5 things everyone can learn from the Aussies

Having spent ten days in Australia, I was reminded of the many good things about the Aussies:

  1. Good day, mate! It’s the local greeting but also an attitude of happiness and friendliness. You can only greet each other with enthusiasm if you are really happy and grateful with your life. Otherwise, it will be the usual ‘how are you?’ and ‘not bad’. That attitude is also reflected in their choice of vocabulary. It’s not ‘nice’, it’s ‘fantastic!’ or ‘awesome!’ Simply put, ‘life is good!’
  2. Work to live. Most Aussies don’t live to work. A standard working day for most offices is 8-4:30 and 9:30-5:30 for most shops. This means more time for life outside of work – family, socializing, sports and hobbies. Yes, many Australians actually have hobbies like gardening, woodworking etc. Do they get less work done compared to those who regularly work overtime in many other countries? I don’t think so.
  3. Sunday is family day. Unlike many of us, most Aussies actually have a ‘plan’ for Sundays. And the key elements of the plan are family and outdoors – beach, picnics, parks, hikes. That’s not only great bonding time for the family, but also very healthy.
  4. No worries, mate! That’s also more of an attitude than just another local phrase you hear often. Aussies seem to genuinely believe that no problem is big enough to worry; given some time, most situations sort themselves out; getting stressed doesn’t make things easier. I wonder if they have one of the lowest rates of stress-related illnesses in the world.
  5. Play to win. Aussies are clearly one of the most competitive people, and it’s not just in sports. I think they generally like to excel at whatever they do – be it making a coffee, raising a child or winning an olympic gold. This is also obvious in a higher standard of services.

I am sure some readers will have many negative things to say about the Aussies. Every one of us, every nation, every place has negatives and positives. But I find myself much happier when focusing on the good rather than the bad, particularly when I am traveling. Please share your positive thoughts about your favorite place.

[Photo taken from a boat in Sydney. You can see some more spectacular photos here.]