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Climb on Board the Happiness Train!

Illustration courtesy of Margaret Channon // 

By Kelly Isabelle

A happiness-bound freight train is coming!  Hear the hum?  Feel the vibration?  Pack your bags and prepare to jump on board!  

Tired of the status quo in our country?  Here is something you can do about it!  Be a part of a growing movement to shift our national marker of success from “product” to “pleasure.”  I mean pleasure in the most satisfied and fulfilled sense of the word.  In this state most would define themselves as “happy.”  Replace Gross National Product with Gross National Happiness as your own personal measure of success and inspire others around you to do the same.  This is called “a movement”!  

Our Western stuff-based economy has sold us a bill of goods that’s proving to no longer to be all it was cracked up to be.  The promise of bigger, better, faster, now and more, more, more is leading us down a fast track of self-destruction.  While standard of living (the amount of income we earn, our access to resources and our ability to acquire “stuff”) has sky-rocketed for the majority of Americans in comparison to many developing nations around the globe, our quality of life has begun to erode.  Many of us realize the hamster-wheel of success is dizzying at best and have taken steps to slow down or get off altogether.  We have opted to downsize, scale back and have taken active steps to reconnect with ourselves and our communities around values that matter most to us.  

What is at the core of this drive to stop and shift course?  Aren’t we all looking for the same thing…sure that if we look hard enough and take enough steps we will find “it”?  What’s the “it” we are hoping to find?  Isn’t it happiness?  Not the fluffy kind of happiness that is disconnected from reality…but an elevated state of being that allows us to rise above the day-to-day minutiae of life and engage on a more meaningful level with the rhythm that perpetually flows within and around us?  

Are you convinced yet that striving for the “American Dream” as it has been advertised isn’t really getting you where you want to go?  Want another option?  Want to be a part of a movement to shift our national discussion from “product” to “pleasure” in the truest sense of the word?  Embracing the domains of and engaging in a national discussion on Gross National Happiness as an earmark of our success is a very real and tangible way for you to be a part of the sweeping change needed to turn our country around. 

We need a reboot. We need a new direction to head toward.  The GNH train is putting down tracks to get us there. Are your bags packed? Are you ready to take a ride?  Commit to some deep personal exploration of what makes you happy.  Are you striving for the life you want rooted in the values that make your heart sing?  Are you willing to step out on a limb and engage with those around you about this very topic?  When we are competing for more, our neighbor is our competitor.  When we are striving for meaning, fulfillment, connection, joy, our neighbor can be our companion on the journey. 

The time is now for a GNH movement to gain traction in our country with the intent of shifting our national markers of success.  Feeling called to get on board?  I am!  Check out

Kelly Isabelle is a full-time workin’ mama and spouse striving to live “slowly and simply”.  Kelly’s career and vocational pursuits include 25 years in healthcare, ministry, bike tour directing and most recently homesteading.  Her passion is purposeful living, capturing meaningful moments through a lens and putting pen to paper to tell about it!  Read more on her Facebook page:  slow and simple living@slowandsimpleliving.

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