Sharmi Albrechtsen has lived in Denmark for more than 12 years and has spent the last three years investigating why the Danes are the happiest people in the world.
Albrechtsen proposes in her book A Piece of Danish Happiness that a life philosophy based on a special set of unwritten social norms called Jante Law is the reason for all the happiness in Denmark.
These attitudes kill individual gain and success for the sake of the collective good and contribute to happiness.
While seemingly difficult to digest, the Laws of Jante may explain why Danes lead the world in the happiness rankings and have a unique mechanism for managing expectations and ‘keeping it real’.
Focusing on other attributes in life besides wealth and material gain such as community, family, leisure time, environment and free choices are key trademarks of Danish society and their corresponding happiness.
Is it possible for all of us to step off the material stair master which climbs to nowhere, make better and wiser priorities by learning to live like a Dane (without moving to Denmark!)?, she asks.