Mr Marks questions why statisticians are not measuring the things that make life worthwhile – love, health, happiness, social justice, sustainability – and suggests that in order to create a happy society, the media need to put these stats in front of us, to create a collective goal.
“The ultimate outcome of a nation,” he says, “is how successful is it at creating happy and healthy lives for its citizens. This should be the goal of every nation on the planet. But we have to remember that there is a fundamental input to that, and that is how many of the planet’s resources we use. We all have one planet, we all have to share it. It is the ultimate scarce resource.
[The Happy Planet Index] is a measure of how much well-being we get for our planetary resource use.”
At the top of the graph is Costa Rica, the happiest nation on earth, where the average life expectancy is longer than in the US at 78 and a half years. The remarkable thing is that they are doing it on less than a quarter of the resources that are used typically in the western world. 99% of their electricity comes from renewable resources. Their government is one of the first to commit to be carbon neutral by 2021. They abolished the army in 1949, and they invested in social programs – they have one of the highest literacy rates in the world.
What are the 5 things you should do every day to be happier?
1. CONNECT – invest time and energy in your relationships with your loved ones.
2. BE ACTIVE – best way to change your mood is to step outside in the fresh air or turn on the tunes and dance.
3. TAKE NOTICE – be aware of things around you, the seasons, messages within your body, subtle rhythms of life.
4. KEEP LEARNING – be curious, be open to trying new things.
5. GIVE – generosity and compassion are hardwired to the reward mechanism in our brain. It just FEELS GOOD.
Watch the vid, then let us know what makes you happy!