Gallup Organization, a company that conducts polls and analyzes social, political and economic trends, released the description of who the happiest American should be, statistically.
He is a “tall, Asian-American, observant Jew who is at least 65 and married, has children, lives in Hawaii, runs his own business and has a household income of more than $120,000 a year.”
Don’t worry, I didn’t make the cut either, but Alvin Wong did. The New York Times tracked him down and dubbed him the happiest person in America.
He is 5′ 10″ and 69 years-old, lives in Honolulu with his wife Trudy where he runs his own health care management business, lives as a Kosher-observing Jew and earns more than $120,000 a year. And he has kids. Not only does he fit the demographic, he agrees that he is happy. Creepy, I know.
In the video posted by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Wong said happiness will not come to a person who works only for money and that life will be very hard on anyone who cannot laugh at himself.
That philosophy is what makes Mr. Wong the happiest person in America. Height does not give you the ability to learn from mistakes, owning a business cannot guarantee success and money in the bank will not provide the ability to laugh at your mistakes.
Gallup is wrong and will be wrong as long as it tries to put a face on happiness. It is one of many things that can’t be proven using statistics. I know people who live on the street, nearly penniless, who easily have a much happier outlook on life than the wealthiest person I know.
Comparing ourselves to the statistics or trying to mold our lives to fit the demographic is the worst way to find happiness.
Mr. Wong was right, the best way to be happy is to love what you do and take every chance to laugh.