Productivity

Jim Dey posted a great article to Facebook that I read on the Businessinsider website, “French: The Most Productive People In The World.”

I really enjoyed it, because they were proving a point that we often make at Diamond Cutter Institute seminars: hard work does not equal money:

People work an average of 1,902 hours per year in the surveyed cities but they work much longer in Asian and Middle Eastern cities… People in Lyon and Paris, by contrast, spend the least amount of time at work according to the global comparison: 1,582 and 1,594 hours per year respectively.

Upon seeing this data, some might criticize the French for being lazy, but that misses the point completely. The real message here is that the French are likely some of the most productive people in the entire world.

Think about it. Nationmaster ranks France as #18 in terms of GDP per capita, at $36,500 per person, yet France works much less than most developed nations. They achieve their high standard of living while working 16% less hours than the average world citizen, and almost 25% than their Asian peers as per UBS. Plus, if you visit France you’ll also realize that their actual standard of living is probably much higher than GDP numbers would indicate.

How would you like to work 25% less and still have one of the highest living standards in the world? Sounds good to me.

The first thing to accept is that hard work doesn’t equal money. Some people work hard, and don’t make much money. Some people do work hard, and do make money. Some people don’t work hard, and do make money. Some people don’t work hard, and don’t make money.

That those four relationships are true proves that there is not relationship between hard work and money.

How are they doing it? I’d can’t say for sure specifically, but according to worldview it most involve giving somehow.

The idea is that if what you see is a result of the seeds you plant in your mind, then giving is the cause of wealth, not hard work. You don’t have to work hard to be wealthy, or successful–just plant the seeds for the thing you want in your mind.

Geshe Michael calls it “oxygen money.” I think a lot of people don’t understand what he’s trying to say, but it’s simple, really. You have the seeds in your mind for there to be oxygen there when you walk into a room, so you don’t ask before you go in, “Is there oxygen in there?” In the same way, if you plant the seeds for wealth, you won’t ask, “Do we have enough money?” The money will be there.

And then you can afford to take some time to hit the beach.

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5 Responses to Productivity

  1. ericbrinkman says:

    Or read cartoons. 🙂 Andrea sent me this one, it’s appropriate and funny 🙂
    http://mimiandeunice.com/2011/07/14/zero-sum-economics/

  2. Peter Axtell says:

    I hope I get this lesson before I leave the world. How cool would it be to have complete certainty that money could be like oxygen. By the way, I’m talking about “enough” mentally and literally. Does that make sense to anyone out there?
    Please keep writing, it’s needed out here in bonehead land…
    Best,
    Peter

  3. ericbrinkman says:

    Sure, it’s easy to have disparity between what we think we need and what we actually need. I’m always thinking I need more, because more is better, right?

    Geshe Michael usually stresses that by understanding seeds you can get anything you want, but sometimes I wonder if I should be wanting what I want… 🙂 Ideally, all I should want is to help people.

  4. Simon Fenley says:

    Nice one Nyingpo… Especially the last sentence about hitting the beach !! I really do feel from my experiences that these principles work. I feel it also helps to have a high level of trust in these concepts, because whilst one can have the understanding and intention that one is planting wealth seeds, it seems even more powerful if one can at the same time completely release any expectation of results from one’s actions. Paradoxically it seems that the more completely you release what you are giving, the more powerfully it comes back to you.

    • ericbrinkman says:

      Dear Simon,

      Thanks. 🙂 I also think it takes a high level of trust, especially at first when you haven’t/can’t see it work yet. I like teaching logic, because the logic can help you hold the line when you haven’t seen the results coming in yet. But once you do… 🙂

      Love,
      nyingpo

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