Karoshi is a more recent word in the Japanese language. Japan is the least happy of the industrialized nations. After World War II, Japan’s entire workforce was mobilized to rebuild the country from the ground up. For decades they emphasized economic growth and material prosperity above all else and their achievements were of envy in the western world, but not without an awful price.

People of Japan are working such long hours and enduring so much stress that they are literally working themselves to death. It’s become so common that there’s now a word for it: karoshi.

Eliminate waste is a mantra at Toyota yet it eliminates essential play from human function.karoshi-244x300

Intrinsic and extrinsic goals are against each other on the spectrum of values. People with more money often feel less energized while on the other hand people with less appear to appreciate more.

Money, image, and status reflect extrinsic goals. Yet people with less money reported less satisfaction with their lives.

Intrinsic goals are inherently satisfying in andof themselves because they have to do with intrinsic psychological needs that everyone has. They are personal growth, relationships, and community feeling.

Before the 1990’s it was uncommon to study happiness. Depression was the height of research at that time. Yet with recent focus on the positives, it makes more sense to find jobs that bring happiness to our lives, unlike other generations who weren’t aware of this. For years the most popular class at Harvard was ‘Happiness’.

With these findings, the millennials are waking up. If something isn’t working, we have the courage to try something new. This Peter Pan generation will continue to reach for the stars and find the things that make us feel happy.

With more money falling into the wealthy hands, the breach in our government systems, and a larger divide from the deemed ‘wealthy’ and ‘poor’, how can we bring home the bacon when the pigs already have been bought and sold?

Instead we will find solace in personal growth, relationships, and devotion to our local communities.


If you’d like to read more about Karoshi here’s a link


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