The Little Book of Lykke: The Danish Search for the World's Happiest People

The Little Book of Lykke: The Danish Search for the World's Happiest People

From the author of the international bestseller The Little Book of HyggeLykke (Luu-kah) (n): HappinessIt's easy to see why Denmark is often called the world's happiest country. Not only do they have equal parental leave for men and women, free higher education and trains that run on time, but they burn more candles per household than anywhere else.So nobody knows more abou...

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Title:The Little Book of Lykke: The Danish Search for the World's Happiest People
Author:Meik Wiking
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Little Book of Lykke: The Danish Search for the World's Happiest People Reviews

  • Christine Spoors

    I am so glad that I loved this second book as much as I enjoyed

    !

    This book takes us on a treasure hunt, looking for the keys to happiness around the world. The book discusses togetherness, money, health, freedom, trust and kindness. I liked that the book still referred back to Denmark throughout as I love learning more about Denmark. This book not only helps you think about happiness, but also society, and ways in

    I am so glad that I loved this second book as much as I enjoyed

    !

    This book takes us on a treasure hunt, looking for the keys to happiness around the world. The book discusses togetherness, money, health, freedom, trust and kindness. I liked that the book still referred back to Denmark throughout as I love learning more about Denmark. This book not only helps you think about happiness, but also society, and ways in which the society you live in could improve.

    I really enjoy Wiking's writing. He uses an interesting mix of facts, case studies, real stories from his life and statistics. The book is also filled with photographs and graphs which break things up and add to how cheerful and cosy it is. I'm always surprised by how easy these books are to read, despite the amount of information we get.

    What I love the most about these books is that they make me think about my life. They make you take a step back and realise that there are little changes you can make to be happier. His books always leave me feeling motivated and inspired, and I love that. As everything is based on facts and statistics you learn more about the world, especially through the treasure hunt in this book.

    Goodreads currently doesn't say if Wiking will be writing another book, but I really hope that he does. I'll buy it straight away!

    Thank you to Penguin Life for sending me a copy to review!

  • Kristina

    That's literally happiness in a book form! 💞

    Please, read it! I guarantee you that you'll feel inspired to do more with your life and loved ones!

    I'd read anything that Meik writes in the future.

  • Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)

    Just like Meik Wiking’s other book – The Little Book of Hygge – this book is just so beautifully made. From the content itself to the design of each page, this is one of those books I can imagine myself coming back to many a time, if only to flick through the pages. Like I said with Hygge, it could be given as a gi

    Just like Meik Wiking’s other book – The Little Book of Hygge – this book is just so beautifully made. From the content itself to the design of each page, this is one of those books I can imagine myself coming back to many a time, if only to flick through the pages. Like I said with Hygge, it could be given as a gift, and just owning it is a joy.

    Granted, I didn’t quite enjoy this as much as I did The Little Book of Hygge. Since this one was specifically about happiness, some of the devices used throughout the book just seemed to come across as a bit of a “self-help” book instead. If you said

    vs

    …well, I think you can tell which one sounds like a self help book. Which seemed to throw me off a bit for some reason. I think because talking about cosiness can really bring about that overall atmosphere and comforting feeling, whereas talking about happiness didn’t quite bring about as strong a reaction from me. Think of that what you will.

    That, paired with my sheer inability to relate to most of the examples given, would probably count for why I didn’t adore this one as much. A lot of the time this book talks about being a parent or having a busy working 9-5 life, neither of which I have.

    That being said, it was still really interesting to read. I found the facts and random scatterings of anecdotes a nice way to section everything off, while providing a wider insight into the topic overall. While not all of the “tips” seemed achievable in my everyday life, I loved seeing the small stories of how they had worked for other people and the active changes people made throughout their lives. Just a small glimpse into another culture was enough to keep me interested throughout.

    So while it didn’t quite wow me as much as The Little Book of Hygge, I would still highly recommend to those of you who have any bague interest in it whatsoever. It’s a stunning book to flip through, and you never know – you might find something new along the way too!

  • Krystal

    What a charming little book! I read a lot of heavy spiritual books with the aim of learning how to lead a more fulfilling life and these tend to be dense and rich in material on the psyche. This was such a breath of fresh air! It was so refreshing to read about tangible ways of enhancing, not just my own quality of life, but the lives of those in my community. It's so simple!!

