What Makes You Happy?

I (probably) don’t know the answer any better than you. I suspect I’m not much different from any other middle-aged person. Things seem to slow down and, somehow, the world speeds up. A half-century of reflection shakes the mirror at speed. Goddamn millennials.

Bear with me here … I used to work both in marketing and with heavy data sets. My peculiar strength was telling – in plain English – the stories the data told. Jay, my former boss and dear friend instilled the belief in me that anything that could be measured could be improved. Yet, data wasn’t all. Surely, secondary research sketches the lines, but it is primary research that colors within them.


Back in the 70s, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the fourth king of Bhutan minted the term “Gross National Happiness (GNH).” Rather than trade or production metrics, GNH focuses on collective happiness as the goal of governance. Puppies and rainbows, right? Maybe.

———- Everybody Wangchunk Tonight———-

Maybe not.

I admit that the idea of being able to somehow quantify happiness has a certain Vulcan appeal, but it seems too complex, too subjective, too prone to influences or stimuli like environment or body chemistry. Anyone who has ever had a nurse ask them to rate pain on a scale knows what I’m talking about. Still, a formula for measuring happiness seems fascinating, Captain.

I should note that some critics have posited that GNH was – in reality – a propaganda tool, because … ethnic cleansing and what not. I don’t know enough to weigh in on that. And I’m certainly not going on a deep dive here. I’ll not devote any real estate to the four pillars and nine domain metrics of GNH (but if you’re interested, you can find that info here and here).


If the interwebs are to be believed, the sheer volume of returns on a search for happiness suggests I’m not the only one with at least a faint interest in the subject.

Nothing fancy, there, Tufte

I’m satisfied – thus far – with my secondary research on GNH and happiness. What I need is some primary research. That’s where you come in. I built a survey based on the metrics used in determining GNH. If you would be so kind as to take the time to answer 10 quick questions. It would make me ever so happy.

you know you want to



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