Posts on octobre 2009

Je m’étire la langue…

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Petits étirements du muscle avant le retour aux bercails: ba be bi bo buuuuuuuuuuuuu!

Vous l’avez décidé avec 66% des votants, j’écrirai dorénavant en français sur ce journal de la toile autrement appelé blog par nos amis anglo-saxons. Chui hyper jouasse de me réapproprier ma langue maternelle même si là je suis encore en rodage.

Dès la semaine prochaine, je vous ferai part de mes découvertes sur le bonheur en allant interviewer scientifiques, philosophes, badauds et pourquoi pas Bardot. Je serai également très heureuse de publier ceux qui veulent exprimer leur vision du bonheur. N’hésitez pas à me contacter.

Fellow english speakers, fate has spoken: it will be french. I will switch this blog to french as soon as next week but… but… I will keep my Tumblr in english on the same subject: Happiness. There is a few articles I wrote I would like to share with you and it is also very important to me that I stay in touch with the rest of the world. I will stop butchering your beautiful language on this blog and will go back to butchering my mother tongue 😉 Take Care.


Poll: Should I switch to french?

synthese-geographique-google-analytics74% of moodtep’s readers are located in France. So I believe the question is legitimate: should I switch this blog to french? Help me out to take a decision.

74% des lecteurs de Moodstep sont en France. Peut-être est-il temps de rechausser ma plume française pour explorer le bonheur? Qu’en pensez-vous?

Can happiness be measured?

When I was younger, I studied Economics at the University. I had to use esoteric terms, complicated theories, hypothesis “all things being equal”, going from micro to macro… I felt I had to understand a monster created by us but not for us.

We have to feed the giant to maybe have a chance to see him do what we want him to do. The pulse of the beast: the GDP. But didn’t we develop all those tools to have a better life? Is it working?  What’s the point of all that if human wellbeing is not in the center of our economics?

A small but famous country, Bhutan, is showing us a new way. Bhutan is Famous for it’s measurement of gross national happiness instead of GDP. But measuring happiness is a first step and doesn’t mean that the country is the country of happiness. A wave of suicide has been reported as a consequence of modernization and weaker family links.

Measuring happiness video by New York Times

But can we really measure happiness?

Let me introduce you to my friend Gilles who is passionate about emotions and founded an emotion based city guide: Sencities. He is working with specialists in the field of emotions and introduced me to Florent from the Lab LUTIN (Imp in French). They pluged me on a machine that took several data like my heartbeat, my eyes movements and my breathing. The lab is studying and measuring our emotions for industrial purpose, in this lab it’s specifically for the videogame industry but we can easely imagine that it could be used to measure happiness eventhough for the moment they can’t make the difference between anger and happiness for example.

I tried an other machine/gadget/tool that claims it can raise your happiness level: hearthmath. It  helps you monitor your emotions and through exercices coordinate your brain and your heart. It’s called coherence.

Technology is trying to measure happiness but on a world level it seems that happiness became a hot subject. Even the very famous social network Facebook launched an analysis of our happiness level using keywords in users status. Learn more about it with this article or this video.

But in the end do we need so many criterias to measure happiness?

In Hypertension and Happiness across Nations , David Blanchflower and Andrew Oswald measured blood-pressure of 15,000 randomly sampled individuals from 16 countries. They compared well-being with high blood pressure and found evidence that suggests that happier nations report fewer blood-pressure problems. It matched happiness measurements that were made with a simple scale of subjective happiness.

This other study “examined the accuracy of measuring happiness by a single item (Do you feel happy in general?) answered on an 11-point scale (0-10). Its temporal stability was 0.86. The correlations between the single item and both the Oxford Happiness Inventory (OHI; Argyle, Martin, & Lu, 1995; Hills & Argyle, 1998) and the Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985; Pavot & Diener, 1993) were highly significant and positive, denoting good concurrent validity. Moreover, the single item had a good convergent validity because it was highly and positively correlated with optimism, hope, self-esteem, positive affect, extraversion, and self-ratings of both physical and mental health. Furthermore, the divergent validity of the single item has been adequately demonstrated through its significant and negative correlations with anxiety, pessimism, negative affect, and insomnia. It was concluded that measuring happiness by a single item is reliable, valid, and viable in community surveys as well as in cross-cultural comparisons.”

We can continue measuring cold data like money but I believe that there is space to use happiness as a legitimate indicator and driver for our society. Who’s in?

Your own steps to happiness

step firestep seestep greenThere is no recipe for happiness.

Astounding. I have a blog about happiness trying to conceptualise it and now I say there is no recipe.

It’s true. For me. Everything I write on this blog is my path on happiness. Those are the steps I made to understand my truth. I guess there are as many ways to reach happiness as there are individuals.

So yes you can try to squeeze happiness in a book or an application but true happiness is boundless and there could be as many books as people. My happiness is what you may sense in this blog through words. But It’s a every moment appreciation.

Happiness is a cursor. Happiness leads you to your true self.

True self could sound mystic but let’s take out the glitter. True self is for me when my thoughts, my emotions, my acts, my heart are in sync.

Happiness opens the doors of compassion, love, excitement, peace.

It’s the flow of coincidences, the smile, the quick steps on the pavements. Happiness is confidence, the eye quick to catch. Happiness floats around you, generous.

Sure now I can look back and see the books, the people, the events that touched me but take those same books, people, events and throw them at me in a different timing and I would have heard nothing.

There is no recipe to happiness. There is a questioning and a listening to the answer that can come in any shape like a dialogue with yourself.


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