“The trouble with our age is that it is all signpost and no destination,” said writer Louis Kronenberger. I’m concerned that you may have fallen under the sway of this kind of myopia, Aquarius. A steady stream of useful tips and clues has been appearing, but you’re missing some of them. Your long-range goals aren’t sufficiently clear, so you don’t always recognize the significance of new revelations. Here’s the cure: In your imagination, create a vivid picture of your next big destination.
The Maasai people of Kenya don’t have running water, toilets, or electricity, and their per capita income is $300 a year. They use cattle dung as plaster in building their homes because the scent helps repel lions, which dislike it, from venturing too close. And yet they are as happy with their lives as Forbes’ magazine’s “400 richest Americans” are with theirs — even though the latter may live in 10,000-square-foot palaces withstained glass windows, French patio doors, limestone kitchen counter tops, spas, wine cellars, and Olympic-sized swimming pools.
This assertion comes from “Beyond Money: Toward an Economy of Well-Being,” a report done by psychologists Ed Diener and Martin E. P. Seligman. On a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 is “extremely dissatisfied,” 4 is “neutral,” and 7 means “extremely satisfied,” the Maasai, the Inuit of northern Greenland, and the wealthiest Americans all scored 5.8.