tv Worlds Apart RT July 6, 2019 10:30pm-11:01pm EDT
and this was in part due to the realisation that while we convert it into happiness in fact i would argue that they may be an opposite correlation because in some developed countries you see the increase in the levels of depression self harm suicide do we really understand that these point their relationship but then they cannot make wellbeing and people's happiness or unhappiness or matter i don't think we fully understands it and there's a lot of complexity in there but on average we see as a group that's groups the richer countries are happier but there's a lot of variance with the in both the rich country group and the poor country so i think in the beginning it makes a lot of sense for governments to focus on reducing poverty and lifting people out of poverty i think once we get to a certain income level i think it makes better sense to focus on our other areas and in addition we can also see that. there are differences among countries.
their ability to convert wealth into wellbeing so investing in the right things that brings quality of life in people you mention that there is a variance between rich and poor countries but there's also a great deal of diversity when it comes to happiness right moment the developed world and countries like your own country mark or your neighbor is finland norway they consistently ranked higher than. other democratic western countries like for example the united states or south korea for that matter and this is where i think gets a little bit ideological what kind of an economic system what kind of a capitalist system is more conducive to. social wellbeing is there an answer to that a clear cut answer to that so what we did see in the world happen this report is that there is a group of countries that do consistently well when it comes to life satisfaction the nordic countries finland sweden norway iceland but also the netherlands
switzerland canada new zealand australia are all doing quite well and you're right the us i think currently ranking nineteen's i think russia's place 68 so. this seems to be something that is working with some of the nordic countries one of the areas is. investing in education investing in universal health care in the nordic countries they're by no means perfect but i think they're doing some things right in terms of creating good conditions for good lives i know that in the latest world happiness report on mark was pushed. by finland do you have any sound so what allowed the fence to get ahead of you. i mean i'm not sure whether we got a list happier with the finns got happier. but i mean.
the 2nd decimal when we look at the absolute happiness numbers that sets those countries apart so i'm happy for them and. happy for the danes as well. and you know we can try to become happier or we can try and make the less happy i would go with the 1st i mean whether it is. a combined population with the number of people living in the city in moscow or let's say in new york do you think it's a meaningful comparison to. try to see how let's say russia is doing compared to denmark because you know creating a good life for 5000000 people is very different from trying to do the same for several hundreds of thousands let alone 1300000000 as in china is perhaps easier but i think it does make sense to compare because whether you are 5w1cw i think
people who. all want social connection i think they want a healthy life expectancy that is long i think they want low levels of corruption i think they want a society that is generous i don't think that is different in a big country compared to a small but i mean within the smaller country it's easier to control for already variables than let's say in a country that has 11 time zones and when every region has its own regional and ethnic specific i think it is easier to. create those conditions for 500000000 definitely you will see a bigger level of both here in russia and also in the u.s. in terms of where the population want the country to go so there are some advantages in being a smaller country in that sense now you mention the united states in the latest world happiness where there is a chapter on of well being and political behavior which essentially says that we
don't know enough about this relationship i wonder you don't know in a way how close that knowledge. and new case study when it comes to engaging or perhaps using b. and happy people there's a lot of things to unpack there actually one of the conclusions also in that chapter was that the larger the share of people within the country that. the bigger than likelihood of people voting for the existing government so it actually makes sense for governments to focus on improving quality of life focusing on improving life satisfaction for the public if they want to be reelected there is an entire new area being sort of looked at now that he is focusing on inequality in wellbeing. usually the rankings up based on the national average but of course you have people above that average and you have people below that and
what we see for example. a lot of countries there's a big inequality in terms of well being some people are very happy some people are very unhappy. so i think one of the key issues now for a lot of societies is an increase in polarized nation. and i think the u.s. is also a case for that what i found interesting about that chapter and it goes into some specifics about the american case as well as the british case as well it's just that it's not only that sought to present himself as a champion of the deplorable and the downtrodden but it is also the case that he's a lecturer at. a lower on the subject if well being questionnaire and the question that i had is what do you think is more dangerous to try to keep these people away from politics or to allow them to change politics because their way people unhappy people express themselves in society and in politics is also very
