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"To be happy you have to build a base of well-being”

Malene Rydahl

- Global

- Sep 26 2016

Sodexo’s 50th Anniversary marks a unique opportunity to explore the future of Quality of Life. A few days ahead of an event rich of exchanges and open to innovation, our four international experts share their views on Quality of Life for tomorrow.

Malene Rydahl

Author, speaker and coach

Is happiness an outcome of Quality of Life?

Quality of Life gives us a good base for a happy life. It’s about creating a base that resembles who you are. Yet we should beware of the pursuit of happiness as a permanent state. You may live happy moments, but nobody is happy all the time. When you look at the studies that measure happiness, what they really measure is well-being. To be happy you have to build a base of well-being. That means creating harmony in terms of who you are, what you think, what you say and what you do.

What is the foundation of the Danish model of happiness?

There are several building blocks. Trust is crucial. You have to be trustworthy and build trust in your relationships – at home, at work and in the community. Next is the freedom to be you. The Danish educational system values the talents of each child. Children are valued for being good at what they do best – manual work, cooking, sports, math, science, etc. When you have the freedom to be who you really are, you increase the likelihood of living your life not just a life. Feeling valued for your role in society gives an extraordinary base for society to live in harmony. This leads to individual responsibility. When people can actively make a difference in society – when they are part of the system and not victims of it – they feel more optimistic about the future.

What do you see as the biggest Quality of Life challenge for the future? What innovation can help meet this challenge?

Danish schools teach children empathy. But when you look at education across the globe, you see that we don’t teach children how to build a happy life. We need to teach kids about how to build a good base for well-being and a life in harmony with who they are. If I were teaching the class, I’d start with the wisdom of Albert Schweitzer who said: “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

View Malene Rydahl's biography

Watch the LIVE of the conference on Sodexo's 50th anniversary and the Future of Quality of Life on 4 October 2016 from 18:00 (GMT+2) on sodexo.com.


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