"Being fearless, spending time with friends, and going outdoors", is what my son thinks makes us happy.
How about you, what do you feel makes us happy?
It's the International Day of Happiness (coinciding with the dawn of Spring and the Persian Nowrooz / New Year)!
The pursuit of happiness is a shared goal across various societies and cultures around the globe. It is a driving force behind our actions, decisions, and even economic development. It is no wonder that the United Nations recognises and promotes happiness as a core component of global progress.
However, does our happiness truly hinge on economic growth?
Understanding the nuances of happiness and its link to economic progress can provide valuable insights into how we can nurture holistic wellbeing in ourselves and those we serve.
The first step in exploring the connection between happiness and economic growth is understanding the concept of wellbeing. Most people associate wellbeing with a robust state of mind and body, encompassing overall happiness, contentedness, and optimised physical health.
Wellbeing is more than a state; it is an inherent aspect of the human experience, existing within each person from the moment of birth.
As we navigate our lives, we often inadvertently obscure our natural state of happiness and wellbeing with layers of conditioning, beliefs, and distractions. Instead of recognising that our wellbeing is always accessible to us, we can mistakenly believe that happiness depends on external factors like success, wealth, and possessions.
The emphasis on economic growth is a reflection of society’s general belief that we need more and better things to be happy. In this perspective, happiness is tied to the pursuit of goals, achievements, and milestones. As we achieve these markers of advancement, our happiness levels are believed to rise.
However, our focus on economic growth as the key driver of happiness is misplaced. Moreover, excessive economic growth can often lead to detrimental consequences that negatively impact both individual and communal happiness. As societies prioritise material wealth and consumerism, factors like income inequality, environmental degradation, and mental health challenges often arise. In the race for economic growth, it is essential to recognise that progress needs to be balanced with a focus on wellbeing and sustainability.
Personal wellbeing is best nurtured by turning inward, reconnecting with our innate happiness, and striving for fulfilment and contentment that transcends monetary gains or material possessions. The most valuable investments are often those made in building quality relationships, fostering compassion, and cultivating resilience.
Entrepreneurs and health professionals have unique opportunities to influence and support a shift in society’s understanding of happiness and wellbeing. As thought leaders and innovators, creating products, services, and initiatives that empower individuals to access their inner happiness and build strong networks of support can contribute to true progress and lasting positive change.
I'll leave you with one small request...
If you can, do one thing today to help someone you love or care about to feel happy.
Upcoming book: Rethinking Health, Happiness, & Wellbeing
Looking for fresh insights? Insight Workshop
My mission is to support visionary entrepreneurial leaders as they improve the lives of others.
My vision is to see a world where every individual has access to better health, happiness, and wellbeing. This includes high quality preventive, wellness, healthcare, and public health services. It also includes products and services that address the wider determinants of health, across all sectors.
Yet oftentimes, we need to look inwards too…
A healthier and happier world begins with thriving entrepreneurial leaders that create amazing solutions. That’s why I also support entrepreneurs to gain the insights they need to thrive, feel fulfilled and free while they create impact.
Learn more at The Entrepreneur's Doctor.
DISCLAIMER: The content is provided for information only and is not intended as a substitute for medical or any other professional advice. The content is not necessarily representative of any organisations affiliated with Dr Behrooz Behbod. The views or opinions expressed by guests are not necessarily shared or endorsed by Dr Behrooz Behbod. Individual’s experience may not represent the typical participant. Your background, education, experience, and work ethic may differ. This is used as an example and not a guarantee of success. Your results may vary.