Apparently HuffPost stole my thunder and came out with an entire section of their webpage dedicated to healthy living and happiness. They do have some interesting articles, which I have listed here.
The first post that really jumped out at me is about the new generation of doctors. They combine modern expectations about work/life balance with a fresh approach to the staid profession. They are more personable, casual, friendly, and sociable (old-timers would argue less professional) with both patients and coworkers. Overall, the article’s appraisal is spot on, and describes me almost to a T. I especially like to have the same attitude at work as I do with friends. And that bit about locums all over the world, while living it up YOLO style, perfect! Oh, the bit about quitting work after 3 years to pursue the dream of traveling, sailing, surfing, and hiking around the world… exactly what I’m looking for!
Germans know this very well. It’s no surprise that they are the #1 represented ethnicity among travelers I meet around the world. Not only do they have plenty of vacation time and money, but they have an innate desire to see the world and escape their “boring” (in their own words) country. I think they just have a taste for disorder on command, outside of their country, for a limited while. But yes, Germany has chosen to spend its wealth in ways that genuinely have high yields in terms of happiness for its population. That means extensive vacation times, beautiful preserved nature, a more compressed wage schedule, attainable middle class jobs, and subsidized education/health care. The US, on the other hand, has chosen to squander its [more extensive] wealth on things like the military, policing foreign countries, maintaining bases around the world, projecting power, and giveaways to big companies and the rich.
We all should really take a page from them on that first point and enjoy ourselves more on vacation. I learned the truth of how freeing it can be, not being beholden to an alarm clock or deadlines. There is nothing more satisfying than planning my schedule at my own whim, waking up whenever I want, and doing what I want without external pressure. In fact, it’s so great I wouldn’t mind having my career built around that schedule, either as a locums/per diem doctor, contract worker, or freelance blogger. Apparently it’s not even that big a secret. Many of the top names in business, entertainment, and politics take extensive vacations to “reset” and “recharge”. It makes sense. To stave off burnout but yet still working hard at work, one has to occasionally take a break and mix things us.
The last great article, and perhaps a bit of a slog to read, on there is about the actual science of happiness down to the neurochemical level. It breaks down types of happiness into the eudaimonic (supposedly the more mature one) reflecting a state of well-being, or satisfaction with the present, being more lasting than the activity of pursuing happiness, which may lead one to be constantly unsatisfied. It sprinkles throughout theories of the evolutionary bases for why we are constantly searching for the next horizon. An interesting read throughout.