<EDIT 04/07/2012: Added link to the source of the graph on the right, which I forgot to put in earlier. My apologies.>
When we talk about a nation’s progress, we often talk about the GDP. A steady increase in GDP, consistent with the infinite growth paradigm, the notion that a country’s wealth and GDP can increase forever. A high GDP per capita means that a country is rich, and a lower GDP means the country is relatively poor.
This is a false paradigm.
Many of us are so so poor these days.
I’m not talking about financial poverty. I’m talking about a relatively new concept of time poverty–the sense that we are always short of time and running behind personal and/or professional deadlines even as we cram more and more activities and tasks in our day than our previous generation.
As it turns out, time poverty really does hinder our happiness. More often than ever we are complaining that we don’t have enough time to do all the things we care about. I too suffer from time poverty. On the Happiness Initiative survey, I scored a 4 our of 100 for the time balance category. My life is occupied with my classes, homework, incessant worries, impatience, stress, and ultimately unhappiness. Despite starting my personal Happiness Revolution almost two years ago, I still worry about my grades, how much money I’ll make, what others think of me, how I can fit well in the system. I struggle with this a lot, and I’m sure most of you do too. It’s so hard to rebel. It’s so hard to break away from conformity and the traditional paths prescribed by society. But you know, ultimately, it’s really about who we are. It’s our happiness.
So let’s be rich–rich in time. Richness is not just about money. Money doesn’t equal happiness. Let’s be happy. Let’s revolutionize. Let’s start something new. Let’s change.
Let’s devote time to our passions and values. Let’s devote time to life.