Iowa Specialty Hospital

Making the Rounds with Dr. Hurt

October 5, 2016

“Focus on the Good in Front of You”

I just enjoyed the day with about 50 leaders from our organization at the first annual Iowa Regional Leadership Development Institute (LDI) event.  We heard 3 speakers from the Studer Group.  It was moving, and I came away inspired and hopeful!  The content of their messages was good, but more importantly, the delivery of that content through personal stories was powerful. The stories about life and death and working in healthcare touched everyone in the room.  

I spend a lot of time with physicians and other providers.  We talk about work, families, our hospitals or really anything on our minds.  Often, the subject of “burnout” comes up.  The demands of this profession can be overwhelming, especially if we are always giving out of our personal buckets and not filling them back up.  There is certainly a lot to bitch about. Every day.  But what if, daily, we were to focus on the good in front of us? What if we assumed everyone is doing the best they can? What if we were grateful?

One speaker told the story of a grandfather saying to his grandson that everyone has two wolves living inside them.  One is evil and negative and destructive.  The other is positive, life-giving and beautiful.  These wolves are constantly at odds with each other.  The grandson eventually asks, “Which one wins”? The grandfather responds, “The one you feed”.

We have standards of behavior and a provider creed at this organization.  What a great idea. We created these.  Are we practicing them? If there are five frogs on a lily pad and one frog decides to jump off, how many frogs are left on the pad? Answer: five.  It has only decided to jump off, it hasn’t jumped!

It will go a long way to preventing burnout if we can bring our own personal stories into why we do what we do each day and focus on the good in front of us. We won’t even have to try to “practice” our standards of behavior.  They will happen and there will be no frogs left on the lily pad.

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” - Maya Angelou

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