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The Happiness Manifesto

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  441 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Synopsis: Much of modern life is based on the assumption that happiness comes from economic prosperity. Many -- politicians, media and citizens alike -- seem to assume the goal of government is to keep the economy moving. Here, Nic Marks argues that the blind pursuit of economic growth has created an environment that actually undermines our happiness. He offers some bold s ...more
ebook, 40 pages
Published January 19th 2011
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Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Gross Domestic Product "measures everything except that which makes life worthwhile."
Adrian Crook
Mar 17, 2011 rated it liked it
This is one of a new series of TED minibooks that are based off (or perhaps an extended version of) a TED presentation. That's probably why it feels as though some slides with actual data are missing, but nonetheless the book did surface some excellent arguments - all stuff I wholeheartedly believe in (perhaps I should read some books that don't merely serve to confirm my beliefs... nah).

I am keenly interested in how we measure happiness, personally, nationally and globally. If you follow me on
Daniel Stephens
Jun 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-on-kindle
Overall this book puts over some good points - particularly about modern governments meaningless obsession with growing GDP - but in places it rather reads to much like an extended press release for the Think Tank the author works for.
Peter O'Brien
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“The Gross Domestic Product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country. It measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhil ...more
Fernando Martinez
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
That book was actually awesome.
Jude Alford
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Parts of this certainly didn't age well! David Cameron as champion of happiness...
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nic Marks presented a TED talk on The Happy Planet Index. This Amazon short covers a lot of the same ground, fleshing it out with a bit more detail.

The message is that policies using Gross Domestic Product as a measure of success would not necessarily improve public well-being or happiness. The Gross Domestic Product measures everything "except that which makes life worthwhile". It promotes goals which serve the economy rather than the people. If the goal of Government is to improve public well-
John Brooke
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"…the only thing we have to fear is... fear itself."

Fear drives out happiness in our lives, and I firmly subscribe to my belief that the purpose of human life is to be happy. As in 1929 we are once more faced with the dreadful reality that our misplaced economic values have brought us once more to the abyss of world wide financial collapse. The bulk of mass media: newspapers, television and radio, are controlled by only three corporations in the United States of America. Fear mongering is good
May 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Some absolutely amazing take home messages in this little book. One of the key points he made was this: happy people contribute more to society, come up with more creative solutions and are more community-minded. How I wish we could get the Australian public and the current government to understand this. Unhappy, frightened people do not make for an optimal society.

And this psychological observation that is far too often overlooked by would-be activists trying to rouse the masses:

"So returning t
Nov 09, 2012 rated it liked it

"Happy people live longer, some studies even suggesting up to ten years longer"

In his TED book, ‘The Happiness Manifesto: How Nations and People Can Nurture Well-Being,’ and in his TED talks, economist Nic Marks offers many positive ideas worth spreading; especially in his suggested, “Five ways to personal well-being:” 1) Connect; 2) Be active; 3) Take notice; 4) Keep learning; and 5) Give.

Although encouraged by the use of the word ‘Nurture’ in his title, I am skeptical of a
May 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Not a self-help book in the popular sense, but the true sense: an engaging and inspiring explanation of a manifesto for real change on both a personal and global level, prioritising that which truly matters to and for us as individuals, humankind, and part of a planet, and allowing all to flourish in balance and harmony. There is no fear, running away or giving up in here, and it isn't at all phony for that lack - it feels absolutely genuine, which gives the reader equally genuine comfort, heart ...more
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The only "Proper" way ahead!

The irrelevance of ongoing yardstick to measure and compare the so called 'progress ' of nations ie GDP, has been substantiated logically. The well worked out alternative metrics ie HPI encompasses the universal concerns ,including those of future generations .The bottom line is ,progress is actually regress in case it does not factor in the natural aspiration ie happiness of people and if it is at the cost of future generations.Total12 action plans,5 at individual le
Aug 21, 2013 rated it liked it
The GDP is a flawed measure of a nation's well being and our allegiance to it as such has turned us into countries, corporations, and people stuck on a treadmill blindly pursuing a never attainable "more". If we learn to factor happiness into our measurement, encouraging us as communities, businesses, and individuals to value generously connecting with others and remaining physically and mentally active we'd all be happier, healthier and generally better off. Somehow in a mere forty pages the au ...more
Feb 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, uk
This is really a long essay rather than a book as such, but interesting. Drawing together economics and psychology, it describes how we (individuals as well as nations) have been mistakenly pursuing wealth when we should be pursuing well-being, specifically sustainable well-being. It seems to have been written just as the coalition government took over and the optimistic bit about Cameron made me squirm, but that doesn't mean that the suggestions for improvements (5 for individuals and 7 for nat ...more
Ana  Ulin
Nov 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book's thesis can be summarized in one sentence: we should replace the GDP index for measuring progress of a nation with a comprehensive well-being index. There is nothing much else in the book -- some examples of how such an index could be created, and how some people are working on such indices.
May 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is clearly a different way of looking at economics and growth. Can we grow and still maintain our life style? Is this really the life style we want? Are we burning ourselves and the Earth out?
Feb 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Good big picture rehashing of familiar themes - this topic gets actually interesting only if the practical measurements associated with happiness are tested and evaluated in sociology and measurable impact is identified. otherwise it's another metric that makes us feel better
Jun 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Interesting read about how government needs to focus on happiness as national policy.
Christopher Sommervold
So far it's a great book. It has given a lot of information about groups around the world that are more interested in peoples well being then their financial situations.
Feb 06, 2012 rated it liked it
This TED essay has some very thought provoking ideas in it and should probably be on the recommended reading list of every politician in the world!
Steve Cameron
Oct 19, 2014 rated it liked it
manifest twaddle
Mar 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
First Kindle single and TED book. Short and sweet but not too much new going on. Reminded me of 7 habits of highly productive people, but with more data to back it up.
Aug 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ebook
Interesting ideas. It would be grand if we factured in the happiness factor in how we evaluate how well we do as a nation, society, and individuals.
Jul 29, 2011 rated it liked it
No, not a self-help book, but a nice quickie read on the GDP vs. happiness.
May 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Short and sweet - a thoughtful reminder of what government can work towards.
Aug 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Quick and very interesting book.
Feb 06, 2016 rated it liked it
interesting concept...short read
Feb 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have long thought along the same lines.
Jim Stogdill
Mar 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
GDP is a bad measure. Not only for being incomplete, but for creating the wrong incentives. We need a better set of measures that include overall well being.
rated it really liked it
Jun 22, 2014
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“Much of modern life is based upon a false logic, a logic that assumes that happiness and well-being come from financial prosperity.” 3 likes
“There are two main reasons why this assumption is wrong. First, once basic material needs have been met, there is very little evidence that pursuing financial prosperity generates much extra happiness for individuals or for nations. Second, by blindly pursuing economic growth, we are creating a whole set of social and environmental issues that will undermine the potential happiness and well-being of future generations.” 2 likes
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