While we make small efforts each day to seek happiness, health and balance in our lives, the people at Gallup are the gathering data regarding how we feel about the progress we are making.
And over the last decade, they asked people worldwide -- 80 percent via in-person interviews and 20 percent via phone -- just how they are feeling when it comes to their overall sense of well-being. After collecting personal rankings of quality of life (given on a scale of 1 to 10), the Gallup World Poll has determined which countries are currently thriving in its Global States of Mind 2014 report, which was released recently at the Meridian Global Leadership Summit. Jon Clifton, the managing director of Gallup World Poll, joined HuffPost Live host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani to share the most surprising findings.
"Right now, Sierra Leone is the number one country within Africa in terms of thriving -- we did capture this data before ebola broke out," said Clifton. "And a lot of people are wondering about what's happening in Russia right now. Russia is now the highest it's been in our decade of tracking in terms of thriving, and a lot of that is probably driven by things like more freedom that people are expressing within the country, less attitudes about thinking that government corruption is widely spread, and also very high approval ratings of Putin."
However, as new countries rise to the top of the list, others that are known for their well-being rankings are experiencing a decline.
"Perhaps the most surprising finding of everything that we've seen, when we ask people about their satisfaction with their freedom, there's one country that was in the top 10 in 2006 that has now fallen out of the top quartile of all countries that we track," he said. "And it's the United States."
To hear more about the findings of the Gallup Global States of Mind 2014 report, watch the full HuffPost Live clip in the video above.