How could we quantify happiness?

maxresdefaultI’ve just been drafting up a document at work where I was quantifying our time in the team to give estimates of how much some pieces of work would cost (in £ terms, as is fairly normal). Then it got me to thinking… what if we quantified other things? Money is easy, it has round numbers and is exact. Time is also a measurable resource. But what about happiness? What if we could quantify happiness? What unit would be give it? Maybe Happions. Or Gleements. I can imagine it now:

Chocolate bar: 69p, 13 happions

We could then work out the monetary to happiness ratio for any given thing. Yes, taking 2 months to travel in Thailand will cost you £3,000, but your happiness ratio is 1:100! No amount of 1:5 day trips out is going to get you to that.

So, perhaps you won’t be able to put Happion prices in the shops just yet as we don’t have technology that can read our minds yet. However, perhaps there is a way we can work out the Happions for a given thing ourselves. Perhaps positive costs get added for closeness to personal goals, adherence to personal values, desire, freedom, exhilaration, pleasure. Negative points get added for time away from other important life requirements , guilt, personal danger, hassle, inconvenience to others. Then you get your Happion score for any given purchase, life event, trip or experience. Or even person, dare I say it. You could see how much impact all the Happion elements have for you. Perhaps your guilt score is always pretty high – might be something to work on. Maybe you rarely get high points in the “adherence to personal values” score – could be why you’re not feeling quite satisfied with any of your decisions.

And then, how does your Happion score compare to the time and monetary score? Is the chocolate bar actually worth the Happion points? Is spending lots of money moving house worth it in the long run? Does spending time keeping in touch with that friend improve your Happion score or drain it? How would these scores change from day to day depending on how you were feeling?

Well, there’s my slightly random thought for the day. I reckon my time to Happion ratio for writing this post was definitely worth it, even if the last few sentences took me longer to write than the whole rest of the post 😀

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