The secret of happiness? TV and pizza…

I know I’m not the only person who questions exactly what the point of life is. It’s pretty bizarre after all isn’t it? You’re born, you are encouraged to accumulate all kinds of material possessions you don’t need, you die. The End.

Along the way, we are bombarded with ideas and images of ‘happiness’ – the books we should read, the places we should visit, the money we need to earn to be happy. It feels like there is a lot of pressure to strive for more and more extreme ways of achieving happiness, as though the only path to personal fulfillment involves skydiving off the Eiffel Tower, en route to a trek, barefoot, through some obscure mountain range.

Personally, I’m more a fan of life’s simple pleasures. (Read here about my perfect day with Colin Firth and some bagels…). I’ve always thought this was mainly down to laziness or a lack of imagination on my part, but a survey published in the Daily Mail today shows I am not alone. You could say of course that empathising with Daily Mail readers isn’t exactly something to boast about, but the survey was actually conducted on behalf of Radio 3, so I think that’s ok…

The survey reveals that the simple pleasures are indeed the best – the pinnacle of happiness being watching TV and eating pizza. Whilst living in East Anglia. East Anglia?? Apparently so.

What I’m less convinced by is the result that showed that money is the single most important key to satisfaction, ahead of health and relationships. Seriously, do these people think that being lonely and ill, but surrounded by piles of cash would be more fulfilling than sitting in a slightly damp bedsit, enjoying TV and cheap pizza with someone you love? I’m doubtful.

There was a brilliant video on The Guardian website last week about what motivates us at work. And surprise, surprise, it isn’t money. (Do watch it – it’s amazing…).

What do you reckon? Is pizza and TV as good as it gets or can money buy you happiness?

Today then, rather than earning any money, I thought I might just settle down on the sofa with the Dominos menu. That and move to Norwich obviously.



  1. 2 November, 2010 / 10:43 am

    Let’s hear it for simple pleasures! (My favourites are: when my children laugh, skies, drinking wine with friends, good books and a nice cuppa. Also really enjoying the spectacular colours of autumn. All free or cheap!).
    I saw that RSA video last week, too – amazing and very true. Money is necessary and nice, obviously, but not the final word when it comes to happiness.
    Enjoy your pizza!

    • 2 November, 2010 / 3:08 pm

      Wine, books, tea, friends – all great things…

      I was hypnotised by all the sketching! I thought it was brilliant.

  2. 2 November, 2010 / 12:36 pm

    Depends on where the pizza’s from ….

    No seriously I’m not a big fan of TV, but a new Midsomer Murders and a decent curry is pretty good going.

    • 2 November, 2010 / 3:08 pm

      I think you’re allowed to substitute your favourite food of choice Steve :-)

  3. 2 November, 2010 / 12:37 pm

    I once asked a bunch of people (for a vid) what they needed for perfect happiness and the best answer was one I got off an old bloke (about 75 at time of recording) who reckoned it wasn’t happiness that was worth chasing but contentment.

    If you can line all your ducks up so that you are content then I reckon you’ve cracked it. I have achieved it a couple of times in my life, but only fleetingly…

    • 2 November, 2010 / 3:10 pm

      You are quite right of course, contentment is far more sustainable. It happens so rarely though doesn’t it? Like you say, it’s so fleeting. I can actually remember standing at the kitchen sink looking out into the garden one afternoon about five years ago and thinking ‘Ahh, this is it…’. It lasted about ten minutes.

  4. blogabyebaby
    2 November, 2010 / 1:57 pm

    I’m in agreement with the 75 year old mentioned by Mrshev… contentment is where it is at. And I believe that true contentment comes from within, you can’t buy it or manufacture it.

    On the subject of money, I think that there is a certain level of money which can make life more comfortable, its different for each of us, but in essence, enough for a decent roof over our heads, decent food in our tummies and enough for the odd small pleasure. Once you’ve got that nailed, I think the comfort it brings plateaus.

    • 2 November, 2010 / 3:11 pm

      I agree about the money thing. Really not having enough is terribly stressful and miserable, but once you have enough money that you don’t have to shop in Asda, nothing else seems THAT important or essential.

  5. 2 November, 2010 / 5:04 pm

    Definitely believe money can buy happiness. You can do a lot more things if you have more money, buy nice things and take more risks – I’m not talking earning£250,000 a week like Mr Rooney (like he deserves it), I’d be happy with £500,000 a year!!!

    • 3 November, 2010 / 9:31 am

      Just half a million? I think that’s very resonable of you :-)

  6. Kerry
    2 November, 2010 / 8:30 pm

    I think money buys happiness to some extent. You can have all the money in the world and no one to share it with and you will be mierable.

    If you have lots of money and everything else you want/need too, Then I think you’ll be extremely happy.

    Although, people with a lot of money seem to think they are royalty. Hmph.

    • 3 November, 2010 / 9:32 am

      It certainly buys you choices, and freedom to a certain extent, although I’m not 100% convinced that too much choice is a good thing either. Whenever I eat out I always wish they would bring a separate menu for me with just four or five things on it…

  7. 2 November, 2010 / 10:13 pm

    Lets face it, money can’t make you happy. But it can make you miserable, so best to have some just in case I reckon!
    And although the little things do make us happy short term – hot chocolate in a bubble bath – it’s the big things that keep us happy :D

    • 3 November, 2010 / 9:33 am

      Like BIG baths and BIG bars of chocolate… :-)

  8. 2 November, 2010 / 10:20 pm

    So long as you have enough money to buy the pizza and pay for the TV license, I’m happy :)

    • 3 November, 2010 / 9:34 am

      A lady with low standards, I like it :-)

  9. Ksiu
    3 November, 2010 / 1:01 am

    I don’t believe that money can buy happiness. However, the lack of it can defenitly make you miserable.
    My husband is between jobs and I’m on maternity, so money is a big issue, but when I see my baby smile I feel extremely happy (thank god she smiles a lot) :)

    P.S. Love your blog, just finished reading it from the begining (over few days, not in one go). Properly addicted to it. Looking forward for your new posts :)

    • 3 November, 2010 / 9:35 am

      Wow, right from the beginning? That’s very impressive AND flattering – I’m so glad you enjoyed it :-)

  10. 3 November, 2010 / 1:58 pm

    love wine – however the excessive consumption of it can get a little expensive.

    and dominos – oooh how we love dominos in this house – i owe a good stone of my excess baby weight to dominos!



    • 4 November, 2010 / 9:38 am

      The cost is the only real downside to wine isn’t it?

      (Other than liver damage etc obviously…)

  11. 3 November, 2010 / 4:38 pm

    In complete agreement about pizza and TV, although I have to challenge you on one tiny point – that photo’s of no Dominos pizza I’ve ever had handed to me on the doorstep. ;-)

    • 4 November, 2010 / 9:37 am

      Haha! Ok, you got me, it isn’t Dominos…. *caught out*

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