International Day of Happiness

The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – that’s all that matters ~ Audrey Hepburn

Be happy today because today is the International Day of Happiness!

Since 2013, the United Nations has celebrated the International Day of Happiness as a way to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world. In 2015, the UN launched the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which seek to end poverty, reduce inequality, and protect our planet – three key aspects that lead to well-being and happiness.

The world is a rapidly changing place. Among the fastest changing aspects are those relating to how people communicate and interact with each other, whether in their schools and workplaces, their neighbourhoods, or in far-flung parts of the world. In last year’s report, we studied migration as one important source of global change, finding that each country’s life circumstances, including the social context and political institutions were such important sources of happiness that the international ranking of migrant happiness was almost identical to that of the native born. This evidence made a powerful case that the large international differences in life evaluations are driven by the differences in how people connect with each other and with their shared institutions and social norms.

This day was originally conceptualised and founded in 2006 by Jayme Illien, then CEO of the United Nations New World Order project, to advance a new economic system, theory, and philosophy called “happytalism”, which achieves the UN’s global goals and the happiness, wellbeing, and freedom of all life on earth. This came from his belief that the happiness, wellbeing, and freedom of all life on earth is the ultimate purpose of every human being, nation, and society. Illien developed his vision for global happiness as humanity’s ultimate purpose, through a life spent on the frontlines saving orphaned and abandoned children fleeing war, genocide, and extreme poverty, and theorizing about solutions to the human condition, and the great challenges facing humankind, after he himself was abandoned as an orphan, and rescued from a roadside in India in 1980, by missionaries of Mother Teresa, who first named him Adam, and sent him to live in America.

Illien believed that an “International Day of Happiness”, established with, and recognized by, a new UN resolution, with the support of all 193 UN member countries, would provide the essential, unique, and broad-based, wide-ranging democratic support, international credibility, and worldwide legal legitimacy, for a new global day of happiness for humanity, which in turn, would enable future generations to eventually, objectively consider the concept of happytalism as a new economic system to solve to the great challenges facing humanity, thereby placing the fate and future of happytalism directly in the hands of the people and future generations. In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly adopted UN resolution 66 281: International Day of Happiness with the unanimous consensus of all 193 Member States, and the support of then UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon, declaring March 20 as the international day of happiness. Illien chose 20 March for its significance as the March equinox, a universal phenomenon felt simultaneously by all of humankind.

On March 20, 2013, the first ever international day of happiness was celebrated with the launch of UNIDOHappiness, and the “Ten Steps to Global Happiness” campaign theme, which has since become an annual tradition.


The 2020 International Day of Happiness campaign theme is ‘Happiness For All, Forever”. To celebrate, UNIDOHappiness, the UN secretariat for the International Day Of Happiness, is calling on all 7.8 billion people and all 206 nations and territories, to take the “Ten Steps to Global Happiness” challenge and call to action. The ten steps to global happiness are “ten easy steps any individual, organization, or country, can take on the international day of happiness, and throughout happiness week, to celebrate the international day of happiness, while also advancing the happiness, wellbeing, and freedom of all life on earth by 2050, when the United Nations forecasts global population to reach 10 billion”. The first step is “Tell Everyone”, which is designed “spread the word” to increase global awareness about the very existence of the international day of happiness, and the UN’s unanimous recognition of happiness as a human right, as well as happiness as an approach to sustainable economic and human development.

So what are the Ten steps to Global Happiness? The Ten Steps to Global Happiness are ten easy steps any individual, organization, or country can take to celebrate the International Day of Happiness while also advancing the happiness, well-being, and freedom of all life on Earth by 2050, when the United Nations forecasts global population to reach ten billion. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the first step is to tell everyone to be happy!

Tell Everyone – Tell as many people people as you can about this day which is just eight yeats old. Happiness is an undeniable right of every human being and everyone, regardless of race, language, religion or sexual orientation. So go out and spread the message.

Do What Makes you Happy – Don’t you think happiness is a fundamental human right? I do and so today I am going to do something that makes me happy. I am going to read and and also think happy and positive thoughts today. I plan to spend time with my children as well and have some one on one time with each of them. You too should do what makes you happy today (and not just today, but everyday). Spend time with family, friends and loved ones, engage in what excites you, exercise and get those endorphins alive. In short, be passionate of all that you do, at least today, if not daily!

Give and Spread Happiness to Others – Happiness is contagious. The secret to happiness is giving and spreading happiness to others. Step 3 is to give happiness and spread happiness to others: friends, co-workers, family, or even better, a random person who would never expect it. This is a simple and personal step and when completed by all of us, this step is integral to spreading happiness exponentially and globally.

Host or Celebrate a Happiness Month Event – Because of the World Happiness Day, March is now celebrated as Happiness Month. I think it’s apt because in the northern hemisphere, March is the advent of spring which bring happiness and hope after a dull and depressing winter. An entire month which is dedicated to happiness – as a human right, fundamental human goal, and as a way of life for all. Celebrate this month by hosting an event either within your family or friend circle or you can join an event at the website.

Share what makes you Happy – Share what makes you happy on, both offline and online. We all know that happiness is contagious, even if it is virtual. Sharing what makes you happy will inspire others to share their happiness too, and will appear in our happiness feed creating an exponential explosion of all happiness around the world!

Promote the UN Happiness Resolutions – This step is all about sharing the UN Happiness resolutions to spread the word about how 193 UN Member States adopted two UN resolutions recognizing and advancing happiness as a human right, and the need for a new economic system that places happiness at the center of sustainable economic development, and all life!

Read and Share the World Happiness Reports – The World Happiness Report is an annual publication of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. It contains articles, and rankings of national happiness based on respondent ratings of their own lives, which the report also correlates with various life factors. As of March 2019, Finland was ranked the happiest country in the world twice in a row. The 2018 iteration was released on 20 March and focused on the relation between happiness and migration. According to the 2019 Happiness Report, Finland was the happiest country in the world, with Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and The Netherlands holding the next top positions. My country of birth, India stood at 140 and where I live now, Singapore stood at number 34. The United States was at number 19. To check where you country stood in 2019, click this link. and to read the World Happiness Reports from 2012, click here The 2020 report should be released sometime later today.

Advance the Global Goals for Sustainable Development – In 2012, the United Nations called for a New Economic Paradigm of Gross Global Happiness. Then, in 2015, the United Nations adopted the Global Goals for Sustainable Development: 17 goals and 169 targets for the world to achieve by 2030, on the path to have ten billion happy people by 2050.

Become a Global Partner and Ambassador – If you are a corporate or a website, you can become a global ambassador and partner by simply downloading and adding the UNIDOHappiness logo to your website. Or you can put the logo on anything like mugs, tee shirts, bags or just about anything to show your solidarity with the global movement to advance happiness as a human right and achieve happiness for all!

Advance and Adopt ‘Happytalism’ – There is a saying “save the best for last” and that is exactly what this last step is all about – the best thing you or anyone can do to celebrate the International Day of Happiness. How? Be happy, complete the Ten Steps to Global Happiness, and advance the happiness of all life on earth.

So what are you going to do to celebration Happiness Day and on a macro level, Happiness Month?

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