Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Dan Buettner is a researcher from Minneapolis  who is perhaps best known for his pioneering work on longevity.  His more recent book, published by the National Geographic Society in 2010, is Thrive:  Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way (ISBN: 978-1-4262-0515-)

In researching the book, Buettner traveled the globe (see sidewalk chalk art from grandsons Alex and Oliver, above) to Denmark, Singapore, northeastern Mexico, and San Luis Obispo, California—some of the world's happiest places.  He also consulted with psychologists, economists, sociologists, and other experts.  He then distilled his findings to identify key factors that allow people to thrive.  Here, in a nutshell, is his conclusion:


"[I]ndividuals who thrive tend to possess enough money to cover their basic needs, but rather than striving for more cash, they focus their time and energy on developing a caring group of healthy friends, working at meaningful jobs, engaging in enriching hobbies, staying in reasonable shape, volunteering, and belonging to faith-based communities."   pp. 210-211.


I was particularly interested in his insights about how the workplace impacts happiness.  To insure that your job contributes to overall happiness, here are his ground rules, pp. 221-223:


                Avoid long commutes

                Limit your work week to 40 hours

                Don't skip vacations

                Enjoy happy hour (socialize with coworkers)

                Seek out the right boss

                Employ  yourself  (my Etsy "tribe" friends already knew that!)

                Get into teaching


Perhaps that is why my life feels more balanced now that I am semi-retired .  I still work more than 40 hours per week during tax season, working my part-time day job as an administrative law judge, and also doing tax work, but I  have a short commute,  the world's best tax office boss.  My Etsy shop lets me have the added bonuses that come from working for myself, and providing a creative outlet.  My hours spent sewing usually don't feel like "work."


May you find pleasure in your life's work – and THRIVE!



LeAnn aka pasqueflower


  1. Sounds like a book worth reading; thanks for posting it, and including the excerpt, LeAnn.

    Sage advice and a reminder that material wealth, and the accumulation of "things" isn't what leads to thriving and happiness in life :).

  2. Very nice, thanks for the excerpt.

  3. This has made my day! Thank you for sharing.