I’ve written before about Britain starting to measure Gross National Happiness (GNH) as a supplementary measure to GDP.

GNH is a measure that King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, of the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, first coined in 1972 when he assumed the throne at the ripe young age of 17! Talk about a wise head on young shoulders.

GNH relies on development being not just about the accumulation of wealth but the overall development of people in all aspects of their life – material, physical, cultural and spiritual.

Happy public policies

Most importantly GNH relies on good governance to create the right environment for people to pursue their own individual level of happiness. And in 2008, the Bhutanese Prime Minister launched a GNH index to further guide public policy:

  • At least 60% of the country’s land must remain under forest cover at all times
  • A $200 tariff is charged per day for each foreign visitor to control the tourist inflow and ultimately protect the environment and culture
  • And the sale of tobacco products is banned

Would a national happiness index work in Australia?

Whilst it may work for 700,000 people in Bhutan – and by the way it’s certainly not perfect in Bhutan – could it work for larger countries? Could it work for capitalist nations and western democracies that aren’t necessarily spiritually aligned? Could it work in Australia?

Well I don’t have the answer but my hope is that it can. And it can start with you & me. Here is a great link to 10 tips for improving your overall happiness and well-being.


So go on, get started now!

What are you waiting for?

1. Click on the link above

2. Download the pdf

3. And start applying it to your life. Enjoy 🙂