The theme of today's episode is happiness and overall wellbeing! I will be talking about how wellbeing has traditionally been measured, such as with gross domestic product, before looking at some more novel approaches to gauging happiness and wellbeing, through genuine progress indicators and gross national happiness. We'll be diving into the concept of the middle path, which is a deep-seated idea that has roots in many traditions, from Buddhism to Christianity, with many ancient civilizations possessing something analogous to it. It is all about avoiding extremes and helps us attain contentment without directly seeking out pleasure. It also means avoiding too many restrictions, self-denial, and austere lifestyles. I'll be talking about what happiness is, where it comes from, and the ways we can foster and observe it in our inner and outer lives. I also want to consider happiness in ways that are less traditional — something beyond mere joy, cheer, and pleasure. Lasting happiness can often be characterized as something more akin to contentment, peace, and satisfaction. Ultimately, sustainable wellbeing can only be achieved when the personal and planetary align, so what is good for you and me and the planet will lead to more lasting happiness all around!
Key Points From This Episode:
• What is happiness? The many ways that we can broadly define it.
• The deep history of the measurement of happiness and wellness.
• Simon Kuznets and the idea of gross domestic product; correlation and inconsistencies.
• The examples of Singapore and Costa Rica and the genuine progress indicator.
• Gross national happiness; the indicator that takes the focus away from economics.
• The country of Bhutan as a champion of Gross National Happiness.
• The World Happiness Report and the International Day of Happiness.
• Components of gross national happiness; complimentary material and spiritual development.
• The nations who are at the top of the World Happiness Report!
• The middle path as the way to happiness! An old idea that can help us all.
• Understanding what this median means; acceptance, non-attachment and mindfulness.
• The current situation in Bhutan and its four basic pillars for development.
• Applying the middle path to happiness to our own lives; avoiding extremes.
• Meditation, inner dialogue, and acceptance — adding to the inner ocean.
“There are also definitions of happiness that include things like contentment and satisfaction.” — Kristina Hunter [0:01:25]
“What I wanted to talk about today though is more than the idea of happiness but how do we get there.” — Kristina Hunter [0:12:29]
“The middle way is the way of moderation. It is living in between extremes.” — Kristina Hunter [0:13:00]
“I personally like to think of it as having an inner ocean. That is our true selves.” — Kristina Hunter [0:15:39]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: