Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dan Buettner and the "Blue Zones"

Dan Buettner searched the world to find out what makes people happy. In his latest book, Thrive: Finding Happiness The Blue Zones Way, he talks about "Thrive Centers" which are interconnected: community, workplace, social life, financial life, home and self. On page 216, in Chapter 6 (Lessons in Thriving), he states "Limit the Workweek. When it comes to long-term happiness, personal income fails to provide much of a boost for Americans once a household rises above the $60,000-a-year threshold. Individuals who work long hours have less time for social interaction, education, culture, sports and volunteer work. They're also more likely to suffer chronic diseases and a poor family life. The Danish-mandated maximum of 37 hours per week is a good benchmark."

On page 70 (the chapter about Denmark), he states "Most Danes work 37 hours a week and go home to their families or their associations. They take an average of six weeks vacation. If people work for money, they do so to get just enough. The lesson: Knock off at 5 p.m. and take your vacations. The Danes' Protestant work ethic is tempered by their understanding that working too hard - or too long - is a waste of time. So they get their jobs done and pursue other things they enjoy."

Dan Buettner is an internationally recognized researcher, explorer and author. He founded Blue Zones to research the world's best practices in health, longevity and happiness.

This is an excellent book.

2 comments:

Robert said...

Very good advice. Here in USA, people work more, but it's like a treadmill. When the populous has more money, things like the housing market become more inflated so we get less for our money.

chandra said...

This is a great talk, for me its always myself first that makes me feel happy to move to my family. Workplace and money comes next, when your happy every thing comes your way! Thanks
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