Clean the brain, not the drain – Day 17

Gross National Happiness,Transformation and Advent

December 17, 2020

Day 17

In the last few months of the year I repeatedly delve deep into my memories of my past Bhutan trips. Actually, the plan was to be back in Bhutan with my partner's family right now. It always turns out differently than you think.

Since my first trip in autumn 2014, this country has cast a spell on me. It's not just the landscape, or the temples, or Buddhism, the people. It is all together, permeated with joie de vivre, down-to-earthness, mindfulness and wisdom.

In 2016 I attended a workshop with a group of Australians at the Gross National Happiness Center in Bhutan. The topic was - transformation. More about the workshop from my blog from 2016: Slow Change Exerience

We spent a few days in Bumthang, where we visited, among other things, a primary school whose curriculum was based on the principles of the national common good concept and was supported by the Gross-National Happiness Center. The age of pupils in a primary school in Bhutan is 6-14 years.

Blackboards were painted on the outside walls of the school buildings, on which e.g. the 4 pillars and 9 topics of the Gross National Happiness Constitution for shaping the common good and social life in Bhutan were presented.

It was a list of 10 Core principles for Life

Self Awareness
Critical Thinking
Creative Thinking
Decision Making
Problem Solving
Empathy
Effective Communication
Interpersonal Relationship
Coping with Stress
Coping with Emotion

Quote: "Clean the brain, not the drain" Ap Boktos message

Through my family, in my academic career and at university, I have acquired values, knowledge and skills that have shaped me into who I am today, and for that I am grateful.

But in my youth, and certainly not at the age of the primary school pupils at this school in the Himalayas, I came across such a simple, compact list of skills that sums up all of life in a few words. I have the feeling that in the last few years of my professional and private development, in particular, I had to acquire most of these skills through leadership seminars, through my training as a transformation consultant or through painful and enriching personal experiences from life.

This list of core skills, analogous to the principles of Emotional Intelligence according to Daniel Goleman, can already be internalized as an adolescent - this could enrich our attitude and quality of relationship and save us a lot of friction and loss of energy - at work and in life.