    The writing is easy, and the facts serve to highlight, where too often statistics will overwhelm and detract from the mes

    What a charming little book! I read a lot of heavy spiritual books with the aim of learning how to lead a more fulfilling life and these tend to be dense and rich in material on the psyche. This was such a breath of fresh air! It was so refreshing to read about tangible ways of enhancing, not just my own quality of life, but the lives of those in my community. It's so simple!!

    The writing is easy, and the facts serve to highlight, where too often statistics will overwhelm and detract from the message. This book uses evidence from studies all over the world, and even though it's inspired by the overall happiness of the Danish, it never comes across as snobbish. Rather, the intention here is simply to point out what works for different countries and social classes.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading about people all over the world choosing happiness, and making small changes that have big positive effects. I loved that it suggested physical things that can be applied. I enjoyed the comparisons between cities and countries. It's just so beautifully positive!

    Reading this book has made me want to go out and find little ways to do good that will bring happiness. The book's message is selfless and that's definitely rubbed off on me and inspired me to contribute more to society.

    If you're someone who wants to contribute to your society, if you're depressed about the state of the world, if you feel like your life is missing something: this book is for you. And even if none of those is you, but you simply enjoy smiling? Read it. Highly recommend.

  • ☘Misericordia☘  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈   ❂❤❣

    Overall a good book on lykke. If only it did not include weird political references... it might have gotten 5 stars.

    Q:

    I thought it might cheer me up to see the victory speech of the first female US president, so I turned on the news....

    I was tired, and I was sad to hear that a lot of Americans would be facing four difficult years. In short, I was angry, tired, and sad. (с)

    Overall a good book on lykke. If only it did not include weird political references... it might have gotten 5 stars.

    Q:

    I thought it might cheer me up to see the victory speech of the first female US president, so I turned on the news....

    I was tired, and I was sad to hear that a lot of Americans would be facing four difficult years. In short, I was angry, tired, and sad. (с)

    Q:

    These days, it is easier to notice the fighting rather than what is fine. (c)

    Q:

    Her dad decided to change that and he took her on a treasure hunt around the city: to look for color, for beauty, and for the good in the world. (c)

    Q:

    Books are wonderful idea-spreaders. (c)

    Q:

    That is essentially my job as CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen: to measure, understand, and generate happiness. At the institute, we explore the causes and effects of human happiness and work toward improving the quality of life of people across the world. (c)

    Q:

    The summer solstice may be a pagan ritual, but to this day it remains my favorite tradition. The Nordic sun sets into a night without darkness and the bonfires are lit throughout the country to celebrate midsummer. Remember: Danes are the direct descendants of Vikings, so we enjoy watching things burn: bonfires, candles, villages. It’s all good. (c)

    Q:

    (с)

    Q:

    Whether you look at the English word companion, the Spanish word compañero, or the French copain, they all originate from the Latin com and panis, meaning “with whom one shares bread.” (c)

    Q:

    However, I believe the Danes are happy not despite the high taxes but because of the high taxes—and most Danes would agree. Almost nine out of ten people living in Denmark say they happily pay their taxes, according to a Gallup survey undertaken in 2014. It’s all about knowing that happiness does not come from owning a bigger car but from knowing that everybody you know and love will be supported in their time of need. What works well in the Nordic countries is an understanding of the link between the good life and the common good. We are not paying taxes; we are purchasing quality of life. We are investing in our community. (c)

    Q:

    In Danish, the word for community is fællesskab. Fællesskab can be split up into fælles, meaning “common” or “shared,” and skab, which can mean either “cabinet” or “create.” Not only is community our common cabinet (our shared supplies), it is also something we create together. I think there is some beauty in that.

    Like the Germans, we Danes love compound words. Maybe it is because of the cold climate, but Danish words like to spoon. Råstofproduktionsopgørelsesskemaudfyldningsvejledning is the word for a manual to fill out a questionnaire about the production of raw materials. It is also the reason why Scrabble in Denmark is considered an extreme sport and is the number-one cause of wrist injuries. There are seventy words in the official Danish dictionary by the Society for Danish Language and Literature that have the word fællesskab in them. (c)

    Q:

    Bofællesskab:

    A cohousing scheme

    Fællesgrav:

    A shared grave, e.g., where several people are buried together

    Fællesskabsfølelse:

    A sense of community

    Fællesøkonomi:

    A shared economy, e.g. when couples have a joint bank account

    Skæbnefællesskab:

    A shared destiny

    Fællesskøn:

    A shared gender. Whereas most languages divide nouns into masculine and feminine, Danish nouns are divided into no gender and common gender—they are the hermaphrodites of nouns, if you will. (c)

    Q:

    BOFÆLLESSKAB—HAPPINESS OF THE COMMONS

    ...

