Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. - Mahatma Gandhi
For decades, we've been taught that economic growth and buying more stuff will make us happy. The good news is, there’s a better kind to be happy: It starts with meaningful work, loving relationships, and a thriving natural world.
In the last 100 years, we got very confused about happiness. The way we define happiness drives what we do, what we’re willing to sacrifice, and how we spend our money and our time.
Advertisers spend billions spreading the illusion that more stuff will bring us happiness. And policy makers of all political stripes spread the message that economic growth leads to well-being.
Sustainable happiness is built on a healthy natural world and a vibrant and fair society. Happiness comes, through good and bad times, because it starts with the fundamental requirements and aspirations of being human.
The good news is that sustainable happiness is achievable, it could be available to everyone, and it doesn’t have to cost. It begins by assuring that everyone can obtain a basic level of material security.
It turns out that we don’t need to use up and produce the stuff that is supposed to make us happy. We don’t need people working in sweatshop conditions to produce cheap stuff to feed an endless appetite for possessions. We don’t even need economic growth.
Sustainable happiness comes from other sources. We need loving relationships, thriving natural and human communities, opportunities for meaningful work, and a few simple practices, like gratitude. With that definition of sustainable happiness, we really can have it all.