Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Danes

Another word on "why are the Danes so happy"...

I think, upon consideration, that one of the main factors is that the Danes are a bit ahead of the curve when it comes to learning to be relaxed.

It is something I'm only starting to learn myself, and I think it's an essential ingredient of happiness.

And even of success too. One of the very few sports matches I have watched was when the Danish women's handball team beat the Korean one in the Olympic gold match. You don't find harder-working, more intense, and more disciplined sportsmen/women than the Koreans, and yet the Danes beat them.
A similar example is when the Danish soccer team won the European championship. They were not even supposed to be in the finals, but another team dropped out, and they were put in. Some of the players had even started their vacation!

It's clear that the Danes are quite relaxed comparatively. You are much less likely to get your nose or your windows broken for silly reasons in Denmark than in most of the world. They are just laid back.

Becoming relaxed is easier said than done, of course. But it can be done. I think the main process is one of giving up the "battle" attitudes one may have. Because fear is what creates tension, and a fighting attitude is what creates fear. (Even though it may seem to relieve it temporarily.) And, well, fear is what creates a fighting attitude, sorry. One can also work with the fear directly. In any case, it's probably a long process, but worth it.


Pascal [P-04referent] said...

YOU are late in learning to take it easy? No effin' way, dude! I mean, really?

Well, dang, how'bout that, eh?

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I may have exaggerated a little, I've come a long way, sure.

Anonymous said...

For a while, I worked for this guy who had to feel that the world was coming to an end to be happy. He would spend every weekend building scenarios where someone was trying to steal his project, or some obscure phrasing in a document could only mean that his clients were secretly dealing with the competition, etc.

I would then get a panicked phone call on Sunday night, every week, so that we could discuss the problem. Every week, I had to analyze where in hell he had gotten his crazy ideas, and then waste anywhere from one to three days "defusing" the idiot, after what I could get some useful work done.

The worst part was that the project was very interesting, the team was just awesome (they had the advantage of having an ocean between them and my boss), and the project had real potential. But the damned fool had to ruin it all, just because he felt that nothing was being done if everybody was happy.

Looking back, that had to be the most miserable period in my entire professional career. Being flat broke and in debt to my neck (done that too) didn't even come close to the misery of suffering that guy.

Yup, being able to relax is essential to life. For one, being able to put some distance between you and your problems, be it only in your mind, is the only way you can even begin to analyze and solve them.

And there's also this whole thing about enjoying life, you know...

Anonymous said...

Q. How can you tell if a Dane is extrovert?

A. He looks at your shoes rather than his own while talking to you.


Eolake Stobblehouse said...

LOL. Good one. :)