American work ethic (idea)
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As someone who grew up in [Europe], then moved to [America], I'd say the [difference] between [European] and [American] attitude toward work is that [Europeans] work to live, while [Americans] live to work.
This difference can be seen, among other things, in the fact that in European countries it is not uncommon to get 4-6 weeks of [vacation] per [year], while in [America] you get one week, or if you are lucky two. Then again, many [Americans] never find the [time] to take the [vacation].
Which [attitude] do I prefer? The [European] one. I go to work to make enough money to live, so I can do the things I want to do, not the things someone else decides I should be doing.
The situation is changing, though. You can hear such slogans as [Don't work hard, work smart] even in [America] these days.
And, of course, there is the common saying friends tell friends: [Don't work too hard!] By the way, I have never heard that one in [Europe], probably because it would have been totally [unnecessary].
Incidentally, back when I was a [psychology] [student] at [Komensky University] in [Bratislava], they told us about some research about companies that had their employees work [six days a week] and companies that had their employees work [five days a week]. They found out both had the same amount of [productivity]. It would appear that the [human mind] simply "knows" this is how much I produce in a week. If it is given five days, it produces it in five days. If it is given six days, it produces the same amount in six days.