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Scandinavian Life Philosophies For a Long, Happy, And Meaningful life

“No people can be truly happy if they do not feel that they are choosing the course of their own life.”

World Happiness Report 2012

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Scandinavian Life Philosophies For a Long, Happy, And Meaningful life

Scandinavian Life Philosophies For a Long, Happy, And Meaningful life

https://medium.com/personal-growth/scandinavian-life-philosophies-for-a-long-happy-and-meaningful-life-b324c2014c4b

medium.com

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Key Ideas

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

“Happiness consists more in small conveniences or pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom.”

The happiest countries

Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden are ranked among the top happiest places in the world. 

Their population enjoys a healthy work-life balance, high standards of living with less pressure, less stress, and more time for everything they enjoy and love doing.

"Lagom"

It's part of the Swedish culture. It means “Not too little. Not too much. Just right.

The concept encourages an overarching balance across our lives: everything in moderation.

"Hygge"

In both Danish and Norwegian, 'hygge' means “to give courage, comfort, joy”.

In Denmark, 'hygge' is a central part of the culture. It’s about giving your responsible, stressed-out self a break to live in the moment and enjoy your immediate environment.

"Lykke"

This is the Danish word for “happiness.” 

The concept teaches that happiness isn’t a destination, it’s a habit. It’s what we do to make everything else in life awesome.

“No people can be truly happy if they do not feel that they are choosing the course of their own life.”

“No people can be truly happy if they do not feel that they are choosing the course of their own life.”

"Sisu"

Etymologically, it comes from a Finnish root word that implies “inner” or “inside.” In Finnish culture, it’s about adopting the attitude of persistence and determination.

It’s often described as stoic determination, the tenacity of purpose, grit, and resilience.

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The Philosophy of The Nordic Design
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Moving from Art Nouveau towards Art Deco

In 1915, a Danish company for decorative arts launched a magazine to promote local craftsmanship.

It was made to compete against the Art Noveau movement. Social commentary pressed more on the arts, which paved the way for Art Deco - an industrially-driven design philosophy.

The Golden Age of Scandinavian Design
  • In the 1930s, artists, inspired by the concepts of Constructivism, Functionalism, and Surrealism, paved the way for Nordic design's iconic milestones.
  • In the 1950s, the Lunning Prize (an equivalent of Nobel Prize) hailed exemplary designers who have given valuable contributions to Nordic Design from 1951 to 1970.
  • In 1954, a traveling exhibition comprised of the region's best designs landed in the United States and Canada and influenced the American culture.
  • In Denmark, Danish design thrived during the 1940s to the 1960s and created its own flavor, abandoning grandeur ornamentation in pursuit of form and function.
  • After WWII, Danish design has become a democratic movement, where makers turn to mass-producing natural raw materials such as ceramics, wood, and leather.
  • While the popularity declined in the 1970s, it had an upturn a decade later.

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Dan Millman

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Find and increase flow experiences

Flow is when you are so consumed by a task or activity that you lose track of time, for instance, gardening, reading, or watching a movie. It's an optimal experience that can make you happy. Flow can be achieved in almost any activity that requires prolonged mental effort.

Seek out daily happy habits. Your brain will build up expectations of being happy and will rewire itself to seek more happy habits.

Express gratitude

Research reveals that small and regular positive experiences have a greater impact on your life satisfaction than a few notable events of achievements.

Expressing gratitude can make you feel better about yourself and your life. It can make you feel more grounded, humble, and connected to the world around you.

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A happy country

Denmark is famous for being one of the happiest countries in the world.

It is known for being one of the most egalitarian countries in the world and its high levels of wellbeing are of...

Prioritise a work-life balance

The Danes have better work-life balance than anywhere else in the world, with only 2 per cent regularly working long hours (compared to an average figure of 13 per cent for other countries). 

All employees are entitled to a minimum of five weeks paid holiday a year, and when Danes are at work, they often have flexible working environments. 

