19/04/2017 08:13 BST | Updated 19/04/2017 08:13 BST

What If Happiness Was The Benchmark?

What if happiness was the barometer?

My Son Jack is 17. 

**CRUISING RAPIDLY towards 18**

**I'm most certainly NOT old enough, thank you for noticing!**

At age 15 he was in the 95th percentile of boys in his age group in our city in the UK, in terms of academic ability.

And I made the decision to take him out of his highly sought after place at the boys' grammar school and move to Spain.

Jack was miserable at school. He hated it. 

He SHOULD, by rights, have loved it. He was academically able, popular with peers and teachers alike. 

He cruised through exams with ease and little stress.

Yet for whatever reason he didn't enjoy it.

(History repeating itself as we're very similar in all respects, including academic ability and dislike of school!)  

One cold, rainy November day he came home soaked to the bone and freezing and said: "I wish we were in Spain"

That day I booked the ferry to Santander in Northern Spain.

Two months later we arrived in Spain and two years down the line we are both SO MUCH happier.

Jack self-studied at home and took some GCSEs which he did excellently in (not the 14 that he would have had to sit if he had stayed in mainstream education).

But more importantly than that he's HAPPY.

In my opinion the education system is MASSIVELY FLAWED. I'd go as far as to say it's totally fucked up.

It channels kids out of creativity and into jobs. It focuses on grades and academic achievement over happiness, creativity, love and joy.

On the whole it's my belief that mainstream education fails to prepare kids practically or emotionally for adulthood.

It fails on so many levels which is why so many of us spend so much of our adult life not having a fucking clue what we are doing. 

Never feeling FULLY in alignment with what we are doing.

Wondering if this is really IT?

Because we are blinkered and funneled and sorted and graded from such an early age that we know no different.

Not even remembering how to FEEL or understand ourselves or how to determine what's right for us, or tune in to ourselves. 

We've been taught to listen to our heads and not to our hearts. "You love sciences, you should be a doctor like your dad". 


I'm not saying everyone should pull their kids out of school immediately. (Although given my time again I would have done it a lot sooner with Jack.)

I am saying there needs to be a massive fucking shift in how we measure success.

At the moment, for most of society, success is judged upon job, income, postcode, car, status, marital status, grades, achievement.

But what if we used a different barometer?

What if we judged success on happiness.

I don't mean the happiness we get from a night out with friends or a family holiday. 

I mean deep, inner happiness, peace, joy, love. 


Would you be doing what you are doing now if there was a shift like this?