I just read this article and had a sense that this is really indicative of what is wrong with this country. Here is the link: Americans work more, seem to accomplish less
This, another article I read recently (Can your job kill you?) and talking to my brother in Germany made me think about the state of affairs.
Americans work too much and it is killing us.
I'm not saying that we work to hard, we just work too much. So many of us do not draw the line between work and our home lives and spend so much of our time at work.
Andy is in Germany right now and he made the comment that Americans are too stressed out. He's right. Germans - well, most Europeans, actually - value relaxation. Quality relaxation, not just sitting in front of the tube or taking the kids to Disneyworld for a week. Think spending Saturday at a spa (the entire family) or taking a real vacation for a mimimum of 2 weeks. When Germans leave work (at least in my experience) they really leave it. I know I am making broad characterizations, but I felt (when I was in Germany) that Germans have a much more practical view of what it means to be healthy and value health so much more than in our culture, so that mentaility transcends different aspects of their society and influences everything. They understand that preventative medicine saves lives and money. They understand that mental health is just as important and enjoy life more by taking time to relax. Consequently they understand that eating fast food isn't particluarly healthy and often don't feel so rushed that they resort to it.
Also...if you need further proof...they even have a word that means "call it a day and relax": Feierabend!
Business people might argue that or 24 hour a day mentality keeps us ahead, but I think the article I posted above on productivity indicates that this is not the case.
Perhaps this mentality is changing. I know that in other articles I have read about Gen Xer's like myself have cited a different mentality on work and happiness. But we still have to face the demands of high stress jobs...which is one reason I was ready to switch.
I'm pretty content in my new job and for the first time in 2 years feel like I have some control over what I work on from day to day and can prioritize. I'm proud of the work I did before, but I also feel like I can do better work now because I'm not so scattered.
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