Icelandic surfing, enabled by the new Land Rover Defender
| Artisanal globe-making in London with Bellerby & Co
| Gallery of stunning drone photography
| Author Helen Russell explores the meaning of happiness
| Exclusive short story by Jean Macneil
Kintsugi Repairing broken ceramics with gold lacquer symbolises Japan’s embracing of life’s scars
Their work culture, with a flat hierarchical structure, means that it’s acceptable to challenge a boss or a colleague, and there’s a love of consensus so that everyone gets a say. Thanks to high wages, most Danes aren’t primarily motivated by money so they opt for a job they like – and 70 per cent of them love their jobs so much, they say they’d keep working even if they didn’t need to. There’s still workplace stress and even high use of antidepressants, but this is because Danes expect arbejdsglæde. They expect work to be flexible, rewarding and feelgood. If it’s not, it’s a red flag and action must be taken. And there’s no fear that being honest about mental health problems will impact negatively on your career. In Denmark you get help: you take six months off, after which you’re welcomed back into the fold. As one interviewee put it: “Arbejdsglæde means you have the freedom to make your job work around your life, rather than the other way around.” We may not all be able to institute a Danish work-life balance, but we can try to bring more glæde into everyone’s arbejde by opting for job satisfaction over a bigger salary and saying ‘no’ to presenteeism. And if you really dislike your job? Get a side hustle you’re passionate about – as the Greeks do. Greeks swear by meraki, the concept of precision, devotion and care applied to tasks, usually, creative or artistic – a focus and dedication to the occupation at hand without distractions. So painting, cooking, crafting or even just setting the table beautifully can qualify. Having a passion you take pride in can be of extra benefit to those who can’t say the same for their primary occupation. Many tasks that need to be taken care of on a day-to-day basis aren’t particularly challenging or inspiring – from invoicing to some of the more gruelling aspects of parenting. But you can break up the never-ending cycle of mundane work with your own personal challenges – things you’re passionate about that you can genuinely look forward to. Your meraki. Having a hobby improves our quality of life and challenging ourselves to do something different also creates new neural pathways in our brain. And when life’s really not going your way? Then you need the second lesson for a happier life: resilience. Danes expect work to be flexible, rewarding and feelgood. If it’s not, it’s a red flag and action must be taken Going with the floe Iceland’s unofficial motto, Þetta reddast, or ‘it will all work out’, characterises a nation of modern-day Vikings who are easygoing with a core of grit. Iceland boasts a climate so brutal, a landscape so otherworldly, that Nasa dispatched Apollo astronauts to the country to train for the first moonwalk. Sunshine is such a rarity, even in summer, that workers get an ad hoc ‘sun holiday’ to savour an uncharacteristically sunny day or ‘an Icelandic heatwave’ of 18°C plus. And yet Iceland regularly ranks amongst the happiest countries in the world. Ever since the Vikings first arrived and had to live in the dark and cold, they’ve had to find a way to survive – and today, Þetta reddast is something that every Icelandic child is raised with. Icelanders are also the biggest readers in the world and brain scans show that when we read, we mentally rehearse the activities, sights and sounds of a story, stimulating our neural pathways. Getting immersed in a book has also been proven to improve empathy and wellbeing – with even sad stories stimulating oxytocin, while scary stories trigger endorphins as our body gets ready to fight off imagined ‘pain’ in real life. Reading, often and widely, helps cultivate an attitude of Þetta reddast. The Japanese have a different approach. At a time when much of the world is in thrall to Marie Kondo’s Life-Changing Magic of Tidying and perfect sock folding, the smart money is on wabi-sabi as an altogether more achievable and accepting Japanese philosophy. From wabi, meaning 55
Land Rover Magazine showcases stories from around the world that celebrate inner strength and the drive to go Above and Beyond.
In this issue, New Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.