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Home > Blog > Take Two Doses of Meaning and Call in the Morning
Out of Our Minds
Friday, September 10, 2004 10:00 AM
Take Two Doses of Meaning and Call in the Morning
Anita Sharpe on Passionate Work

What kinds of people thrive on long hours, little sleep and piles of work? Those who have control over their work and believe what they're doing is meaningful.

An excellent page-one story in today's New York Times looks at people who are unaffected by the kinds work stresses that send their brethren to their sick beds. 'People who exhibit hardiness are reluctant to cede control,' the story notes. 'They are also less likely to feel victimized by their bosses or by unpredictable life circumstances.' Many had stressful childhoods, which left them with coping strategies and a sense that change is inevitable.

Dr. Andy Morgan, an associate professor of psychiatry at Yale, told the Times that a sense of meaning or making a difference is key. 'When you feel that you're accomplishing something, it's akin to a sense of control. When people start feeling that what they're doing is not meaningful, then they take more sick days, begin looking for another job and complain of health problems.'

1 comment

Fran - 9/12/2004 11:53:09 AM
I read this NYT piece with interest, because I come from a particularly tumultuous household and find that I handle stress well. I also seem to be resistant to colds and flus (and superstitious enough to want to 'knock on wood'). I have happy memories of trying situations with multiple deadlines and many problems to solve. Is it the adrenaline high? The rush of having many people depending on you and coming through for them? I'm not sure, but do know that the feeling of being fully engaged in every way, so much so that every sense becomes heightened, can be a powerful addiction.


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