Goal-Free Denmark

May 31, 2005  

Today I received an interesting email from someone who is a “recovering goalaholic” and is also Danish. He provided some interesting thoughts…

“The Danish people are probably the most laid-back in the world. Although overtime pay can be substantial, American companies in Denmark often complain about the challenge of getting Danes to work overtime. In spite of this, Denmark is one of the most prosperous nations in the world.

“And although the Danes are laid-back, our women’s handball team beat the Korean team — one of the most disciplined countries in the world. Similarly, our football (soccer) team didn’t get into the finals for the European Union championship until another team was disqualified. By that time, many of the Danish players had already taken off for their vacations. Regardless, we went on to the finals…and beat the Germans…a much larger nation.”

I found this perspective to be quite thought provoking. Although it is only anecdotal, maybe individuals can be “laid back” (enjoying life) and still be prosperous and successful.

Old Comments

2 Responses to “Goal-Free Denmark”

  1. Jan Goyvaerts on June 4th, 2005 9:38 pm

    I think the key lesson is this anecdote is not that the Danish are goal-free or even laid back, but that they refuse to sacrifice their own goals (employees want to enjoy the evening with the family) for other people’s goals (employers want to make more money).

    In Thailand, American companies complain about the challenge of getting Thais to show up at all. Not because Thais are lazy, but because they take the liberty to take a few days off unannounced for family and religious reasons.

  2. Administrator on June 10th, 2005 11:09 am

    Thank you for your comment. Absolutely this has nothing to do with laziness. It is a commitment to living the type of life you want. In the US, we get caught up in achievement, status, and traditional success. Typical goal-oriented activities. But these rarely lead to fulfillment and passion. Having worked in Thailand, I do believe that they have a better attitude towards life. A commitment to one’s values and beliefs is different than being goal-oriented.