February 2019 Book Review – Happy as a Dane

UNDERSPENT MONTHLY BOOK REVIEW. Every month I’m going to review a “money or spending money book” and share some key findings with you. The book for February 2019 was ‘Happy as a Dane – 10 secrets of the happiest people in the world”. 

For decades Denmark has ranked at the top of the world’s happiness surveys. How is it that these 5.6 million Danes are so content when they live in a country that is dark and cold for 9 months of the year and where income taxes are at almost 60%? 

The 10 pillars of Danish life are:  

  1. Trust. I have trust in people. 
  2. Education. I have a place in society.
  3. Freedom and independence. I am free to choose my own way of life.
  4. Equal opportunity. I can become whomever I want. 
  5. Realistic expectations. I have realistic dreams
  6. Solidarity and respect for others. I feel better if you feel good. 
  7. Work-life balance. I want lots of hygge time 
  8. Relationships to money. I’m happy with what I’ve got.
  9. Modesty. I don’t think I’m better than other people, 
  10. Gender equality. I feel free to choose my role. 

Here are some personal highlights from the book: 

  • “The Danish model shows that  having realistic expectations helps us to live better, but being realistic doesn’t mean having no ambition”. 
  • “The happiest people often demonstrate a degree of humility towards life, as do those who are committed to helping others”. 
  • “The surest source of unhappiness is comparison – running the rat race will never make you satisfied”
  • “Always have a Plan B. When you feel like you only have one choice in life, you are frightened of losing what you might have” 
  • “Fear often means we make the wrong decisions for the wrong reasons”.

What do you think? Interesting?