AWR # 746    

March 27,  2017
A REAL Wellness Prognostication

Quote of the Week

Featured Essay  

Greetings and good wishes.

Enjoy the 746th edition of the AWR. You will find herein yet another prognostication, a memorable quote and an essay about a quality of REAL wellness sought by all, realized by too few, now and over the course of time.

Look after yourself and be well.

According to research done at the Oxford Martin School in the UK, people who work on assembly lines, at call centers, as sorters and data entry personnel, as insurance underwriters and tax preparers, sales representatives, translators and fast food employees are likely to be replaced soon by robots. If my first prognostication a few issues back does not come to pass (i.e., the impeachment of Trump by the Republican Congress fearful of losing their own jobs by his stunning incompetence and foreign and domestic scandals of this Administration), then my prognostication for this edition might well come about. Ready for it?

Trump will resign in embarrassment before his first term ends.

Rather than make a case for this forecast, I refer to the quote of the week, below. As to the nature of the Roth quote, I approve this message.

I found much that was alarming about being a citizen during the tenures of Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. But, whatever I may have seen as their limitations of character or intellect, neither was anything like as humanly impoverished as Trump is: ignorant of government, of history, of science, of philosophy, of art, incapable of expressing or recognizing subtlety or nuance, destitute of all decency, and wielding a vocabulary of seventy-seven words that is better called Jerkish than English.

Philip Roth on Trump in an interview with 
Judith Thurman in The New Yorker, 

January 30, 2017. 

Forget about trying to be happy as a clam at high water.  You can do better, provided you're not a bivalve mollusk free (for a while) from the attention of predators. Instead, start thinking, acting and living like a Norwegian.

Why? Because according to the latest report of a U.N. agency, Norway is the happiest place on Earth. While that's no guarantee you won't still 
be despondent, disconsolate and downcast, 
it might help. A reading of   
the World Happiness 
Report suggests it's worth a try.


You could probably be a happier person if you would just be more Denmarkian, Icelandish, Swiss-llke or Finnish, the next happiest people in the world after the Norskis. But, why settle for less than #1?  

Norway Is # 1

What makes the Norwegians so happy? The first thing to know is that there is no happiness magic bullet - many things must come together to create a climate for happiness to break through the clouds of gloom and melancholy. The U.N. report assigned high importance to Norway's superb levels of economic strength, social support, life expectancy, freedom, the generosity of the people and low levels of crime, corruption and constipation. (Consider the latter an interpretative reading between the lines of the Report variables.) No mention was made of completing triathlons, attendance at National Wellness Conferences, subscriptions to the AWR, adherence to the principles espoused in my book (co-authored by Grant Donovan) entitled, The Wellness Orgasm" or an ability to recite speeches by Robert Green Ingersoll.

I was intrigued that an entire chapter of the U.N. Report was given to restoring American happiness. I did not realize happiness in America needed restoring, at least not before the national calamity that occurred on Tuesday, November 8th last year. However, the suggestions offered are certainly in order now and I recommend them all, particularly those that might reverse our egregious inequality, political corruption, divisions, isolation and distrust at all levels, within limits. 

I say within limits because the current Administration has done little to nothing to earn trust, in my humble opinion. 

Individuals in America can't do much about the above noted system-wide perturbations, but people can influence their own fates in other ways. For instance, consider the following changes to boost prospects of at least some degree of increased happiness:
  • Seek white collar jobs but settle for any color job rather than none.
  • Seek well-paying jobs.
  • If you are stuck in a blue collar job that pays badly, take comfort in the Report finding that an extra $100 of salary is worth much more to someone at the lower end of the income distribution than someone already earning much more.
  • Abandon all hope of finding happiness from gaining more power over the world. This has shown to be ineffective for making humans happier and more satisfied with life. Over the course of thousands of years, humans have gained enormous power over the world but it doesn't seem to make people significantly more satisfied than they were in the Stone Age.(Don't ask me how they know that.)
  • Focus on cosiness and relaxation. The Nordic countries for five years running have consistently dominated the top spots in the survey; the Danish concept of Hygge (cosiness and relaxation) seems to be a key factor in such success.
REAL Wellness Equations for Happiness

Readers of the delightful daily feature called A-Word-A-Day recently sent in happiness-related equations; a few may be of special interest given the U.N. Report.
  • Equation for calculating overall family happiness by Ted Palomaki: If F is overall family happiness, then F = 0.1H + K + 10W. H = husband's happiness, K = kids' happiness and W = wife's happiness.
  • Equation for calculating happy marriage by Daniel Fisher: Happy wife = happy life.
  • Equation for calculating happiness in old age by Michael Smout: If A is happiness in old age, then A = X + Y + Z where X is someone to talk to, Y is something to do and Z is something to look forward to.
Not to be outdone, Grant Donovan, Downunder happiness wellness expert and polymath orator with whom I will be presenting a session on happiness at the upcoming June NWC, calculated the following formula, which he called The Ardell Happiness Equation:

H = F + C + EE + M + WM. 

This means happiness ensues when these elements marked by the letter symbols are present. Specifically, F = possessing the mental freedom to think and say anything, C = having the rational capacity to think critically and question everything, EE = eating well and exercising liberally, M = embracing the inherent meaninglessness of your life and WM = experiencing multiple wellness orgasms on a daily basis.


There you go. Recognize the wisdom in the U.N. Report and adapt your thinking and lifestyle to its findings about Norwegians and their neighbor countries, learn the happiness formulas, especially the last one noted, and you should not only be more like the Norse people but help America rise in the rankings of happiest nations. Think of it as your patriotic duty to be happier. 

I can't leave the topic without mentioning a 75-year Harvard study that suggests that love is the key to happiness. Many of us learned that from the Beatles (All you need is love, love - love is all you need). Also, closely connected with love are meaningful relationships and good connections.

If you get into this happiness quest in a big way, you will be following in the footsteps of none other than Robert Green Ingersoll, whose creed was that happiness is the only good, the time to be happy is now, the place to be happy is here and the way to be happy is to make others so. 

Don't worry, be happy, love and be well. 

R-E-A-L wellness - lifestyles and mindsets guided by reason, inspired by exuberance, supported with athleticism and enabled by liberty

R - for reason, decision-making based on facts, evidence and science.
E - for exuberance - focus on happiness and joy, meaning and purpose, etc.
A - for athleticism - sound nutrition and vigorous daily exercise for fitness.
L - for liberty-freedom from superstitions & all forms of magical thinking.

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