different from the way happy people. man it has themselves and many people would not like that shift i think everybody should of course take part in politics the countries that do really well in happiness rankings also have a large voter turnout and i see all voices represented in part it's. what is interesting about trump's voters. when asked. how satisfied they are with life now but also how satisfied they were were with life early on or whether life was better. i believe it's around 73 percent says that life was they were more satisfied previously. and of course of course if you have that perspective whether it's true or not or whether it's your subject to that of course can create a foundation for you coming out with
a political slogan that. let's make america great again whether that's the objective case or do you think it's a perm and then disposition when people are simply unhappy if or let's say political establishment is this something that could be changed by let's say trump himself is it easy to make those people who are currently dissatisfied and base them for is it easy and possible to make them happy again i think it's it's possible i don't think it's so we can see there's a lot of factors that impact how you and i would answer how happy we are how satisfied we are with life. everything from genetics and age to the choices we make on a daily basis what we choose to do with the time and who we spend our time with to areas that governments can influence policies equality access to health care education and so on so it is possible but i think it takes a lot to move the needle for people that are happy or unhappy. so i think it's
a long. battle so we prove quality of life i also heard you say that. was elected it was the end happiest day of 2016 1st of all. who suggested that how would you explain this showing because supposedly a lot of people unhappy people go out. way that at the ballot box so why should the majority of the population be and rightly so this was a u.k. study so there's an excellent study called mapping this that uses phones and people have downloaded an app and then they are asked 12 or 3 times a day how happy they are and then they can see where people when they're happy they're happy when they're with their friends they're not so happy when they're at work they're happy on fridays they have and they are mondays but they could also see over time which days they have in the day. they found the happy christmas
day with together with our families we had a lot of food and wine and so on but then in 2016 they looked at one of the happiest days this year and the force on happiest day was that question prizing that the brits would be more than happy about the election november as they didn't know that you know that this is out of their own political if you remember the majority of people in britain voted to leave so that thought they thought it was a good thing what the majority of people in the u.k. thought was. unhappy was getting elected so that sort of unified the brits well mike we have to take a very short break now but we will be back in just a few moments.
good good one. so the temporary orders that i'm under before i go to final trial actually do allow me to address them as james and use male pronouns but i cannot do that in front of 3rd parties who know him as a girl so basically i can't go to a school i keep them away from any friends he might have at school that know him as a girl and at my home he's known as james and i use male pronouns what i'm prohibited from doing right now is trying to convince him that he's actually a boy. welcome
back to all of them are that mike viking feel all of the happiness research institute and best selling author my before the break we talked about the various institutional factors that happen as bad then that the only ones perhaps not even the most important ones people as you said before you can be very happy and very and happy under the same circumstances how much of a personal responsibility happened then i think we should look at happiness the same way we look at health so how long you and i are going to live essentially depends on 3 categories it depends on genetics we have predisposed for some to see since it depends on the countries we live in the cities we live in the quality of the health care you know the lay of the level of pollution in moscow in copenhagen and then certainly it depends on the choices that you and i make on
a daily basis to exercise what is a diet that we see. we drink and so on and i think it makes sense to look at happiness the same way so we also own more this happy than the policies we live only of the countries we live in also impact happiness levels we can see the happiness countries in the world on a scale from suits attend the average happiness level is around $7.00 in a country like syria you'll have a happiness level of around 3 and then the choices we made on a daily basis i'm more concerned not so much about the choices but let's say the mental discipline because for example we know where they exactly that some people are more prone to exaggerate than others women tend to be more anxious than men but it's also well established in psychology that you can achieve great progress if you take on a ship of your mental and emotional disposition is that the same with happiness if you want to be happy can you be happy i think there is something you can do but of
