Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wellbeing Index: Measuring What Really Matters

What if we lived in a world where countries no longer strive to out do each other by having the largest rate of growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as their measuring stick to their success as a country?

What if countries of the world measured their progress based upon measuring things that really matter, the wellbeing of it’s citizens and those of the world at large?

Well may be there is hope yet for a world like that!

The president of the New Road Foundation, the non-profit charitable organization that brings your the Financial Integrity Program, recently sent me a link to the Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW).

The CIW Network is at the forefront of a global movement. Around the world, a consensus is growing about the need for a more holistic and transparent way to measure societal progress – one that accounts for more than just economic indicators such as the Gross Domestic Product and takes into account the full range of social, health, environmental and economic concerns of citizens.

CIW has come up with such a measure that looks at 8 eight interconnected categories. These categories are:
  1. Living Standards
  2. Healthy Populations
  3. Community Vitality
  4. Democratic Engagement
  5. Time Use
  6. Leisure and Culture
  7. Education
  8. Environment

Tracking these indicators or categories will enable CIW to see whether we are better or worse off than we used to be, whether we will leave the world a better or worse place for the generations that follow, and what we need to change to achieve a better outcome.

Over the past ten years, the OECD has been leading the debate on measuring well-being and progress. They are strong supporters of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW).

After all, as individual countries and as a world, we are much more than the dollar value of what we produce, our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The potential applications of the CIW as a measure is endless.

It could be used to assess how various regions, provinces or states within a countries are doing in relation to how others are doing.

It could be used to develop policies both locally, nationally and globally to make sure that everyone is benefiting from the public policies.

But what about us as individuals?

We to often measure our wellbeing by the amount of MONEY we have. But I have often discussed in this blog, TIME is much more valuable than MONEY. But, there are other things to consider as well.

What about our community?

What about the environment?

What about our overall health? 

Are these thinks not equally or more important than money?

Perhaps we need to develop a Personal Index of Wellbeing (PIW). One that measures our success or wellbeing not by what we earn or what we possess, but by what we are contributing to our better good and that of others.

If you were to use the PIW as a measure of your life, how do you think you would fair?

My guess is that if we were all to measure our wellbeing by a PIW, and came up with a strategy or plan and were to put that plan into action, we could truly find the happiness we all long for.

The great thing is there is already such a program in place that allows you to align your spending and earning with your values and that which really matters most.That program is the 9 Step Financial Integrity Program. Check it out! It could lead you to a great PIW.

Until next Time.

Gord

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