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Anorak | Grin And Earn It

Grin And Earn It

by | 26th, July 2004

‘DID Tony Blair start smiling when his predecessor as Labour party leader John Smith died and, in that passing, open up his path to the top?

‘Have your fivers ready…’

Or did our prime minister always look so happy?

And this is an important question, because, according to the Independent, which has seen a study by academics Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell and Paul Fritjers, it is happiness that makes you rich and successful.

Which means that it may be because of his apparent happiness that Tony Blair has reached the top. The smile came before the success. Indeed, it guaranteed it.

The pair of university researchers, who published their report in the official journal of the UK’s Economics Society, questioned 8,000 people about their lives over the 1990s.

They found that happy people tended to become richer and, what’s more, were also likely to find love in a steady relationship (see Blair and Bush).

On a scale of one to ten, those whose incomes had doubled over the decade reported an increase of just 0.1 in happiness levels.

This means that an individual would need to secure an 8,000 per cent pay rise to move one notch up the “happiness ladder”.

While news that misery finds it hard to pull falls well short of being earth shattering, the suggestion that happiness is something inherent and not a quality attained through money is interesting.

As the authors ponder: “This in itself raises the question of why people expend so much effort in obtaining more income.”

So let’s stop working so hard. Everybody unplug your computers and just start smiling.

And when some unhappy type asks why you’re not performing in your job, just smile.

After all, it works for Tony Blair. So why shouldn’t it work for you?’



Posted: 26th, July 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink