With happiness on the agenda

With happiness on the agenda

Happiness in the way that only small children can portray it!

My next stop is Bhutan, the small mystic kingdom which has set happiness on the agenda. Defining the term Gross National Happiness already in 1972, they later developed a survey to measure peoples wellbeing, The Gross National Happiness Index. All proposed policies in the country are reviewed in terms of their impact on the Gross National Happiness. The four pillars of the term being the promotion of sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment, and establishment of good governance. Not an easy task to incorporate these general terms into policy making, but maybe easier in a country based on Buddhist values than in our consumer driven societies. I live in Norway, a country which has ranked top in the UN’s Human Development Index year after year. We are so well off we have no idea how lucky we are. Are people happy? Stress related diseases seem to be affecting even small kids, and depression is the new normal. The better off we are, the higher up on Maslov’s pyramid we climb, and the more room there is for unhappiness. Or at least it seems like it.
So tomorrow I am escaping this crazy world of Western values and going on a 19 day high altitude trek in the northern mountains of Bhutan. Do I expect to find happiness? Yes, I do. But it doesn’t mean I am not happy at home, I really am. For me this trip will be about exploring a country I have dreamed about for years, and having some room for myself in the element that I love the most; the mountains. And off course it is just as much about the challenge as it is the adventure. I always seek challenges. It keeps me alive. The challenge now is called the Snowman trek. A trek with a lower percentage of completing than Everest. A trek that normally takes 24 days shortened to 19 days in order to get back to my kids before they forget about their Mom. I will miss them! But I am sure they would miss a happy mother if it weren’t for the fact that I do follow my dreams.

4 responses to “With happiness on the agenda

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