Ohood Al Roumi as Minister of State for Happiness. She remains responsible as DG of the Prime Minister’s Office. pic.twitter.com/1Omrzc9b8F— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) February 10, 2016
Earlier this month a 100-day happiness plan was approved by the UAE government and with March 20 marking International Day of Happiness, it seems like the right time to assess where the country is. Thankfully, in an open letter, the Minister of Happiness has provided an update.
"We have defined guidelines for shaping policy across government, and we have started to create structures for coordinating among government entities and for defining new approaches to services and service delivery," Ohood Al Roumi shared. "We are also developing benchmarks and assessment tools, in order to formulate and monitor measurable performance indicators for happiness."
Aside from her update, there are a few things we could all learn about what happiness is from her speech. Here are the key points:
Safety and opportunity goes a long way
"Happiness is knowing that you and your family are safe; that there is opportunity open to you and your children; and that you can depend on a high degree of care, dignity, and fairness in your society."
Team work is key
"Happiness is not something that is bestowed from on high; we all must work to achieve it. But, as I see it, our role in government is to create an environment that enables happiness and a positive attitude toward life to flourish."
We need to open our minds
"Happiness can't be mandated, demanded, or enforced. It must be encouraged and nurtured. It requires a change of mindset, with a focus on seeking constructive outcomes. It is experienced at both the individual and collective levels."
What exactly is this indicator we are calling happiness? It is neither a transitory moment of delight nor a constant condition. It is a state of being beyond satisfaction, a flourishing and ambient joy.