Over the holidays I listened to some favourite audiobooks again and among those, The Little Book of Lykke by Meik Wiking was the most meaningful. The book deals with happiness in a more universal way than The Little Book of Hygge, and is much more applicable to the lives of people outside Denmark.
What I found most important were the discussions of the drivers of happiness that are social and elements of what socialists, anarchists and communists push to build in society. Universal health care, expanding the library model to include things such as tools, and freeing people up from the demands of work are all pointed to as significant ways we can increase happiness. I think there is a lot we can take away from that for our political discussions, to shift our language from opposing misery to expanding happiness.
We all know Denmark is the happiest country in the world—but this doesn’t make it perfect. Happiness isn’t exclusively Danish. Nor is it just eating pastries, lighting candles, and practicing hygge. Happiness is something available to all, wherever you are, and whatever your means. Starting from the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, Meik Wiking, probably the happiest man in the world, travels across the globe on a quest to uncover the secrets of the very happiest people from Dubai to Rio de Janeiro, taking back to his native country their tips, tricks, and unique approaches to a fulfilled life.
Exploring the happiness gap for parents, how much money you really need to buy happiness, and why—luckily for us—the expectation of kissing Rachel Weiss is better than the real thing, Meik brings together a global roadmap for happiness with his trademark wit. Weaving together original research and personal anecdotes, The Little Book of Lykke gives us a new approach to achieving everyday happiness.The Little Book of Lykke: The Danish Search for the World’s Happiest People