Are you unhappy or have you beaten the odds?
Have you beaten the odds?
Marcus Buckingham, with his new book, Find your Strongest Life,
“In the past four decades, women have secured better job prospects,
greater acknowledgement for achievement, wider influence, more free time,
and higher salaries. And yet, recent studies reveal that women have gradually
become less happy than they were 40 years ago, and less happy than men—and
unlike men, they grow sadder as they get older.”
Marcus Buckingham, similar to his other books, suggests that if woman focus on their
strengths they are happier. They don't just try to balance life, but devote their energy
towards using their strengths. An interesting idea to consider, but the notion of the paradox
of high expectations and abundance still aren't answered.
This week, Michael Krazny of KQED/Forum interviewed three experts on the subject of the decline of happiness for women.
Betsy Stevenson, a co-author of Paradox of Women's Declining Happiness talks about a broad
trend over the past 4 decades of women's level of happiness declining. She reported that this research
is supported in every dataset over the past 40 years.
Perhaps women were exaggerating their happiness in the 70s, perhaps new social trends
have made women less happy while making men happier or perhaps it is indeed that our happiness is
not only dependent on our own abilities, but also structures that support women at work and home.
Happiness is also the paradox of choice. Women have numerous choices now, expectations of what
their life should be like and yet maybe the reality of inflated expectations measured against all areas in
our lives is at the core.
Like no other time in history, women are caught in this paradox of high expectations and abundance in
all areas of life. If we expect it and we don't get it, we are disappointed. If we don't expect it we will never be able to create it.
Christine Carter author of "Raising Happiness," points out that everyone today, but women
especially are wrestling with how to allocate time across their life. The big change, she reports, is that
woman are confronting this on a daily basis. Time itself has a huge impact on happiness; how you spend it, what you do with it, if you enjoy it, and if it reinforces abundance in your life.
Let me know what makes you most happy and if you are one of the lucky women who beat the odds.