What Determines The Economy of People’s Happiness?
Gross National Happiness = Gross National Product?
At the end of the 90s many employed in the service industry were exceeding those employed in the goods-producing industry.
The majority of those employed in the service industry were dealing with processing and distribution of information in the banking, communications, wholesale and retail trade — all professional services such as computer software development, engineering, non-profit, economic activities, consumer services, government services, etc.
This shows that mankind has entered a new stage of its development — transitioning from industrial society, where the prevalence of the economy was focused on production, moving to the post-industrial, where the economy was focused on services, phasing into information society, where the economy is focused on information.
The information society is one in which everyone can create, to access and share information. The main resource of added value is information.
Accordingly, in the information society the forefront of society is the high-tech gadgets and the connection with the Internet, since they have become essential tools for sharing information and making money.
But how in this high-tech society does one live in harmony with him or herself, when even modern technology has become people’s “friend?”
On this topic, I’m exploring what I like to call the “information fuse” of society.
The Gross National Happiness is a mental and emotional well-being of people that is based on their experiences and accumulation of intellectual, physical and social resources of the nation. The research of the institute shows that happy people have better health, lower blood pressure, stronger immune system and high durability. They carry less emotional impacts on the national health system.
Communication with these individuals is easier on an emotional and mental level, it’s easier to work with them, they have higher potential of making the right decisions, are more productive, and are able to better manage crisis situations and are creative innovators.
It turns out that in practice the countries with the highest GNP (Gross National Product) per capita are far from the forefront of nations of which the majority of people define themselves as “happy.”
The last century brought many tangible benefits, but less prosperity. Many people are emotionally bankrupt and miserable. Life in our present socio-economic system requires more competition and fewer interruptions and breaks.
With the increasing cost of living, aggregate demand and social and professional tension most people live in chronic stress, pain, anxiety, fear or rage. The term “rat race” seems to be “up to date,” more than ever before.
Many people feel this “up to date” tension as stress, fatigue and depression. The reasons for this are complex — technological, cultural, political and economic.
The extent and speed of change brought huge challenge for nations, organizations, and people. Everyone feels the invasion of these changes by global competition, social engineering, political and military conflicts, and the outsourcing of powerful economic and political “performers.”
Unparalleled global initiatives applied enormous pressure on the consciousness of the average individual and household. In some ways these changes “caged” people and their lifetime investments, determining their career and their long-term relationships.
Using measures such as GNP, consumer behavior and many similar processes, aims to show and be a benchmark for economic health. Not used but widely accepted measures of well-being of people. It is largely a subjective feeling. Being happy is a product of personal development and social evolution. The basis is the environment — technological, cultural, social, economic, and political.
Probably because happiness is very subjective, if we had to find indicators of happiness, the six listed below would make the top of the list, as described by Tony Robbins:
Thus on one hand, technology is the backbone of the information society. It cannot exist without it. In many ways people in the information society “appear” to live better.
With technology people are:
- in constant contact with loved ones
- able to work on the go
- able to work from home
- easily informed
All of this creating opportunities — nationally and internationally, and allowing people to make money.
In the midst of the technological era, I suggest that we take time to forget about our electronic gadgets at least a couple of times per week to allow ourselves to rest fully and to devote sufficient time to our loved ones. This would most likely lead to more prosperity, growth and better personal connections with others.
The question that arises to my mind is what does the modern telecommunication products bring to us? How do they affect the welfare and well-being of people? Of course, there are many positives and there are negatives. A topic for further discussion.
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About The Author
Dr. Kachovska is an internationally known Change Catalyst. She teaches individuals and organizations about awareness, connection and the need for change — personally, socially, and professionally.