Purpose Makes A Difference-even for a culture

Geoff Colvin has written an insightful article, comparing the work habits of Americans vs. Germans, and in a broader light, those in the UK. It's entitled, Not So Lazy, After All. For years I too have heard of the long vacations taken by Europeans and the total vacation days they have in a year. Conventional wisdom has been that we Americans simply work harder. Turns out, that's not totally correct. According to one study, we actually work about the same amount. According to the research, We [Americans] do more market-based work, and Germans do more home-based work. Colvin does a superb job defining these differences in the article.

How do our differing purposes affect our lifestyle and culture? Colvin quotes the research done by Freeman and Schettkat: By working long hours and taking short vacations, Americans earn money to buy goods in the market. By working fewer hours and taking long vacations, Germans have more time to produce goods at home. (Example: Germans spend more time preparing meals (work at home) while Americans spend more money on restaurant meals-paid for by market work). Make sure you read the last sentence of the article-it spells out the ultimate impact of acting on purpose.

Interesting how acting on purpose affects us in so many ways.