course you are influenced by the conditions who live under and by your genetics there is something you and i can do to improve our wellbeing our mental health our happiness but there is also some boundaries we tend to go to syria and see that happiness is a choice right there and i know somebody who has been to syria many times i can actually tell you that happiness for many people is a choice because under very very horrible conditions these people manage to smile they manage ship appreciate the confidence of life i don't know if they have and idea of who get it but you can actually. write so i don't believe certainly life. is. necessarily for happiness i can be very happy without smiling i think smiling is a form of communication and what we see in the data is that people are really unhappy in syria so i think there is something we can do and try and make the best of the
situation we are in but i think there is also some limitations due to our environment and the country and even now in many of your lectures you mention several dimensions subjective well being overall life satisfaction every day motions and what aristotle referred to as you do morning in the sense of prepress just sounds of striving for good how important is the latter so it's one of the areas we actually have most trying to understand and so we we know a lot in terms of life satisfaction overall happiness with life we know a lot of what drives that and we also know quite a bit of the emotions we experience on a daily basis both positive and negative ones and how that impact lives satisfaction we know less about the mention there's also a discussion around how do we measure that level of purpose that level of meaning
in life. we can see some things drive it like having kids have a wonderful positive impact on that sense of purpose. so when it comes to to life satisfaction we can see the best predictor of that from the other domains is actually experiencing positive emotions on a day. you also author of the bestselling book on the. concept of enjoying a little comforts of life and i think even more broadly it's kind of being able to be contented with the current moment without necessarily rushing into the future and as i was reading it i kept wondering how compatible with your demoniac can you be content and striving for good at the same time. definitely a happiness to be found in being content with what we have but i think it's also a happiness to be found in the pursuit of things so i'm less
a fan of the pursuit of happiness i'm more fan of the happiness of pursuit i think having a goal that we're working towards is something that is good for our mood something that is good for our. satisfaction. so i think we can actually be both i mean there is something i don't have that i would like to create in mind but at the same time i can also be content with what i have achieved so far by speaking about who get i wonder how. old or new this concept is because the sort of the type of working life balance that exists and then where it is to be honest with you unprecedented in in much of the developed world plot on developing it is it really be kind of did it precede denmark's economic success or is it the result of marx having a very balanced way of life probably more the latter but it's been
a concept that has his existed in danish language for 200 years. so it's not only a result of where the society is now but of course for some very good balance between work and life in a small people to. take it slow spend time with family and friends to spend 4 hours keep cooking a stew but i think the thing about the experience i've had since the book was published was that it happens everywhere so i received letters from readers in russia u.s. and france and germany saying i've been having for you all my life i just didn't know there was a word for it so of course it happens here as well but what is uniquely danish is a word that describes that situation and perhaps also that danes c.d.'s poddar off the national sort of cultural and identity and talk about it a lot i know that almost every interviewer asks about tips on how to increase one's
subjective wellbeing and you usually say that there is no magic bullet for all i wonder though what works for you personally are there any personal hacks into happiness i think there are different strategies and different perspectives i think . there's something we can do and should do to improve our mood here and now and i think there's a long term goal in terms of a long term perspective in terms of improving conditions for good lives i think here and now. in denmark we have a sort of mental health a.b.c. which is doing something x. and doing something meaningful and doing something together with other people seems to be a good universal recipe for improving here now how we feel at the same time i think we should look further down the line and consider how can we create. society that enables people to enable people to flourish and focusing on reducing corruption
focusing on reducing the level of freedom focusing on lifting people out of poverty . goals that we should strive towards long term now in addition to things that we have to strive towards i think there are also things that we should consider with. some of perhaps and then i know you spoke a lot about social media which supposedly were aimed to make us more connected but there is now a growing body of research showing that it is having and negative impact on many people there is there are some scientists for example paul dolan of the you who argue that in 10 years' time we will speak of social media in this same matter in the same way we speak about tobacco now is something that is pleasurable in the moment but highly toxic and addictive do you agree with that i agreed that. we should be mindful of how we use social media and i agree with that it can have
negative consequences for our well being. so if we use social media to compare ourselves to everybody else that. leading these seemingly amazing lives on instagram and so on. then it can have a negative effect if we use social media. to actually be social then that might have a positive impact i think. we have to be a little more nuanced in how we look at social media or so if we say books you know books can be great and they can be horrible so i think it's the behavior is what we choose to do with either books or social media. that is the key here now i think one of the reasons why is social comparisons are so debilitating
