Finland: The secret of well-being

On March 20, 2023 the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network released its annual World Happiness Report, which rates well-being in countries around the world. For the sixth year in a row, Finland was ranked at the top.

Here are excerpts from a recent article in NYT by Penelope Colston.

Finns derive satisfaction from leading sustainable lives and perceive financial success as being able to identify and meet basic needs. In other words, when you know what is enough, you are happy.

The high quality of life in Finland is deeply rooted in the nation’s welfare system. It makes people feel safe and secure, to not be left out of society.

Public funding for education and the arts gives the freedom to people to pursue their creative passions.

The Finnish way of life is summed up in “sisu” a trait said to be part of the national character. The word roughly translates to “grim determination in the face of hardships,” such as the country’s long winters: Even in adversity, a Finn is expected to persevere, without complaining.

Maybe it isn’t that Finns are so much happier than everyone else. Maybe it’s that their expectations for contentment are more reasonable, and if they aren’t met, in the spirit of sisu, they persevere. They don’t whine. They just do.

The secret to well-being is knowing when you have enough.

I wish we in Pakistan stop whining and start doing what needs to be done to make us content.

Tariq Khosa
Director CGR
10 April 2023