Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way

Dan Buettner. National Geographic (Random, dist.), $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4262-0515-6
Buettner, who reported on his study of health and longevity in his book, The Blue Zones, now applies his knowledge to happiness. In the global race for happiness, Denmark (along with Mexico and Singapore) come out ahead, perhaps due in part to the Danes' general distaste for the American work ethic. In Denmark, though work is an important part of one's identity, when the work is finished, people go home to their family and friends. Performance pressures are also much lower; even Danish prince Joseph was encouraged by his parents to pursue his dream of carpentry. Mutual trust and keeping one's word are other aspects that impact, in Buettner's view, the Danes' sense of happiness; deeper still is their ability to take on activities that interests and challenge them. Finally, Buettner offers helpful tips for choosing places to live and work happily. Even if some of these "clues" to happiness may seem frustratingly inaccessible to the average harried urbanite, the author offers a framework to strive for: seeking tradition, community, and calm as a starting point for happiness that lasts. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 05/02/2011
Release date: 10/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
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