Monday, April 11, 2011

Happiness!

Today I bought a new book via Kindle Singles. Amazon's Kindle "Singles" are short stories--the book world's equivalent of a single from a music album. This marketing idea is, in and of itself, an interesting topic. Genius fitted to the typical American attention span....

And the short book which caught my eye is the Happiness Manifesto, by Nic Marks. I am captivated! I'm ready to announce my second career as a traveling Happiness Manifesto consultant. And by traveling, I mean via 2008 Harley Road King or 1979 Catalina 27' Sloop or 1984 Fuji Touring Series IV or perhaps company Bombardier Leerjet 85 (no offense, 2006 Subaru Forester). And by consultant, I mean guy who gets paid tons of cash to show people and groups of people (some really BIG groups of people) how to get and stay happy the Nic Marks / New Economic Foundation way.

Timeline:

  • On 18 March 1968 Robert Kennedy said the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "measures everything except that which makes life worthwhile." 
  • In 1972, the term Gross National Happiness was coined by the former King of Bhutan, as a way of shifting the emphasis from material goods to the well-bing of his subjects.
  • In 2001, Nic Marks starts the Centre for Well-Being at the New Economic Foundation (NEF). 
  • The NEF developed the Happy Planet Index (HPI) in 2006. The HPI measures the amount of health a population is able to extract per unit of Earth's resources. In general, Latin American countries are the "happiest" and African countries the least happy. Developed countries are in the middle, penalized by their larger carbon footprints. 
  • Nic was asked to give a TED Talk on measuring happiness, which he did in 2010. Then he was approached about writing a short book about the talk, which he did and that result was just published in January of 2011. I now have it on my Kindle. It's called, The Happiness Manifesto: How People and Nations Can Nurture Well-Being. 

More about the life and times of Nic Marks is on his website here: http://www.nicmarks.org/

Nic Marks' TED Talk is here: http://www.ted.com/talks/nic_marks_the_happy_planet_index.html

Happiness is ...
                    ...  a sense of purpose.