Well-being posts

A list of well-being posts from the Econation Blog.

Not-to-do list

“To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.” – Lao Tzu Lao Tzu’s advice is an age-old truism. Antoine de Saint-Exupery said something akin: “​[a] designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” And E.F. Schumacher said: “Any [...]

Getting ahead

Most people are trying to get ahead, but ahead of what? It is common to think that getting ahead has to do with increasing wealth. This idea is perpetuated by an economic system that in the beginning alleviated scarcity and poverty. However, we long ago overcame these debilitations. By 1970 the vast majority of people in the western world [...]

Altruism*

Altruism is when you help someone without conditions. It is the opposite of greed and selfishness. This unconditional care and support goes toward creating a pool of goodwill that anyone can dip into in times of need. It might be volunteering at a school working bee, helping a stranger who has tripped over or needs his car pushed, helping [...]

Affordable housing

Affordable housing is established on two main costs, namely the cost of the land and the cost of the build. The cost of land is a complicated issue which we'll reserve for another post. However, it is worth noting here that, amongst other things, the size of the section/lot is a factor in its cost. As for the build, [...]

The two keys to business sustainability

Sustainability and well-being have a lot to do with what people consume. What people consume has a lot to do with what businesses produce. What businesses produce has a lot to do with their goals and the decisions they make to achieve them. If businesses are to achieve sustainability and contribute to well-being there are two key questions they [...]

The Benefits of Dancing

There are many, varied benefits of dancing. Dancing is a great way to keep your body and mind healthy. Studies show that dancing can help you lose weight, stay flexible, reduce stress and make friends. Dancing also helps the environment because you are not consuming resources. Here are some of the benefits of dancing: Improve Flexibility Dancing increases flexibility [...]

Survive mindset or Thrive mindset

In a letter to Rachel Carson, Thomas Merton discussed one of the fundamental ills of modern society, namely heedless technological progress. Merton's argument makes a compelling case that this type of progress derives from what I would call a survive-at-any-cost mindset. In order to progress our humanity, we need to change to a much wiser thrive-at-least-cost mindset. The release [...]

The Benefits of Sustainability

There are many diverse benefits of sustainability. Sustainability maintains the health and biocapacity of the environment. Sustainability supports the well-being of individuals and communities. Sustainability promotes a better economy where there is little waste and pollution, fewer emissions, more jobs, and a better distribution of wealth. Getting the priorities right It is important to consider where individuals and society [...]

The cardinal virtues of sustainability

In The Republic Plato described the four key virtues of a good person: prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude. It is not surprising that these virtues have a huge part to play in the practice of sustainability. Temperance Temperance means self-restraint, moderation and discretion. In terms of sustainability, Temperance is probably the most obvious of the virtues. The virtue of [...]

The importance of self-care

Written by Shannon Dowdall, Student, AUT We live in such a fast-paced society, where we are often so caught up in our work, families, maintaining our social lives, our studies and everything in between. It’s an understatement to say that life can get a little overwhelming at times. Given that it is mental health awareness month this October, now [...]

Social consumption

Social consumption has declined because consumption is becoming increasingly solitary. Put another way, people are spending more time consuming alone. This has consequences for mental well-being, social well-being and environmental well-being. With the advent of cheaper electronic goods like televisions, stereos, personal computers, tablets and smartphones people isolate themselves much more than in the past. Our ever-present new technologies [...]

The benefits of walking

If you walk instead of driving you're doing the planet a favour by reducing carbon emissions. However, there are many other benefits of walking. A regular walk has been called a 'Constitutional' because it aids the well-being of your physical and mental constitution. Just 30 minutes walking a day can have the following benefits. Improves heart health Any regular [...]

Do what you really want to do

"The minute you do what you really want to do, it's really a different kind of life" – Buckminster Fuller Do you do what you really want to do in you work? If you don't here are some very good reasons why you definitely should. 1. You will enjoy life more When you are not happy with your work, [...]

The importance of relationships

Close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives. Study after study reveal this, including one of the longest ever studies of human well-being. “Taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships is a form of self-care too,” said Robert Waldinger, the director of the Harvard Study of Adult [...]

Extrinsic vs intrinsic

There is a deep divide between what our economy provides and what makes people well. Our economy is focussed on providing extrinsic rewards when people are more genuinely motivated and rewarded by intrinsic satisfactions. If you go to university to learn and fulfil yourself, these are intrinsic benefits. If you go to university to get a degree, that is [...]

Life is easy

I strongly encourage you to watch this TEDx talk. It's a little bit cheeky to have a blog post that is a Youtube video, but I could have banged on for ages like I often do and never have got across what Jon Jandai, a Thai farmer does in 15 minutes so plainly. It's a powerful message about well-being from a [...]

More good with less

We say 'Do more good with less'. 'Do more with less' is a catch-cry in the sustainability movement but it is also a catch-cry for businesses who despoil the environment. The point is that doing more with less is fine if what you are doing is good – but what if it's bad? Modern western economies seem to be obsessed [...]

The best things in life

Money, where it comes from and what it can buy, is not everything. In our society, the economy gets way too much attention – in policy-making and political rhetoric, in the media, even in the education system. This is amplified by the unrelenting bombardment of advertising and promotional messages the average person faces every single day. Needless to say, the economy is an [...]

The benefits of the modest lemon

Throughout history people have used taken advantage of the benefits of the modest lemon. People have used lemons not just as a flavourful food ingredient but also for its health and other practical benefits. The following (incomplete) list of benefits will hopefully motivate everyone to plant a lemon tree now. Culinary benefits of lemons Lemons have a sour citric [...]

Too much!

It's all too much! The following list of data* highlights the fact that people in modern economies, like America, have too much stuff. Not only is it more stuff than is needed for a life of well-being, but it is also weighing us down, it is a burden in the true sense of the word. 1. There are 300,000 items in [...]