Appreciate the little things

Hygge is the Danish concept which involves creating a warm and contented atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with people you love. 

Hygge is about everyday happiness. It’s slowing down, being in the present moment and celebrating the simple pleasures in life. 

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3 kinds of happiness that don’t ever last
  • Rock Star Happiness: Rock star happiness is all about getting what you want. And we think it will make us happy. 
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If you aren’t growing, you are dying
Happiness that is true and lasting is quite simply this: progress. Progress = Happiness! If you are moving forward in your life, if you are progressing personally, professionally, emotionally, spiritually — you will be happy. It is only in stagnation that we wilt.
Happy people are well rounded people
Happy people are well rounded people
  • They savor the moment. They "stop to smell the roses".
  • They're busy, but not rushed. A healthy work-life balance is key.
  •  They don't sweat the small stuff...
Happy people invest in their relationships
  • They spend money on others. One reason is that it creates social connections.
  • They celebrate other people's success through "active and constructive" responding.
  • They treat everyone with respect and kindness. Kindness, like happiness, is contagious.
  • They're proactive about relationships. They work on maintaining their relationships.
  • They express gratitude. It improves mood and energy and decreases anxiety.
  • They engage in deep, meaningful conversations.
The attitude of happy people
  • They're optimistic. Bad things happen to all of us. Happy people don't complain, whine or let pessimism become a self-fulling prophecy.
  • They view problems as challenges. They focus on solutions to the problem and reflect on what they're grateful for.

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Seneca

“As long as you live, keep learning how to live.”

Seneca
A personal Philosophy

We all need personal philosophy in life or we risk wandering and responding to random stimuli and information with little or no impact on our long-term goals.

Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius

“You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.”

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The idea behind kakeibo is to help you understand the relationship with money by keeping a ledger with all incoming and outgoing transactions.

The difference from other budgeting systems is that kakeibo emphasizes the importance of physically writing things down as a way to observe your spending habits.

Reduce impulse buying
Before purchasing non-essential items ask yourself:
  • Can I live without this item?
  • Based on my financial situation, can I afford it?
  • Will I actually use it? Do I have space for it?
  • How did I come across it in the first place? (Did I come across it after wandering into a gift shop out of boredom?)
  • What is my emotional state in general today? (Calm? Stressed?)
  • How do I feel about buying it? (Happy? Excited? Indifferent?)
  • How long will this feeling last?

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Mahatma Gandhi

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Mahatma Gandhi
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”

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Take total ownership of everything

Take personal responsibility for your successes, failures, your health, your happiness, etc.

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Make the shift

... from a blame-based mindset to one of solutions and collaboration. 

When you're feeling stuck, unfulfilled or disconnected from who you are, it can be easier to blame outside circumstances and people.

Take a step back in every situation and ask yourself what you did to allow this to happen. Once you are aware of how you contributed to the situation, you can make the necessary changes in your life.

When it is not your fault

Regardless of what happens to you, be it a disease or a natural disaster, you are 100 percent responsible for how you choose to react.

The life-changing magic happens when you make the choice to respond positively. That is how you take personal responsibility when something completely out of your control makes an impact on your life.

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Subjective well-being = Genes + Circumstances + Habits
  • Subjective well-being is preferred by social scientists instead of happiness because it's not so vague and subjective. 
  • Research shows there is a big genetic component in determining the baseline you always seem to return to after events sway your mood.
  • Circumstances could make up between 10- and 40 percent of your subjective well-being. But their effects never last very long.
  • The one variable that affects long-term well-being and is under our control: habits.
Habits = Faith + Family + Friends + Work
Constant happiness comes from human relationships, meaningful work, and the transcendental elements of life:
  • Faith doesn’t mean any faith in particular. Just find a structure through which you can contemplate life’s deeper questions.
  • When it comes to your family and friendships and how they should be, just cultivate and maintain loving, faithful relationships. There is no magic formula.
  • What makes work meaningful is not the kind of work it is, but the sense it gives you that you are earning your success and serving others.

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