What Does Your Happiness Cake Taste Like?

I broke my aversion to T.V, and watched Oprah recently…yes…I said it.  I was actually prompted to check out an episode that my sis-in-law dvr’d and thought I would find  interesting. Yes that was an attempt to qualify my actions.

I guess there’s always a bit of shame when you sense that your man card may be revoked.  Plus maybe I’m just a lil over sensitive after being at a wedding on superbowl sunday(or maybe..dare I say…I’m just not that into football…in a country where we just had our highest viewing superbowl ever.)

But hey…{shrug}

The show was about happiness.  Oprah interviewed Dan Buettner, who wrote Thrive, and they, along with Goldie Hawn discussed aspects of what the stats are saying concerning the quest for happiness.

Dan brought up some interesting findings that I won’t get into here.  He did, however, end the show by stating, that if happiness was a cake, it would comprise of these things:

  1. A good job(He says $75,000 does the trick)
  2. Marrying the right person
  3. Engaging work
  4. Volunteering
  5. Most importantly…where you live.

A pretty interesting formula.  From the reviews, the book goes into more detail on each of these points.

I know everyone seems to have a formula for happiness…but…

My gut tells me, that this mixture of ideals definitley reveals some core aspects to what makes people smile.


  • you’re making enough to comfortably take care of your food, clothing, shelter, and transportation…
  • you’re in a good relationship…
  • your work connects to who you truly are
  • you’re growing in spiritual/moral characteristics that make you a more selfless person…
  • you live in a city or town that fosters relationships and community…

Then I could see how some could be significantly “happier” than those who weren’t privileged to have these mix of circumstances.

What I find interesting…Is that…the book seems to go past mere gut instincts, and talk numbers.  It just may be a book I add to my reading list.

What do you think?  What’s your formula for happiness?

Interesting links:

NPR: How To ‘Thrive’: Dan Buettner’s Secret Of Happiness

Dan Buettner: How To Live To Be 100


  • Schultz Cornelia says:

    I like your more abstract approach to it. I mean, if we're talking cake then we have to recognize that there will be almost as many variations in preferences as there are people… I could go online and find a recipe for a cake, go to the store to get the ingredients, come back home and follow the instructions perfectly, only to take a bite and frown. I could do all of that work and end up unsatisfied in the end because I made a six layer red velvet cake when what I really want is a very simple genoise with whipped cream frosting and topped with peaches, strawberries, and kiwi (my favorite)! Everyone's criteria for happiness is different. Having said that, I'm also interested in the book…

  • veron says:

    Well said…Miss Schultz. I wonder if their are some core ingredients that we all have, no matter what flavor cake we are making…Identifying them, along with evaluating where our life measures up to those we agree with, may be worthwhile. Yeah…I'm almost more interested in reading someone's cliff notes of the book…;-) But we'll see…I might eventually check it out. {As always…Appreciate your thoughts}

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