A great book that I read that helped me immensely to understand happiness and who is happy and who is not. It was a Social psychologist named David G. Myers who explored this in detail and outlined and supported all his research with cold hard facts.. Dr. Myers reviewed thousands of scientific studies and did a meta analysis that spanned worldwide in search of the key to happiness. With a clear and focused writing style, he examined some of the popular myths on how to be happy and shared specific techniques for happiness in this life.
A brief summary showed that many of our popular myths about happiness were not actually true. For example, Dr. Myers discovered that what mattered little was age, gender, race, location, education, disability, and money. Many myths were broken. For an example, most people concluded that the young were happier than the aged. But according to the surveys they conducted, they discovered that aged people were in general more content, more patient, more happy overall than their younger counterparts.
To elaborate, people generally thought that young people would always necessarily be happier than older people, but the truth found by well found studies showed that was not necessarily the case. There were slight differences, termed the “U-bend”, where people were a little bit happier on either extreme of the age line, but generally it mattered not how old you were, which ran in contrast to common thought.
Overall, women who stayed home as full time moms had similar levels of happiness as those women who had a career. And it appears that one of the solid determinants of future happiness is past happiness. Happiness is infectious, and a person’s strategy to obtain happiness appears to pour over into their future as well. Someone with a previous history of joy and bliss appeared to carry that easily into the uncertain future, no matter what new circumstances developed.