandrin Lloyd, you're over making New Year's resolutions. They only serve to take us out of the "now," the place we'd rather be, but keep overshooting due to the momentum of Tasks (resolution based goals). Lately, the looser the "plan," the better I feel... the faster the world goes, the more I want to slow it down.
I worked my ass off in blue collar "trenches" in order to have lots of "Options" someday. Guess what? "Someday" always seems to be around the next corner, what with anemic real estate values and psychotic investment strategies on Jitterbug Lane (Wall Street). A CD renewal last week brought a whopping one tenth of one percent. Now we have Options, baby... Options to go back to work, that is.
So "Options" and "loose Plans" gets blown up by the "Money Changers." Boy, if I only had a whip and immunity from prosecution I'd pull a "Jesus Christ" fit in the old Fed "Temple." So there's nightmares of "Treadmills" and "Tasks" reemerging on Oak Street. Did you ever notice the inverse relationship between Options and Tasks? It seems the more Tasks one has, the fewer Options available to them.
For instance, and based on personal experience, I see "Employment" as a Treadmill... a Task... and something to be escaped in ones "Golden Years." There are exceptions, of course, but in general; if you are not a Boss, you are likely dumped on for what few and minor things you do not execute with normal perfection, and ignored for the myriad of things you do right. Just my experience...
But, I also know from experience that too many Options can be the Mother of Procrastination... we could do this, or we could do that, or we could go here, or we could go there. The Psych/Soc major in me wants to know the relationship between Happiness and Options. In my youth I associated Options with Wealth... Gee, if I had enough money I could do anything, go anywhere! Wouldn't that make one Happy, doing all the anythings and anywheres they want?
After a little (and I mean "little") armchair research, it turns out that the relationship between Options and Happiness is also inverse, i.e., the more Options, the less Happy. Gee, indeed.
This, of course, left me wondering (what doesn't leave me wondering?) about the "Geography of Joy." Not so much who, but where do the Happiest people on earth live? I think Scamps touched on this when they were on their World Tour last year. Drum roll, please...
After querying residents from 148 countries on their degree of "Happiness," the Galluping Pollsters anointed Panama as having the "Happiest" people in the world. Huh, that suggests I was correct in predicting an inverse relationship between Options (Wealth) and Happiness; wonder why?
Are Panamanians somehow better at living in the "Now" than the rest of the world? Could it have anything to do with the fact that they don't have enough money to have "Options?" Might Options (Money) be the evil root of "Unhappiness?" Naw, couldn't be. Why some of the richest people I know of are Happy... take Hollywood, for instance... oops, bad example :).
So you are dying to know; if not in Hollywood, where fame and fortune abound, where? Where are the Happiest People In The Whole Wide World located. Is there a Geography component to Joy? Drum roll, please...
Seven of the top ten Happiest places are smaller Latin American countries. It seems the Happiness factor has an inverse relationship to modernized ("developed") countries, even Latin ones.
Is it the relaxed Latin work ethic... the siestas, margaritas and señoritas? America allows for the occasional "three martini lunch" for "business" purposes, but not siestas with señoritas during work shifts. So how did America fare on the "Happy" scale? We came in at number 33. It seems the Beatles were right, "money can't buy me love," and, evidently, it doesn't buy Happiness, either.
It might surprise you to learn that some of the "people least likely to report positive emotions live in Singapore, the wealthy and orderly city-state that ranks among the most developed in the world." A businessman in the prosperous Asian metropolis said, "We work like dogs and get paid peanuts. There's hardly any time for holidays or just to relax in general because you're always thinking ahead: when the next deadline or meeting is. There is hardly a fair sense of work-life balance here." Sound familiar?
You may want to keep that in mind before you "resolve" your way deeper into the "American Dream" this year. Time is more valuable than money, unless you are filling it up with Tasks.
Damn the treadmills. Full speed ahead!
|This might be one of the exceptions to "Money can't buy me love."
|Lovely Ouray is still Lovely in winter