TED rule 7Posted: May 2, 2011
This week has been full of adventures. It started with me getting a new motorbike in Medan, then riding and boating to the beautiful Samosir island in the middle of Sumatra, spending some time with the Batak people, and riding again on the crazy mountain roads (200km in 8 hours…), and I finally met my friend Jacques in Panyabunggan. If you’re lost and would like to follow me, I just started to map everything on a google map, you can find it in the “about me” section at the top. I’m also thinking about the not-so-fluent-in-english readers so I added links to google translate the blog in french, spanish or bahasa Indonesia. It’s there on the right ->
One of the things that impress me the most is how friendly the people are. It’s not because I high-five the kids on the road, or because I’m often asked to be taken in pictures (when it should be the contrary!), it’s rather their pure smiles that appear from their astonished eyes when I just say hello. Or how often I’ve been asked if I needed anything. And even in the small houses without electricity – and obviously no washing machine – they look really happy. So happy that I started to search about happiness. On TED.
And there is many TED talks about “perhaps the most universal human yearning: to be happy. But this simplest of goals so often eludes us. We’re not terribly good, we humans, at knowing what we want.” I finally chose Nic Marks, as he shares with us different ways to change our life quality, from measuring happiness, computing the effectiveness of our society to convert natural resources into well being – and using it as a political tool, – to giving 5 simple advises on how to be happy.
“The ultimate outcome of a nation is how successful is it at creating happy and healthy lives for its citizens. That should be the goal of every nation of the planet. But we have to remember that there is a fundamental input for that and that is how many of the planet resources we use.”
Nic Marks is a happiness researcher and the founder of the London Centre for Wellbeing.
The first part of the talk is not so new : Bhutan has been known to base their development goals not on the GNP (Gross National Product) but on a similar Gross National Happiness. What is new is that western countries start to be interested in similar concept, and France (and Sarkozy) is one of the first to effectively measure an happiness index. On his side, Nic has been working with the new economic foundation (nef) on a european survey to measure well being, and later coupled it with the environmental efficiency to create the Happy Planet Index.
You can measure your own well-being, and compare your results to countries across Europe, on the nationalaccountsofwellbeing.org page, as I did, and here are my results in green (pink is France average):
I must say that I am in special conditions, traveling on my motorbike, which can explain the strange shape of the diagram. I’m not even sure the questions or the survey is relevant for me… Well you can do it and share your results in the comments!
The most important is that I don’t have a 10 in all categories, so I can improve my happiness! And this is where I call Nik again and his 5 “secrets to happiness”:
- Be active
- Take notice
- Keep learning
And this will be my TED rule 7: I have to more connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give.