03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Next Economy: The Pursuit Of Happiness

Our economy is shifting from being based on consumerism to something else. The question is what will that be. In the past 75% of GNP was based on consumerism. Consumerism, using credit to achieve its ends, has pushed us into economic disaster. We have poured our energy into consuming more clothes, cars, jet skies, jewels, and houses that look like mansions, and we are still not happy or truly wealthy.

So if the next economy is not based on consumerism, what will it be? Well, this is a long story, but let me share a few thoughts. I believe the next economy will be based on the "pursuit of happiness." Even now religion and spiritual activities are growing. Many people are realizing that community and a relationship with something bigger than themselves brings more happiness than consuming things.

There are many industries that can thrive if the "pursuit of happiness" begins to replace consumerism. Instead of the President saying, "Go shopping" as a solution, what if he said, "Make our world a better place to live." Our happiness would grow if the air and water, which are vital to life, were cleaner. Our happiness would grow if we lived in communities of people who support and cared for each other. Our happiness would grow if instead of finding ways to have more than others, we were committed to making the human experience here on Earth more meaningful and profound. Our happiness would grow if we were not always striving for something we don't have, and learned to live in the present with gratitude and joy.

What are the industries that may emerge? To name a few ... greening, health and well-being care, architecture, growth of religions and spiritual communities, building mixed use environmentally friendly communities, energy innovation, communication enhancements, meaningful TV, theatre and movies that help people find their own happiness, helping the less fortunate learn to thrive, growing and distributing foods that support health, mind-body-spirit programs, art to create and extend the beauty of the world.

Along with some very smart people, I am creating and institute committed to "Manifesting Wisdom, Wealth, and Well-Being Worldwide." Here is a website we are refining that can tell you more about these efforts. ... I would love to hear your thoughts about this project.