Listening to NPR during my morning drive, I heard about Great Britain’s plan to measure national success in a new way. In a questionnaire that is sent to all households in early 2011, the UK will add new questions about environmental and psychological well-being. The details aren’t finished yet, but the survey is to include a “happiness gauge” and will ask for an objective sense of respondents’ “life goal” achievements in an attempt to subjectively measure their citizens’ overall happiness and well-being.
Rather than relying solely on financial measurements such as gross domestic product they will be focusing on the non-tangibles. Not a bad idea, after all, don’t many non-financial factors like education, healthcare and sense of purpose all contribute to our overall sense of well being? Makes perfect sense. And, the UK is not alone; Canada and France are looking at similar initiatives. A surprising shift, wouldn’t you say, especially in these economic times. Or is it?
Maybe they’re just trying to shift our focus from endlessly depressing economic news. Maybe their motivation isn’t entirely on the up and up, after all who wouldn’t want to stop looking at today’s finances. Maybe they are trying to manipulate our perception a bit.
But if I put on my rose-colored glasses(and you know how I like to wear these) maybe we can shift our view and find the bright side. Maybe the world is becoming aware that money isn’t everything. And, maybe, just maybe we’re starting to get, It’s Not About the Money!
Am I encouraged? You’d better believe I am. Even if the motivation is a bit off and it’s just a move to distract us, it’s moving in the right direction. Because once our focus shifts from what’s wrong, we can see what’s right. And that’s where real change can happen.
Look here, not there.