The financial crisis was a huge hit for practically everyone.  Even if you owned no stock – directly or indirectly – you’re still on the hook for the bailout.  When the price of gas spiked, in contrast, the typical American probably lost less than $1000 for the year.  Objectively speaking, the financial crisis was a lot worse for most of us than $4 gas.

But subjectively speaking, ithe opposite is true.  I bet that half of the people who lost $100k or more in October didn’t even think about it today, much less feel bad about it.  In contrast, when gas was $4/gallon, everyone was complaining about it.  Many sighed every time they passed a gas station, and gritted their teeth when they filled up.

The lesson, once again, is that happiness is primarily about perspective, not facts.  If you lose a pile of money, but nothing reminds you about your loss, you feel fine.  A small, in-your-face imposition can ruin your day.

Happiness skeptics may want to dismiss these observations, but come on: Am I really just making this up?  Or am I saying what almost everyone is thinking?