is low self-worth you know the failure to respond to be kind to yourself and i find it striking that we now have almost an epidemic so it's low self-worth in western countries most of which have based on this very idea of the intrinsic value of human life that's actually the basis of western civilization that human life individual live has an intrinsic meaning and intrinsic value why do you think. you know in this era of progress so many people find it so hard to accept themselves checks of their lives for what it is you're right that we are increasingly becoming expose shoe a wide spectrum of demands and we increasingly becoming exposed shoe standards that is impossible as a human to live up to beauty standards level of income level of success and i think
the as we talked about before food that social comparison becoming more pronounced . i think osho intending with that we have the. expectation that when we lifted people out of poverty when we became richer then we'd become happier and i think valley's what a lot of people are struggling with now they expected that once they reached a certain level of income then they would be happy. and yet we create new size we create new things we want and i think. sometimes we run out of explanations for why we feel unhappy because if we have that level of income if we have that job if we have that family and so on why do we still if you are happy and then people internalize is it really all about income because if we take for example generations either the kids that are born in the turn of the century
they're raised in for spirity if they have been more tempted to psychologically than any of the previous generations they tend to be more ethical they tend to gauge last in antisocial behavior is they do less drugs less alcohol they cooperate more they work for the society they're concerned about the society more and yet they happen to be the most happiest or the generation or the generation that's most exposed to risk off depression suicide self harm don't you think that perhaps the advice on happen is that you and others have been giving is being negated by these very generation because their parents who raise them they. did everything right everything has been advice to them and the trends in mental health are really really depressed right so the different results. whether young people who are less or more happy depending on which country you look at. i
think young people who are struggling a lot with high level of pressure. in the education we. see that especially. on trees. there's a lot of pressure for them to excel academically. i think they're also struggling to a large extent. i was when i was. in university for instance with comparisons to social media. so so i think there are some things that have changed that. making it more difficult for people to achieve happiness but but i think it's also difficult to generalize across countries because we also see some countries where the young happy. well mike it's been a great pleasure talking to you thank you very much for sharing your perspective thank you encourage our viewers to keep this conversation going in our social media
. if you do you can see the m one. google's noticed this is an issue for a player for. the. something wrong with being rich and being rich is nothing wrong with it people work hard they make a lot of money and for a lot of people that's very satisfying but when you become a patient's monopolist then you are heading up like in the pharmaceutical industry one or 2 or 3 major kleptocrats collusion and colluding monopolist and all of us
pricing that's not great stats. during the great depression which are old enough to remember that it was most of the family were unemployed. there wasn't it was big you know much worse objectively today but there was an expectation that things were going to get better. there was a real sense of hopefulness there isn't today today's america where shape by the turn principles of concentration of wealth and power. reduced democracy attacks so low down engineer elections manufacture consent and other principles according to no i'm jones to one set of rules for the rich. poor. that's what happens when you put her into the. roof wilf which will
is dedicated to increasing virtue of just as you'd expect one of the most influential intellectuals of our time speaks about the modern civilization of america. my 7 years doing drugs my nephews was still in drugs my sister's with doing drugs it was like an epidemic of drug abuse. yes america's public enemy number one in the united states is drug abuse he started going after the users in the prison population who are we started treating sick people people who are addicted to these drugs like criminals while i was on the hill i increasingly became convinced that the war on drugs. there are countless numbers of people who are in prison for. sins for minor minor offenders in the drug trade it's a lot watching your children grow up and miss you in waves and say bye daddy as
you're walking out of a business it's just it doesn't get easy. google is accused of interfering in last year's referendum on a portion in ireland sparking protests and dublin among religious conservatives. tensions rise between london and to iraq over the seizure of on a rainy an oil tanker off the coast of gibraltar as a court of the ship can be compounded for weeks. motorists rejects the climate activism of swedish teenage aggressive them but displaying stickers on their vehicles. and over 100000 people signed a petition calling on the french president to intervene in the case of a man whose life support systems are being turned off off the 11 year.
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