People (and counties) are constantly measuring themselves up against each other. This can be a good thing and lead to some healthy progress, but unfortunately, we tend to measure progress and prosperity in all the wrong ways.
People (and countries) still value conspicuous consumption very highly. For individuals, this can be reflected in a massive house, many fancy cars and a walk-in wardrobe with enough clothes and shoes to open a small retail outlet. For countries, it is that all-important measure called GDP.
Now there is nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, but if most of the contestants in the race are running in the wrong direction, you have a problem. The real goal is a happy, healthy, wealthy and sustainable life, but unfortunately, most of us are constantly becoming unhappier, unhealthier, more broke and an ever-growing burden on the planet.
The fundamental mindset that has gotten us running in the wrong direction is called consumerism. As we have discussed before, consumerism does not bring any happiness and presents a big threat to our environment, our economy and our social structures. We really have to start running in the right direction.
The correct measures of individual success are linked on the right-hand sidebar of this blog under “lifestyle calculators” and the correct measure of success for a country is called the Happy Planet Index. Please determine how you are faring in this crucial race and then please make a commitment to at least start running in the right direction.
Filed under: Introduction – Key concepts