Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Measuring Happiness

This article, from the New York Times Review, is not strictly about how to find out exactly what you want (our theme for the month), but it does touch on an important aspect of it: measurement.

Technically, the article talks about how governments and other agencies no longer use just the GDP to measure how successful a country is, but instead is working on a "happiness index" that takes into account various quality of life issues. The challenges of how to measure happiness is a big part of what's in there.

And that is part of our challenge when coming up with what we want, isn't it? It's tempting to say "I want a six figure income" or "I want ____________" (you fill in the blank). But the real challenge is to find out WHY, because in that why, is what we really want.

More money, for instance, may translate into freedom, or a kind of lifestyle, or something else intrinsic.  It's not the money, it's what the money MEANS that you want. And once you know what that intrinsic thing is, then suddenly there are more options to getting it, more paths available to you.

And that is important, I think. It gives us more sense of control over our lives, and makes our choices more ours. We're more likely to do the work to get it, day in and day out.

I'd suggest reading the article, even if you aren't normally into things like the GDP, because there is a lesson there about changing your lens as a way to find, and get, what you want out of life.


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