Everyone wants to be happy, and a large part of it lies in how we define success. So how do YOU define success? Why? Because this definition determines your priorities in life.
I’ve heard many people say “I want to retire rich with $XXX millions by the age of 40, so that I can then do whatever I want.”
Within this early retirement, they aim at having a certain car, house, trophy girlfriend/boyfriend, gadgets, title achievement, public recognition for certain distinctions etc. It is interesting that individuals measure their success very similarly to national measurements i.e. GDP: private consumption + gross investment + income – expenditure.
But global happiness studies clearly show that wealthy countries are LOW on the happiness index
(Ref: Dr. Ed Diener PhD, Gallup World Poll, assessed people in 155 countries).
In fact, in Dr. Diener’s research, materialism is linked to unhappiness. South Korea for example is economically flourishing, but has widespread rates of rage, depression & suicide. The World Database of Happiness found that Costa Rica, ranked 76th in the world for wealth (GDP per capita: S’pore=52,880, Costa Rica=10,687), but ranked 5th in the world for Environmental Sustainability, shelters the happiest people on the planet (top 12).
So, what did Dr Diener find?
What’s Costa Rica’s secret for happiness?
A strong cultural emphasis on psychological & emotional health, strong social ties between families and friends, the ability to trust strangers, the mastery of a particular skill (passion in doing something) and feeling accepted and acknowledged by others. Another contributing factor is their wisdom in striking a balance with their environment (being eco-friendly) – Costa Ricans are able to live off their land by managing their carbon footprint, which means managing their lifestyle consumption. A very important finding of this study is that what a collective (a nation) values, that is what influences the individual. Hence what we individually value influences the world we create.
A global individual movement is happening on a great scale, but this vital news didn’t make it to our TV channels.
This Life Supportive movement is like an exodus on a global scale counting 85 million people, and the number is still rising (they are called the “Cultural Creatives” by Paul Ray); these people make personal choices to live their lives simply, i.e. by following a philosophy of less is more. It is not just a catchphrase, it is a way of life (not just talk, but daily practice). These are the Green people in Spiral Dynamics – a system developed by Dr Don Beck & Chris Cowan – a study of the evolution of social values and their connection to consciousness.
These Cultural Creatives or Green people are characterised by: love for nature, strong awareness of planetary issues (climate, poverty etc.), emphasis on developing relationships, helping other people develop their gifts; they volunteer actively for worthy causes, buy things that support life on earth, are concerned for big companies exploiting poor countries, are spiritually active; they drastically cut down their spending and are debt free, they place a strong emphasis on what they eat and how this impacts the planet (plant-based diet).
So how do we define success?
Or an even better question: “How do we define happiness?”
When we actively simplify our lives, we have the time and energy for the things that truly make us happy. Many people in the simplicity consciousness movement gain greater mental, emotional and physical “space”. This space is needed for one to redefine one’s mindset on happiness: spending time and energy on key relationships (self, loved ones, “God”), mastering one’s gifts, contributing to worthy causes and, most of all, redefining one’s sense of humanity. And this goes beyond the domain of humans and applies to all sentient beings.
How to start?
Go on a 60-day shopping fasting, give away the stuff in your storeroom and read – literally – “Less is MORE” by Cecile Andrews & Wanda Urbanska, New Society Publishers. Many people talk about wanting to make the world a better place (by being a trainer, motivational speaker, coach etc.). Well, what we eat, what we buy, how we commute, how we use electricity & water and how we treat people daily x 7 billion people – literally – all of these make our world a happier place. As Gandhi wisely puts it “Live simply, so that others can simply live.”
Get on a journey of Self-Discovery and Self-Mastery.
Who is this NEW PERSON you need to become, that’ll make you and your loved ones happier?
Self-Discovery and Self-Mastery are what we actively explore, practice and live in our Complete NLP Training programme. When we become a better person, what we do, what we say, how we show up—they become our gifts for those around us, and the world.