How are you today?

The following is the original and the rewrite can be found by clicking here.

"I am happy", was her answer. 

I smiled having heard this... invited her positive energy in, engaged in the conversation more intently, and walked away feeling slightly better for it.

Conversely, I remember talking to someone a month earlier that told me they have never really been happy; to that comment I had this overwhelming desire to flee and avoid infection.

With two personal data points collected in my now spontaneous research study, I have gleaned the following working conclusions:

Happy People make you feel better and more positive; bring an energy and a realization the world is a wonderful place with an infinite number of possibilities.

Unhappy People will drain your energy and bring negativity; they will leave you depressed, disheartened and shroud the possibilities of this wonderful world in darkness.

Intuitively we know some version of this to be true and there is a wealth of research on this topic (a Google search will prove this out). As I was reviewing more credible research to validate my small study, I came across some data out of the Harvard Medical School entitled - Happiness Is 'Infectious' In Network of Friends: Collective -- Not Just Individual -- Phenomenon.

The summary: Happiness spreads through social networks like an emotional contagion, according to a study that looked at nearly 5,000 individuals over a period of 20 years. When an individual becomes happy, the network effect can be measured up to three degrees. One person's happiness triggers a chain reaction that benefits not only his friends, but his friends' friends, and his friends' friends' friends. The effect lasts for up to one year. Conversely, sadness does not spread through social networks as robustly as happiness. 

With this new data in hand I think it's now apparent that a Network of Happy Friends (NHF) is everything! In combination with the energy that comes with Happy People, you now can add trust, honesty, support, respect, love, kindness and non- judgment. How valuable! 

And as I look for those quotes that have survived the annals of time to corroborate my "research", it didn't take me long - 

Your Wealth is where your Friends are. 

 - Unknown

Admittedly this is the worst research study ever... but the conclusions are not. Just ask my friends.

Thank you to all of them.