Where in the World is Happiness?

According to the 2018 World Happiness Report, the same countries are in the top ten as they were in the 2017 World Happiness Report, with Finland now topping the list. These are in order:

  • Finland
  • Norway
  • Denmark
  • Iceland
  • Switzerland
  • Netherlands
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • Sweden
  • Australia

The report showed a decline in American happiness that pointed to a social crisis as opposed to an economic crisis. The downward drop in the United States continued and now ranks 18,  down from number 14 in 2017 and 13 in 2016.

The report pays special attention to the social foundations of happiness for individuals and nations. It starts with global and regional charts showing the distribution of answers from approximately 3,000 respondents in each of more than 156 countries, up from 150 countries.

The 2018 report also measures 117 countries by the happiness of its immigrants.  Finland ranks highest in this category also, with the rankings closely following the general ranking with the exception of Mexico being number 10, displacing the Netherlands from the top ten as it drops to the 11th rank.   The United States, with an immigrant population of 15%, ranks 15th right behind Austria at 14th, Ireland at 13th, and Israel at 12th.

The top ten countries have remained the same as last year although some have switched places. Six key variables are surveyed for happiness, each of which digs into a different aspect of life.

These six factors are GDP per capita, healthy years of life expectancy, social support (as measured by having someone to count on in times of trouble), trust (as measured by a perceived absence of corruption in government and business), perceived freedom to make life decisions, and generosity (as measured by recent donations). All of the top ten countries rank high in all six of these factors.


Professional Development: Perpetual Learning!

Learning never exhausts the mind.

Leonardo da Vinci

Social and human behavior science has shown that a key trait associated with success and contentment is being a life long learner.  This is much more than maintaining technical competency in your chosen field.   Perpetual learning is driven by a curiosity for knowledge and an understanding on how people and the world works.  Investor Warren Buffet, one of the most investors in history, reads fiction and other books in domains other than business or economics.  Research by Randall Kiser and others into effective lawyers has shown the correlation between the pursuit of knowledge and wise decision making which leads to effective representation of clients.  Successful learning involves a commitment to modify attitudes, perspectives, conduct and habits to produce lawyers eager to perform representation with pride. This requires more than attendance at CLE programs and is a learning grounded in scientific principles.  This includes research in neuroscience, human behavior, positive psychology, and social science applied research to lawyers and the legal profession

Please feel free to download my latest column published in November by the Pa Lawyer magazine of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.  This is the 22nd installment in my series, The Effective Lawyer.

If you are interested in receiving PDF’s of any of the others in the series listed here, please email me at robertcreo@happyeffectivelawyer.org.

Billing Hours

A post on Law360, on October 5 by Emma Cueto, based upon a report by the practice management software Clio, estimates that only about a third of the time attorneys spend at the office translates to billable hours.

The report notes that attorneys already work outside of normal business hours to reach billable hour goals. It suggests that more delegation of administration tasks and more face time with clients.

Emma Cueto, Billable Hours Only 30% of Attys’ Day, Report Says, Law306 (Oct 2018). (View Article)

Mediators Beyond Borders International Board Meeting & Retreat

As an incorporator with Ken Cloke and a founding member and Sec. Treasurer of MBBI from 2006 to 2009, Robert Creo is pleased and proud to see the growth of MBBI and that the implementation of its humanitarian mission continues with vigor.

Robert and twenty-four MBBI members (including past and current team/project leaders, board members and others) met in Pittsburgh for a day and a half. Through a variety of small and large group activities, they prioritized the most critical issues:
– Develop funding
– Current leadership & Provide staff support
– Quality products/What is our niche?