Make Someone Happy

My Favorite ThingsSure, gifts are nice and all, but how do you really make someone happy?

The GNH formula is a great place to start. That’s “gross national happiness,” as developed by Bhutan King Jigme Singye Wangchuck back in the ’70s.

It’s rather fascinating (see the video below, if you want to know more), but the gist is that:

More money does not equal more happiness. Social, environmental, and economic wellbeing do.

So, how do you do you go about this realistically in your everyday life? Bhutan Prime Minister Jigme Thin explains it like this:



  • Think better thoughts. That’s all it takes to start making things better.
  • Note three things you’re grateful for, every day. Try it. You’ll discover new joys in unexpected places.
  • Give: You’ll get more out of it than they will. In the process, it will make things better for everyone.

“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.”—Saint Basil

Toddler Hug


  • Happiness before success.  We’re taught to believe happiness comes after success. Truth is, happiness make you more productive and more successful.

“Your brain at positive is 31 percent more productive than at negative, neutral or stressed … The hormone dopamine that permeates your system when you are positive also turns on all the learning centers in the brain.”—Jigme Y. Thin

  • It’s all about balance: Sure, money is important, but so are meaning and connection.



  • Think ahead. Leave the world a better place than you found it. Be cognizant of what we’re bequeathing (materially and morally) to our kids.
  • Be contagious. Scientifically, human happiness is contagious by a degree of three. That’s because we’re genetically programmed to be social animals. So when you’re happy, you make three other people happy!

“We have the power to create ecosystems of well-being. The cost is zero and the benefits are immeasurable.”—Randy Taran. Project Happiness

Now, get out there and make someone happy! First stop: yourself.

What ways do you try to make others happy? How does it affect your own life?

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