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#1 Source For Happiness? Best Friends


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Based on results from an ongoing happiness survey on October 2007, people have room for improvement in the happiness department. On a 7-point scale where 7 equals “excellent, " overall happiness averaged only 4.7-and that's adjusted up from the AIR Equation:

Happiness = 50% Acceptance 28% Inspiration 22% Respect


Of all the people in our lives, best friends were the highest rated. What catapulted them to the top? Acceptance and respect. We need to better prioritize our time with them since they are leading sources of joy. Based on survey results, best friends rank next to last in the amount of time spent with them.


Although on the surface our spouses and love interests rate high, but in the final analysis, they rank last. The biggest culprit? Not giving us enough inspiration. I have heard this sort of thing before from married ones who have tried to apply positive thinking to improve their lives, only to have their spouses weigh them down with negative thoughts.

This finding reminds me of the movie “Pursuit of Happyness" where the wife was a constant wet blanket for the hustling husband. And what about the quote Jesus left us: “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own relatives, and in his own house. " If you are in this situation, accept it as human nature and keep working hard on your dreams.

According to survey results, we spend the most time with our love interests. The divorces rate has increased steadily since no-fault divorces were first allowed in the late 1960s. Applying AIR to the problem should help remedy it.


Our kin rank middle of the road as a source of happiness, chiefly due to lack of inspiration we receive from them. This harks back to the discussion above about love interests. I have sometimes wondered if humans are programmed this way on purpose, the whole “prophet is not without honor" nature. Without it, how many more people would be content at home, never to fly the coup and spread their wings and push themselves to put a stamp on the world?

The findings say a lot about life. We hope they help you find joy.

* Take a survey and see how happy you are compared to the averages at

The AIR Equation is based on findings from happiness studies by a research organization, which runs as a public service.


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