Like many of you out there, perhaps, I tend to plow through a hefty amount of media each month — reviewing hundreds of articles on various business subjects in the hopes of spotting some interesting new tip, insight, or market development.  For the most part, however, it tends to be a pretty barren sea.  So many articles these days seem like lightweight fluff pieces, don’t they?  Or nothing more than a thinly-disguised press release where a journalist is basically “fed” a story and just regurgitates it, mostly verbatim, without any critical thinking or fact-checking.

Every now and then, however, I stumble across a piece that shows off some good old-fashioned journalistic legwork and addresses a topic in a very thoughtful, intriguing, and innovative way.  This was the case the other day, when my cyber-spelunking efforts led me to a series of stories published in Esquire magazine about the quality of life — and level of happiness — experienced by people of different ages, genders, and varying income brackets.

If you haven’t already seen these articles, I’d encourage you to click on the three links I’ve provided below and give them a look.  As you’ll note, the authors in question didn’t just engage in a bunch of high-level speculation about the topic.  They actually went out and interviewed a few real-life individuals from across different income brackets, ranging from millionaires to people at the poverty line, asking them pointed questions about their lives, careers, overall happiness, and the hopes and beliefs they have for the future.

Not sure why, but I found these interview transcripts fascinating.  And if you’re in a period of significant transition in your life, I think you will, too.  So again, when time permits, take a few minutes to click below and give them a look:

4 Men with 4 Very Different Incomes Open Up About the Lives They Can Afford (David Walters)
4 Women with 4 Very Different Incomes Open Up About the Lives They Can Afford (James Thilman)
4 Millennials with 4 Very Different Incomes Open Up About the Lives They Can Afford (Eric Sullivan & Jack Holmes)

What did you think?  Did you find these articles as compelling as I did?  Did you happen to identify with any of the people or views presented, in particular?  Or did you feel (as some have accused) that the sample was highly biased or not truly representative of what “real people” are experiencing and dealing with out there?

If nothing else, I guess I was just excited to see an article finally exploring the day-to-day “human” challenges we all face in terms of trying to chart a course toward a fulfilling, comfortable existence — and how people of different backgrounds are faring given the rapidly-changing economic, health, family, and societal factors currently taking place.  To quote one of Jack Nicholson’s most infamous movie characters, this is the kind of stuff most of us don’t tend to “talk about at parties” and I’m impressed that the subjects of the articles, themselves, were willing to go on record and open up in this fashion.

Again, would love to hear your thoughts and commentary, once you’ve had the chance to read through the content in question — so please don’t hesitate to post a comment directly or e-mail me your thoughts, if you’d like me to post a comment anonymously on your behalf!