Talk about burying the lead. New York Times columnist John Tierney reports on a Harvard study that found that a focused, attentive mind results in significantly greater happiness than daydreaming.
“Using an iPhone app called trackyourhappiness, psychologists at Harvard contacted people around the world at random intervals to ask how they were feeling, what they were doing and what they were thinking.”
The title of Tierney’s piece is When the Mind Wanders, Happiness Also Strays, and the first three paragraphs of the story address this specific finding.
While the daydreaming aspect of the story is interesting, it isn’t even close to the best part of the study.
Most significant to me was the fourth paragraph, which reported that people were happiest in the midst of sex.
The implications of this are astounding. Obvious, perhaps, but astounding nonetheless.
First, it’s amazing that people were willing to respond to an iPhone prompt during sex or immediately thereafter.
That itself could have been the lead:
Technology in the Bedroom: People Participate in Coital and Post-Coital Study (presumably with their partner’s permission)
It’s a lengthy title, but it’s a hell of a lot better than Tierney’s choice.
Or how about the fact that the sex generates the greatest degree of happiness? This may sound obvious, but based upon the conversations that I have had with husbands and wives, couples are clearly not taking full advantage of this king-of-all-activities happiness generator.
With that in mind, the title of Tierney’s piece could have been:
Unhappy? Drop the Headache/Long Day and Tired Routine and Take a Roll in the Hay!
Seriously. With a tough economy, limited leisure funds, and a general state of unhappiness plaguing so many people, why not take advantage of this free, calorie-burning, happiness-infusing activity?
And why not make this the lead?
Isn’t it better to lead with the glories of sex than the pitfalls of daydreaming about sex?