    The place is called Fælleshaven. Yes, it is another compound word. Fælles means “common” and haven means “garden.” It is a bofællesskab. Fællesskab means “community” and bo means “to live.” A bofællesskab is a cohousing scheme, which originated in Denmark but rapidly spread to the rest of Scandinavia and onward.(c)

    Q:

    ...Bodil Graae, who wrote an opinion piece called “Children Should Have One Hundred Parents” in one of the major papers in Denmark... (c)

    Q:

    A couple of years ago, the Danish anthropologist Max Pedersen did a large study of seniorbofællesskaber, cohousing for the elderly, and found that “it is difficult to see the data and statements as other than a success for the bofællesskaber”: 98 percent reported feeling safe in their community, 95 percent were satisfied with their living situation—but I think the most interesting data was that 70 percent reported having at least four friends among their neighbors. (c)

    Q:

    How many languages do you speak? (Three on average. After a bottle of wine: five; before my morning coffee: barely one.) (c)

    Q:

    There is a bench in my courtyard right outside my kitchen window where I often sit and read. From the bench, you can see a tall chestnut tree and hear the wind in the leaves. The bench also functions as a semiprivate space—I can be by myself, but I am still close enough to the public space that people will say hello and ask about the book I’m reading. You won’t ever get to know your neighbors if you never see them. Spaces like this—front gardens and porches—are called soft edges, and studies show that streets with soft edges feel safer and people tend to stay in them longer. Just being out in front of your house gives a welcoming vibe that encourages interaction. Few people would dare come into your kitchen to say hello, but if you are in your front garden, people may get to know you and you them. Because of my outdoor reading spot, I’ve learned that, upstairs from me, live Peter and his daughter Katrine, and further up lives Majed, who has a fruit store (with delicious peaches), and the last time I met him he was going on his first bike ride in twenty years. Interestingly, noise from neighbors ceases to be annoying once you get to know their names and stories. (c)

    Q:

    (c)

    Q:

    One December around a decade ago, the British Medical Journal published an article called “Why Danes Are Smug: Comparative Study of Life Satisfaction in the European Union.” It concluded that the key factor in the high level of life satisfaction among the Danes was consistently low expectations for the year to come. “Year after year, they are pleasantly surprised to find that not everything is getting more rotten in the state of Denmark.” This conclusion has been repeated by the BBC and CNN, among others.

    (c)

    Q:

    Expectation makes the heart grow fonder. ...

    Imagine you could have a kiss from anyone you want. Any celebrity. ...

    Do you have someone in mind? If you do, then consider this: When would you want that kiss? Now? In three hours? In twenty-four? In three days? In one year? In ten years? ...

    If you are like the respondents in a study undertaken by George Loewenstein, professor in economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University and director of the Center for Behavioral Decision Research, you would want the kiss three days from now. Yes, someone actually researched this question. ...

    The point is, in some circumstances, expectation can be a source of great joy. However, we must also be aware that, in others, expectation and ambition can be a source of misery. (c)

    Q:

    In Denmark, and throughout the Nordic countries, conspicuous consumption is being somewhat curbed because of Janteloven, or the Law of Jante. The “law” comes from a 1933 novel by Danish Norwegian Aksel Sandemose and can be boiled down to “You’re no better than us.” It promotes a culture where people of high status are criticized because they have been classified as better—or pretend to be better—than their peers. In English, this is known as tall poppy syndrome.

    ...

