We have a friend who gave up a tenured position as a full professor, with no assurance that a comparable position would open up in his new location. (with a full professorship, the pay and benefits are quite good though not great, but it is very hard to fire you. It takes many years of high-level performance to get a full professorship.)
Nevertheless, he moved to the West Coast to be close to his family. In particular, his sister was important to him.
As it turned out, he had to make do with insecure and relatively low-paying part-time teaching positions, and to drive many miles to their locations to accumulate a viable income. It took many years for him to find a stable, full-time position.
Faced with this kind of situation, most of us would, understandably, have spent a good deal of time worrying, fretting, and complaining, and regretting. Not him.
I asked him one time how he stayed so upbeat through all of this. He said, “I never let a day go by without doing something I enjoy”.
He is a master teacher. He taught the most challenging courses in his field, the ones that often result in a lot of anger on the part of the students because the content is hard to understand, and the teachers are often insensitive to the barriers that get in their way.
Nevertheless he was the only teacher in higher education we have ever known who got standing ovations at the end of at least some of his classes.
I asked him what it was about his teaching that produced such results. His answer was that he only taught in ways that allowed him to enjoy the teaching process.
So our theme in this post is that enjoying yourself regularly can improve your effectiveness, but also make your life more gratifying, and also give your resilience a boost.