We got some interesting news this week.
It’s about our brain… the human brain.
As usual, scientists have been studying this unique organ of ours. Nobody knows how it really works. But we’re learning new things about it.
For instance, one group of docs now believe that humans have a built-in compass. Just like those flocks of geese that are streaking the evening sky above our farm, we too know which way is north.
At least that’s what the latest tests show.
Nobody knows why or how it happens… or how we tap into this subconscious knowledge.
Then there’s a fresh study that shows our brains don’t fully mature until we’re in our 30s. We’re not truly adults, the experts say, until we’ve got at least three decades under our belt.
Perhaps that explains why some folks want to lower the voting age – to get the nod of the folks who aren’t thinking straight.
And now there’s news that a special kind of light and sound stimulation could remove the toxic plaque that leads to Alzheimer’s disease and lowered cognitive function.
It’s quite interesting.
We’re fascinated by the research.
But even with these hints of breakthroughs, there’s still no change in the science behind what many say matters most.
When it comes to what makes a human happy (which is certainly a function of the brain), the body of evidence is unwavering.
It’s the basis of all we do with this little project of ours.
The freer we are, the more we know and the better our relationships – that’s Liberty, Know-How and Connections for our newest readers – the happier we are.
The power of our Triad is undeniable.
More and more Americans seem to be losing grip on it.
Fat Sad Americans
Get this. A group of scientists recently surveyed the world looking for the hotbeds of things like freedom, trust, income, health and even generosity – all the things that should sound familiar to frequent readers.
What they found was startling.
The world’s happiest places are bursting with these traits.
But America isn’t one of them.
In fact, our ranking is falling fast.
Indeed, as America grows richer, her people grow unhappier.
It’s quite a dilemma. But it’s no surprise.
It’s not that money automatically equates to being unhappy. It doesn’t.
The happiest places on Earth prove it. Finland, Denmark and Norway are all quite good at turning wealth into well-being, the researchers behind the project report.
As folks make more money, their freedom to do what they want with it and their trust in their nation’s economic system evoke a deeper sense of happiness.
Of course, the opposite is true in countries with low levels of freedom and lousy education systems.
The country with the lowest ranking on the happiness scale is South Sudan – where a nasty civil war has killed hundreds of thousands of people and made it virtually impossible for the notions within our Triad to survive.
Here in the States, other factors are pulling our rankings down.
We didn’t even make the top 10.
Two years ago, America was ranked in the 14th spot. Last year, we dipped to 18th. And, according to the latest survey, we’re down another spot.
All the Wrong Things
Well, the folks behind the study say it’s a few things. Chief among them is worsening health conditions for much of the population, waning trust in each other and, of course, a decline in the confidence in our elected leaders.
When it comes to health, it’s not cancer, heart disease and the like that are getting a finger pointed at them.
Nope… it’s the buggers we write about so often.
Internet addictions, smartphones and social media use play a huge role in our nation’s declining happiness.
“The prevalence of addictions in American society seems to be on the rise, perhaps dramatically,” said Columbia University’s Jeffrey D. Sachs. “They include gambling, social media use, video gaming, shopping, consuming unhealthy foods.
“These addictions, in turn, seem to be causing considerable unhappiness and even depression.”
It’s kind of ironic.
The very things that so many Americans are so proud of – the things that are driving much of our economy forward – are the things that make us unhappiest.
Who would have thought?
It’s clear we have a lot more work to do.
Word of the power of our Triad must continue to spread.
It’s our mission.
The brain, after all, is a powerful beast that docs are still trying to figure out.
But one thing is clear.
The recipe for happiness is simple.
It includes just three ingredients.
Liberty. Know-How. And Connections.