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From FastCompany: If we’re going to remake our economy to increase well-being for all people, we would do well to include these 10 new tenets of economic freedom. This is excerpted from What’s The Economy For, Anyway? — a book by John De Graaf and David K. Batker that looks at how the economy can create “the greatest good for the greatest number over the long run.”
From The Energy Project: Our most fundamental need as human beings is to spend and renew energy. Instead, in a world of relentlessly rising demand and chronic overdrive, most of us spend far more mental and emotional energy than we adequately renew, and far too little physical energy to stay fit.
The average American gets just over 6 ½ hours of sleep a night. In fact, more than 95 percent of us need between 7 and 8 hours to feel fully rested. Great performers, from musicians to athletes, average as much as 8 ½ hours of sleep a night.
It’s during sleep — deep, sufficient sleep — that our bodies not only renew and recharge, but also repair themselves and grow.
From Karen Siedlecki, Sandra Donnay and Michelle Paggi in The Journal of Positive Psychology: Despite age-associated decreases in cognitive and physical abilities, age is not associated with a decrease in ratings of well-being; this phenomenon is termed the ‘paradox of well-being.’ One potential explanation for this paradox may be that older adults place less value on cognitive abilities that have been shown to decrease with age (e.g., memory) and more value on cognitive abilities shown to increase with age (e.g., knowledge). Using online methods, 358 individuals between the ages of 18 and 88 completed a survey assessing the values placed on everyday cognitive abilities, self-ratings for those same abilities, and life satisfaction. Results indicated that there were minimal age-related differences in values placed on everyday cognitive abilities and that values generally did not moderate the relationship between perceptions of cognitive functioning and life satisfaction. Of note, values placed on cognition significantly predicted life satisfaction in younger adults, but not in middle-aged and older adults.
From Knowledge@Wharton: The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister David Cameron plans to create a national well-being index. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has formed a team that includes two Nobel Prize-winning economists to come up with a system for measuring the nation’s well-being. In China, happiness indexes have become so popular that cities there compete for the title of China’s happiest city. Many now argue that purely economic measures of a country’s progress — such as gross national product (GDP) — fail to count many things people value highly, such as personal and community relationships or a healthy environment. To learn more about measuring happiness, Knowledge@Wharton spoke with Nic Marks, author of the e-book, The Happiness Manifesto: How Nations and People Can Nurture Well-Being.
From Sam Harris: Einstein endorses a strong conception of moral truth, founded on axioms, and focused on the well-being of humanity. While he does not discuss progress in neuroscience and psychology — which, I maintain, makes the separation between ethics and science ultimately unsustainable—he seems to consider ethical truth to be on all fours with the truths of mathematics and the rest science.