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Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Thursday, June 02, 2005

"I'm Glad We Have You Around To Tell Us These Things"

This morning, my Inner German led me like a divining rod to this Global Equities Strategy report from Dreschner Kleinwort Wasserstein, a subsidiary of Dresdner Bank Association Gesselschaft (Okay...I had a little help from Instapundit.):

Global Equity Strategy

If it makes you happy
The psychology of happiness

We seek to explore one of Adam Smith’s obsessions: what it means to be happy. We also discuss why that’s important to investors, and how we can seek to improve our own levels of happiness.

It seems that this German-British concern has decided that happiness encourages sound investment practices and is thus in its clients' best interests. Bloody nice of them. In good Anglo-Germanic fashion, they've provided ten handy rules. I excerpt them, along with a few of the footnotes (I'll let you examine the bar graphs and pie charts on your own):

• Don’t equate happiness with money. People adapt to income shifts relatively quickly, the long lasting benefits are essentially zero.
• Exercise regularly. Taking regular exercise generates further energy, and stimulates the mind and the body.
• Have sex (preferably with someone you love). Sex is consistently rated as amongst the highest generators of happiness.
• Devote time and effort to close relationships. Close relationships require work and effort, but pay vast rewards in terms of happiness.
• Pause for reflection, meditate on the good things in life. Simple reflection on the good aspects of life helps prevent hedonic adaptation.
• Seek work that engages your skills, look to enjoy your job. It makes sense to do something you enjoy. This in turn is likely to allow you to flourish at your job, creating a pleasant feedback loop.
• Give your body the sleep it needs.
• Don’t pursue happiness for its own sake, enjoy the moment. Faulty perceptions of what makes you happy, may lead to the wrong pursuits. Additionally, activities may become a means to an end, rather than something to be enjoyed, defeating the purpose in the first place.
• Take control of your life, set yourself achievable goals.
• Remember to follow all the rules.


7 In Kahneman, Krueger, Schkade, Schwarz and Stone (2003) Measuring the quality of life, the authors found that among a sample of 1000 employed women that sex was rated retrospectively as the activity that produces the largest amount of happiness. Commuting turns out to be the least pleasurable activity. Also Blanchflower and Oswald (2004) Money, Sex and Happiness, find that sexual activity enters strongly into happiness equations.

The information and opinions in this report constitute judgment as at the date of this report and are subject to change without notice.

I love the implied imperative voice: "Exercise! Pause! Have sex! Reflect! Sleep!" And of course the last rule is the most German of all. "Rules! Rules vich must be obeyed at all costs!" I'm also gratified to see that there is now empirical evidence to support the heretofor-unsubstantiated notion that "sexual activity enters strongly into happiness equations."

So.... There it is. Whaddya all waiting for? GET TO IT! JETZT! MACHT SCHNELL!

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