I wonder then, what is it that makes the people of Bhutan so happy?
Having done a little research maybe we can find some clues from Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-moon.
"Happiness may have different meanings for different people. But we can all agree that it means working to end conflict, poverty and other unfortunate conditions in which so many of our fellow human beings live."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Speaking at the High Level Meeting on "Happiness and Well-Being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm"convened during the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated that the world “needs a new economic paradigm that recognizes the parity between the three pillars of sustainable development. Social, economic and environmental well-being are indivisible. Together they define gross global happiness.” The meeting was convened at an initiative of Bhutan, a country which recognized the supremacy of national happiness over national income since the early 1970s and famously adopted the goal of Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product.
The General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 66/281 of 12 July 2012 even waent as far as to proclaim the 20 March the International Day of Happiness recognising the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives.
The United Nations invites Member States, international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe the International Day of Happiness in an appropriate manner, including through education and public awareness-raising activities.
Not possible? a silly pipe dream?
Not so in Bhutan.
If you think about it as humans we're all in the pursuit of happiness, everything we do is in truth a means to an end. When you break it down in some way that end shows up as being happiness!
So what stops us from just taking out the middle man, and simply choosing happiness?I understand that there are hardships, challenges, ill health, crisis and disaster....... but surely happiness in any given moment is a choice.
Life is showing up in a series of moments, and in each and every moment we can be responsible for how we feel ( as in we have response - ability).
One thing I've learned is that if you share happiness you'll feel happier. ( as you have to have it to give it away!) Now I'm not saying that when faced with difficult life experiences that its simple or easy to choose happy... but it is available, it is a choice we make. I could give personal experiences here and in some of my talks I have shared personal stories where it took every ounce of my mind , body and spirit to choose "Happy", but I'll simply ask you to consider yourself and your own experiences and see where you could pour a little happiness in :)
Happiness can be in the smallest things, a smile from a stranger, seeing the first flowers of spring, a bright sunny day, a kind word, most certainly in my world - a hug.
So take a moment now- if you will, to imagine what the World would be like if each and every one of us could share that little bit more kindness, smile more often and allow our life to be filled with happy thoughts from moment to moment.
Wow imagine if it were possible to have an international day of happiness every day, everywhere, in every town, village, street, home....you know I think it just might be possible... why not start a ripple right here and now, be the change spread the happiness, it starts with us.
So today I urge you to start that ripple of happiness... start with you, then allow a little to spill out onto those around you, to those you meet today.... and let me know what happens :)
Until next time ,
Make every moment count... and be HAPPY !