Can money buy happiness? Is it possible to measure happiness? Why Denmark is the happiest country? All these questions are addressed in the book of Meik Wiking – Lykke. Meik is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, Copenhagen. Yes, there exists such a kind of organisation. You can find more details about the organisation by visiting https://www.happinessresearchinstitute.com/
The word ‘Happiness’ was the only keyword which made me buy this book. The first thing which caught my attention is the size of the book and the colourful cover.
The book is easy to fit in a small bag but the pages are thick which makes it a little heavy. The hardback cover gives it a sturdy look.
The author agrees that happiness is a subjective term. The reason for happiness differs from person to person. Still, there can be some common ways to gain happiness. Meik focuses on 6 main attributes of happiness – togetherness, money, health, freedom, trust and kindness. He discusses each attribute in great details along with different layers associated with it. Meik gives happiness tips along with the relevant facts and figures in each chapter. Let me give you a brief about each attribute.
Togetherness encourages people to go out and do something with other people in society. It emphasizes sharing within the family, friends and with society. This chapter talks about a co-housing scheme, a sense of community, a shared destiny, etc.
Can money bring happiness? Money may not bring happiness but it can be a resource to make you happy. Being rich does not mean that the person is happy. If that is the case then South Korea should be happier than Denmark. (Refer the book for more details)
Good health can definitely make us happy. Longer life expectancy does not mean happiness. How healthy you are, is what matters. After all, no one likes to spend life by being a burden on the others.
Freedom to make decisions and choices is another attribute of happiness. ‘No people can be truly happy if they do not feel that they are choosing the course of their own life‘ – World Happiness Report 2012. A simple thing as the freedom to chose to work from home when your family needs you can make you happy. Work-life balance is one of the factors discussed in this chapter.
Encourage praise amongst the co-workers to increase the trust. This chapter focuses on empathy, praise and encouragement. Co-operation is the key to happiness and not competition.
Kindness is the last attribute. Being kind to someone can trigger happiness. The author encourages people to go out and do something for others, voluntarily. Kindness is the language a blind can read and deaf can hear. Bringing a smile on someone’s face can make a person happy.
This book grabbed my attention until the end. It has some statistical data but nowhere it overwhelmed me. There are some beautiful pictures randomly spread between pages which are soothing to eyes.
These pictures made me happy while reading the book. While reading, I felt that some tips of happiness are already known to me but that does not make this book a repetitive read. The book gave tips on happiness in each chapter. I recommend readers to try those tips. It is recommended read for all the age groups. Easy but thought-provoking read.
‘The Formula of Happiness‘ published in the Gulf News online edition.
A book review of ‘Solve for Happy‘ written by Mo Gawdat.