    Where success may be enthusiastically flaunted in the US, humbleness is the bigger virtue in Scandinavia. Buy a luxury car with a personal license plate saying “SUCCESS” (as I saw in Riga, Latvia), and you can expect to have your car keyed within a day or two. (с)

    Q:

    More recently, psychologists at the New School for Social Research found that fiction books improve our ability to register and read others’ emotions and, according to an article in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, research also shows that literary fiction enhances our ability to reflect on our problems through reading about characters who are facing similar issues and problems. Basically, reading is free therapy. (c)

    Q:

    CREATE A SMILE FILE

    Ruby Receptionists has been named the number-one small company to work for in the US by Fortune magazine. When a new employee starts there, they are handed a “Smile File” and asked to write down every nice comment they receive from coworkers, clients, and their bosses. Why? Because people remember criticism far better than praise. It is an inexpensive approach we can apply in our personal lives to become more aware of the things that we do have, instead of focusing on what we don’t. Once a week, write down three to five things you are grateful for. Anything from “My family and friends are healthy” to “Coffee and the Rolling Stones,” but try also to elaborate on how they impact your life in a positive way. Studies show that translating our thoughts into concrete written language has advantages, compared to just thinking about it. It makes us more aware and increases the emotional impact. In recent years, “gratitude journals” have become more and more popular, but it is important not to treat these exercises as just another item on your to-do list. Also, studies show that it is better to do it occasionally—say, once a week—than every day, to keep it from becoming a routine. (c)

    Q:

    HOW MUCH MONEY DOES HAPPINESS BUY?

    ...

    “We have thousands of siblings in the study—so we can remove the effect of the parents. The happier brother is going to make more money later in life.” (c)

    Q:

    ... great public spaces—like beautiful parks, bike paths, and walkable streets—function as social blenders; as equalizers in our cities and societies. We usually meet under the same conditions of social hierarchy. (c)

    Q:

    Moreover, when I ask our barista for a cup of coffee, I then walk five floors up to the top of the building and back down again, and the coffee is ready. It doesn’t take any more time and, as I drink four cups a day, it means I climb the stairs of a hundred-story building every week. Similarly, every two hours in front of the computer “costs” twenty-five push-ups.

    Do I get embarrassed when colleagues catch me doing this?

    Totally.

    Do I believe it is worth the embarrassment?

    I do. (c)

    Q:

    Shinrin-yoku literally translates to “forest bathing,” or taking in the atmosphere of the forest, and refers to soaking up the sights, smells, and sounds of a natural setting to promote physiological and psychological health. The term was first coined in 1982 but, today, millions of Japanese walk along forty-eight “forest therapy” trails, to get their dose of what I guess could be labeled “outdoorphins.” (c)

    Q:

    Until the US addresses this issue, according to Oliver, the only message that should go out on Mother’s Day is: “Mothers—we owe everything to them. They gave birth to us, they nurtured us, and they made us who we are. And this Mother’s Day, we have just one thing to say to all the mothers out there: Get the fuck back to work.” (c)

    Q:

    DO-NOT-DISTURB INITIATIVES

    Try out initiatives like Tuesday-morning quiet time, which may improve your sense of freedom at work. (c)

    Q:

    ENCOURAGE PRAISE AMONG COWORKERS TO INCREASE TRUSTEmployee of the week is the one who has made their colleagues shine or told other people about their achievements. (c)

    Q:

    Lars AP is the son of an American father and a Danish mother and the founder of the Danish movement Fucking Flink. Flink is Danish for “kind,” “nice,” “friendly,” “good-natured.”

    In 2010, he published the book Fucking Flink: Can the Happiest People in the World Also Become the Fucking Friendliest? (c)

    Q:

    In fact, I think there should be a word for “the joy of complaining,” so let’s invent one: Beschwerdefreude. Obviously, it has to be in German, a language that has not only given us words like Weltschmerz (literal meaning, “world pain”; sadness caused by the state of the world) and Schadenfreude (joy experienced when others are suffering) but also has a word for a present you give as an apology (Drachenfutter—literally, “dragon fodder”) and the feeling you get when you are getting older and fear that opportunities are slipping away (Torschlusspanik), and Kopfkino (literally, “head cinema”; the act of playing out an entire scenario in your mind). (c)

    Q:

    Let’s put a positive spin on the phrase “If you see something, say something.” If you see something that increases the happiness of you, your community, or the world as a whole, talk about it, write about it, film it, photograph it—and pass it on.

    ...

    Most important, find out how you can have a positive impact on your world. On our world. We need more dreamers and doers. We need more creators of kindness, heroes of happiness, and champions of change.

    ...

    The way the world is going, some might call this false hope—but there has never been anything false about hope.

    And remember: there is no point in being a pessimist—that shit never works anyway. (c)

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