Measuring Happiness – Something About Bhutan

Not every country is on a race to become no. 1 in money power. It helps to have a certain amount of money because then you are not poor and can afford things.

But after you achieve a good enough economic value, there needs to be a shift in mindset for a better human life. And Bhutan does this amazingly well – let’s see what you can learn from this beautiful country.

GDP And Progress

As an individual, your progress is measured by various parameters. And those parameters are chosen by you.

You may consider yourself successful if you achieved a certain type of degree, owned a mansion or got married with kids. And all of which is a fine measurement. Because it is about you – and you are the prime person to decide your well-being.

Countries are another game altogether. A famous thing to measure for a countries growth is GDP – ‘Gross Domestic Product’. It measures worth of all the value made by services and products in the country. So more transactions mean more GDP and that country will be considered a progressive country.

So the race has begun. And every country is trying to push for a higher GDP. Although there are some flaws – largely GDP does its job.

Because if the GDP needs to go up, you need to provide some value. Make some products, provide service, do the transaction.

As such more people will get a job, economic value will rise and there will be more cash flow.

Money Isn’t Everything

But money isn’t everything, it never is. Of course, it solves a major problem – all of which happens because of lack of money.

But there is no guarantee that you will be happy. There is a popular meme stating it is better to cry in a Ferrari than alone. But it misses the point, you need to define what is your end goal?

If it is to be happy then you should do things which makes you happy. If your goal is to get a Ferrari despite anything then go get one.

But for most people, happiness is the goal. So crying on a Ferrari is bad compared to being happy in a normal SUV.

For example, it is far better to feel connected when you are alone in your room than feeling lonely with 100’s of people around you. You crave for connection, being happy and living a stress-free life.

People chase money and they should. Because that is a big part of your life. But don’t chase for the sake of chasing – define a limit, what all things you can sacrifice and how you are going to use money in a positive manner.

Happiness Can Come From Anything

Bhutan as a country is doing something great. Their focus is on GNH – ‘Gross National Happiness’. A measure of people’s happiness based on various parameters which directly dictates the level of happiness.

This is in contrast with the majority of the countries. Of course, they focus on the economic value too.

But their main focus is to make sure their people are happy. This is such a pure thing that it makes you wonder – why not everyone is doing that.

Because it is difficult. Measuring money gained or lost is an easy thing. Measuring the happiness of people is a tough task.

However, you need to ask what is more important – loads of money or a place which vibrates happiness. It is difficult to choose one because in many cases money dictates happiness.

Taking a cue from the above idea. Money is a means to happiness. So eventually you want to be happy, free and creatively express. So let’s focus on the bigger picture and see where you find happiness. If you find your joy in spending time with family, then do that. If you find your spirit in helping people, then go and volunteer at an NGO. Whatever it takes, don’t wait for everything to be in place – get it now. At least try for it.

A Bond Between Money And Happiness

You take on education to become a better human. But also to find your passion and do a job. Which then gives you money and takes up your time. Eventually, you save, invest and grow your wealth so that you can take back your time.

The ultimate goal is to live a fulfilling life. If you end up chasing only one metric then you will end up unhappy.

Because there will be this illusion that you need loads of money to be happy. Which won’t be true for everyone.

Majority of your happiness will come from things like a good relationship, playing with kids, having good health, having someone to talk to, ability to impact others and share a smile. Money provides a cushion, a facilitator to help you. It is a means and not an end.

As Bhutan prioritizes happiness while also focusing on economic things, you should aim for a happy life too.