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The pursuit of happiness

A article about happiness got me searching.

Sorry, I disagree with the premise that “happiness” is a “sappy word and a flimsy concept.”

Happiness is a goal that is worth the cost of its pursuit!

The article explores the question, “Why are Americans so cheery?” In particular, it looks at some reports that America’s cheeriness is at an all-time high, even with the effects of the recession! According to an August report from the Pepsi Optimism Project (POP; oddly, we call the beverage “soda” in California, and it took awhile to change a life-long habit!), Americans are more optimistic now than a year ago about their well-being (88% vs 84%) and also health, finances, relationships and odds of finding love (70% vs. 61%).

The real “gem” for me was the mention in the article of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which is a survey of at least 1000 people, 350 days a year! The survey was launched in January 2008. The blue line on the page linked above is for 2009, the orange-brown line, for 2008. On this page, you can key in your Zip code or browse the “State and Congressional District Resource for Well-Being Map!”

Whew! At least California is ranked 9th of the 50 states in the Well-Being Index! California is ranked 11th in “Life Evaluation,” 7th in “Work Quality,” 33rd in “Basic Access,” 5th in “Healthy Behavior,” 16th in “Physical Health,” and 30th :-) in “Emotional Health.” But nobody’s perfect….

There are detailed breakdowns on the basis of age, race, income, poverty, language, and education, for all 50 states.

So, if you think that “perception is reality,” (hint: it’s NOT! :-) ), check out the map and decide WHERE you want to MOVE! :-) At least you’ll know how people there answer polls! :-)

In California, we have a lot of “life,” decreasing amounts of “liberty” (… but, likely you do, too!), and wonderful opporunities for “the pursuit of happiness.” Come and join us, if only for a vacation!

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

You can view higher-resolution photos (*generally* 7-30 megabytes, compressed) at the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™, where you can also order prints and gifts decorated with the photos of your choice from the gallery. Apparel and other gifts decorated with some of our most popular photos can be ordered from the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Store on CafePress®. Both Shutterfly™ and CafePress® ship to most international locations worldwide! If you don’t see what you want or would like to receive an email when new photos are up on the site, send us an email at

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