I started noticing a change through Facebook. A friendly acquaintance from town had gone from rarely posting and, if so, innocuous family or activity pictures to frequently posting angry political posts. While I know politics can generate crazy behavior from seemingly normal people, I had known this guy long enough to think something was amiss. Unfortunately, I was right. He had laid off a few months ago and his wife told my wife that she was very concerned that he was having an emotional breakdown.
70% of the suicides in this country are committed by middle-aged men. I don’t think it would be a wild guess to suggest that the vast majority did not have happy work. Indeed, I was just reading an essay from Augustus Burroughs, the author of Running With Scissors, who describes himself as a naturally unhappy person. When he was a teen, he attempted suicide and prior to giving up drinking was essentially killing himself through alcohol. What saved him? Work. In his words, his “interest” in what he was doing kept his mind occupied. That kept him happy enough. And, then, over time, he built his career to a point where even his natural state of unhappiness had been elevated.
Happy work equal happy life.