Saturday, July 23, 2011

International Happiness

As I had mentioned a couple of days ago, I've been reading The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner. He is a cranky journalist (although he seems pretty content by the end of the book) who goes on an adventure to visit places all over the world to find out where people are the happiest and what happiness is actually all about. The book does a great job of painting daily life in the ten countries, including his native country - the U.S.A.. After reading Chapter 3, I added Bhutan to my ever growing wishlist of places to visit.

I won't give too much away here, as I think you should check out the book for yourself, but there were a couple of quotes from people he talked to that really stuck with me and made me think.

From Switzerland: "The Swiss know instinctively that envy is the great enemy of happiness."

From Bhutan: "For the Bhutanese, happiness is a collective endeavor...The phrase "personal happiness" makes no sense to them..."

From Iceland: "...failure doesn't carry a stigma...we admire failures...We like people who fail if they fail with the best intentions."

From Thailand: "You can't change things outside yourself, so you change your attitude."

From India: "We keep postponing happiness. We can only experience happiness now. The present moment is inevitable."

Throughout the book, Eric asked the people he spoke with how happy they were on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the greatest. Where are you at these days? I think I am sitting at an 8. Thanks for checking in!

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