September 25, 2017

Work is the key to happiness!

Passion in your work is the key to bliss.

Trust me, I have found it. I just reread a section of the Tim Ferriss book, the Tools for Titans, and found a passage very moving. Tim has a section devoted to an interview with Maria Popova where they discuss her life and thoughts. In a section called, "what text do you refer to again and again?" she discusses the work of Henry David Thoreau and his musings on life.

He writes, "the really efficient laborer will be found not to crowd his day with work, but will saunter to his task surrounded by a wide halo of ease and leisure. There will be a wide margin for relaxation to his day. He is only earnest to secure the kernels of time, and does not exaggerate the value of the husk." "Those who work much, do not work hard."

Derek Sivers has such a feeling in his book, Anything You Want. Hard work in the pursuit of honest labor for the benefit primarily of others is the route to success and joy. Good things truly come to those who pursue work of their passion and with general selflessness. Nothing is perfect but work can be close if you love it.

How many people do you know that work for money and not joy? This rarely ends with happiness let alone bliss.

I truly believe that any work is better than no work. Purposeful work for others is so rewarding. I see the joy on my kid's faces when they work for neighbors and family. Whether for money or not has not seemed to matter. When my son mows "uncle Charlie's" yard without being asked, there is a quiet sense of self worth bubbling up from him. It is palpable and gives me pride that he is getting it.

Having a job with another neighbor has also taught him responsibility of planning out the week to achieve all of the goals he has set for the week. Going to bed after a school day, soccer game and then homework and a lawn mowed and cleaned and so on... leads to a grounded existence and a feeling of being needed.

Thoreau had it right when he says, "those who work much, do not work hard." When I read this statement, I think about the countless people that I encounter everyday at work and in the hospital. Toni, Karen and Anita always brighten my day. The general happiness of the average worker in the hospital and clinic setting is a sight to see as the patient's happiness is their reward. There is a lot of dysfunction in medicine, but one thing has never and will never change, the patient experience.

To see the smile on a child's face as she heals is priceless.

I have been saying for a while that I would not go through medical school again because the powers in charge are ruining medicine for everyone over the past decade because they care more about money than healing. However, as I sit here at 530AM writing, I am not sure that I was made for any other job and am grateful to God that I never have to choose again.

Teach and encourage your kids to work in many capacities. Encourage chores. Encourage work for neighbors for free and paid jobs as well. Encourage them to help at soup kitchens or any other needy location. Above all, encourage their passions that provide work and a service.

Carpe Diem Tim,

Dr. M