Researching about lifestyles and what makes people happy, the other day I asked several friends what were the things that they found really had an impact in their every day lives. Here are some of their top answers:
Traffic: first place! And by traffic they really are talking about Panamanian traffic, how it steals hours from their day and destroys their enjoyment of life. Presence or absence of traffic is an important part of the happiness equation, it determines if they are satisfied with being able to do all their errands easily, or go and be able to spend time with loved ones.
Living in the city center: even though many still harbour the dream of a house with the white fence, when they really got thinking about what brings happiness to their day to day, it was living as centric as possible the answer to mental wellbeing. The balancing act that is work, family and friends was made much easier. For those living in the suburbs, it was always necessary to chose, and there was only space to chose one.
Having services nearby: the best, according to my friends, was to live in a place that had a bit of everything. Not to have to jump in a car if all they needed was an aspirin, or to buy food. Probably the aspirin was to be able to survive the traffic! Also to have a couple of places to enjoy with their loved ones and friends. Outdoor excercise for some, or just have a beer for others. The key to happiness was to have a diversity of uses… nearby.
These three themes have several things in common: the lack of today´s most expensive resource: time. And a deep understanding that what makes life livable gets lost if hours are spent in a car. Experiences, relaxed conversations, laughter and spaces where we share and build with other humans.
As a side effect, there is also a financial benefit. Check out this article with a finantial analysis in Canada: CLICK HERE
What other aspects of your lifestyle are key for your everyday happiness? let us know!