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Home » Planting Seeds of Happiness The Danish Way: Malene Rydahl (Transcript)

Planting Seeds of Happiness The Danish Way: Malene Rydahl (Transcript)

Malene Rydahl at TEDxINSEADSingapore

Following is the full text of author Malene Rydahl’s talk titled “Planting Seeds of Happiness The Danish Way” at TEDxINSEADSingapore conference.


Now, most of us dream of the perfect paradise.

I’m going to start by taking you to my paradise. This is what the weather looks like when you wake up in the morning. This is how you get to work.

And once you’re done working, this is how much you pay in income tax.

Well, then again, you’re thinking, “Paradise? It can’t all be about work!”

So let me take you to a day at the beach — in paradise. Something is missing? Friends? Right?

This is probably what your neighbors are going to look like. Because in this place, there are more pigs than people.

Now, if you’re thinking, “My God, if this is paradise, I don’t want to go,” let me tell you something about this place that might make you change your mind. The paradise is called Denmark.

It is the country I was born in and where I lived for the first 18 years of my life. It also happens that the Danish people are amongst the happiest people in the world. Yes.

Despite the bad weather, the high taxes and the many pigs, the Danish people express being very content in life. They have what we call a good base of well-being.

The economists started measuring happiness more than 40 years ago, and ever since, Denmark has come on the top of the list of the happiest places to live in the world.

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