Nat Ware, founder and CEO of 180 Degrees Consulting, presents Why We’re Unhappy: The Expectation Gap at TEDxKlagenfurt conference.
Listen to the MP3 Audio: Why we’re unhappy – the expectation gap by Nat Ware at TEDxKlagenfurt
I remember being shot the first few times I went to Africa. I was shocked when I met a one-legged taxi driver in Kenya. I was shocked when I met Sonia, an orphan schoolgirl in Rwanda. And I was shocked when I met a disabled subsistence farmer in Mozambique.
What shocked me wasn’t their poverty, but their happiness. I found their happiness confronting — far more confronting than poverty. Of course, not everyone was happy, but of those above a basic subsistence threshold level, I was surprised at how genuinely content many of them were. And I became fascinated in this notion, this idea of happiness.
And since then I’ve researched it, I’ve worked on it, I’ve thought about it. I’m interested in it from an economics perspective. It’s one of the things that I research at Oxford. And I’m interested in it from a social enterprise perspective, because happiness is after all the ultimate social outcome.
And I think it’s particularly appropriate that we talk about happiness today, because we have with us the Prime Minister of Bhutan, the very man who pioneered, who introduced and who championed the idea of gross domestic happiness, rather than GDP as a way of tracking country’s progress, as a way of monitoring how governments are doing.