Tag Archives: Kennedy

Measuring your Happiness

Stumbling upon a quote…

Sitting down at someone else’s desk the other day I saw a pile of books shoved up against the petition. As a person who’s always looking for interesting material to read  I naturally flicked through each one to see if anything caught my eye. In one of the books I came across this quote from Bobby Kennedy. It was delivered in 1968, a few months before his death:

“We seem to have surrendered community excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of things. Our gross domestic product…if we should judge America by that – counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of our redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in the chaotic sprawl. It counts the napalm and the cost of a nuclear warhead, and armoured cars for police who fight riots in our streets. It counts Whitman’s rifle or Speck’s knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.

Yet 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 wit nor 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 worthwhile.”

This final statement…

“We measure everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.”

…really struck me. It seems that although written many years ago, this statement is still as relevant today as it was in 1968. And, it’s not just relevant from a country perspective, it’s also relevant for each of us as individuals.

What gets measured, gets done…

Every time I think about Bobby Kennedy’s words, another quote flashes into my mind:

“What gets measured, gets done!”

We don’t have to look too far to see that whether in society, in organisations, or even in our own lives, what we’re measuring influences what we focus on, and what we do. As a result, understanding what each of us is measuring and why, is critical for us in seeking to achieve greater levels of success, happiness and fulfilment in our lives.

How are you measuring your life?

Using Kennedy’s words as a catalyst, it’s important for each of us to consider how we’re measuring success and happiness in our lives. Often we attach our definitions of success and happiness to those which are most prominent in society; money, possessions, status, fame etc… But rarely do these these yield the true happiness and fulfilment we desire.

My challenge to you is there to ask this question:

How are you measuring success and happiness in your life?

And, once you’ve answered that question you can begin to shift how you live your life by focusing on that which will help you achieve Unconditional Happiness – inner contentment and peace of mind!