11/22/2009 08:11 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Science Says We're Unhappy -- So Let's Change

Strange news from polling data has come up to smack us in the head. And I don't like it.

Gallup's latest oddly-named Lifestyle Poll statistically showed that Americans are less satisfied now with their lives than at any time since 1992! While historically we are less satisfied during tough economic times, this poll produced a single shocking stat: Only 47% of Americans are "very satisfied" with what's going on. That's the first time this number has been under 50% since Gallup started measuring data like this back in '79.

"In general are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in your personal life.." went the question from Gallup to thousands of at-home respondents (who has a landline these days?). "Americans are not quite as personally satisfied as they have been in the past, in the midst of one of the worst economies in decades; however, it is notable that such a poor economy can affect personal satisfaction only so much."

If only 47% of us are "very," that has to say 53% of us are "not very." If we aren't - then what the hell are we doing? Americans are stuck in neutral and don't know which way to turn. Do you want to be idling in mud? Me neither.

I find that real personal change comes from making better - and more - impressions. Unless you live in a no-man's-land you are spinning around humans. And everything that happens, happens with others hanging on. But, you can get to where you need to go without making stressful wholesale changes. You have to make tiny adjustments to how you are seen--being consistent! You have to be sure that everyone you come in contact with meets the Model You, the one you put there that's shiny and new.

Or you can hang out with the 53% of who aren't very satisfied with life. It is, as always, a choice. Choosing to stand out can make a difference between having everything you've ever wanted and wallowing in a fifth circle of mediocrity among the other Americans who stand there with their arms folded.

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