Hi ho hi ho its off to work we go!
This was the opening song of the summit on Happiness in the work place I attended this week. Snow White’s seven dwarfs happily singing their way to the forest to work!
Okay , okay… only in cartoons or in the movies! Not everyone sings their way to work! Lets admit it that getting up in the morning for work can be one of the hardest thing on earth.
I’d say that those happy with work are the luckiest people on earth. Work ceases to be work when you are happily engaged.
How about for us doctors who are committed to this work 24/7? We say our work does not stop after we have visited our patients. Nor after the clinic hours. We get called in the wee hours of the night. A toxic patient can totally disrupt our sleep.
So just how does each work day becomes a fabulous time every time? Here are a few of my insights:
Get a straight and clear cut answer to the WHY part of our work.
The happiest people at work are the people who knows the answer to this. People who sees the big picture out of the tasks they do. It’s the janitor who scrubs the floor well because his job is not cleaning but keeping people safe. Its the waitress serving food because she is delivering happiness. My delivery girls in our cooperative who maintains proper handling of vaccines because they are ensuring the health of the future.
For doctors, why do we answer late night calls from patients? Why do we see them in the wee hours of the night in the hospital? Why do we have to take time answering their questions? Is this profession just about healing? How about hope… partnership…?
Better yet, what is your life about and how does work provide the opportunities for you to live your life and not just make a living?
Paint a clear BIG PICTURE of why you do what you do.
Determine FIT between your why and where you spend your energy.
With clarity comes the courage to make choices. Are you spending your time and energy on things that do not contribute to your WHY? We have such a busy world. So many distractions. Which do you say yes to? Which do you say no to?
Where doctors work, we get pulled all over to be part of this group, this committee, this team etc. It’s a necessary part of our work. But need you be all over the place? Where will your energy be most useful…most meaningful…most fulfilling?
Courageously make clear choices then commit.
Find Your Kindred Spirits.
Kindred spirits make anything bearable, effortless and fun! Kindred spirits do not think alike but have shared values. Find them in your workplace and your work will be opportunities to grow and go where you thought you can never be.
Mylah.Joy.Myrene.Bles. Robert. Tina. They are my Kindred Spirits. They can be anyone in your workplace. Discover them and you will find a gem !
Honor your body.
Ako si Superman! Anong super powers mo?
Sometimes we think like we actually have super powers when it comes to our body. Maybe our knowledge of diseases gives us that mindset of pushing ourselves to the very edge. One doctor friend reminds me to always honor my body. To listen to what it is telling me. Time to rest. Take a break. Stop for now. Slow down.
My dad, when I was younger would always look through the door of my room late at night and see me working on something. He would gently remind me that whatever I was working on will still be there tomorrow. So I must rest. I see the wisdom in that now.
Learn to identify what you can control from those you cannot.
When it comes to people, I would say that the only person you can have full control on is YOU. You can influence others but you cannot control them. Realizing this has added to my happiness meter in the workplace tremendously!
Money or finances makes a lot of people unhappy. Good news! Finances fall in the CAN CONTROL column. Sabi nga, puedeng mamaluktot habang maikli ang kumot! When resources are scarce, we can make do with what we have.
Time causes a lot of stress to everyone including doctors. Yey! This one is in the CAN CONTROL COLUMN too! We can make choices when it comes to our time. We can choose to see patients by appointment. We can choose to shape our practice the way we want it.
Embrace what you cannot control and work on what you can.
Any other recipe for happiness in the workplace? Please share.
Photo is TMC Pediatrics’ beautiful Snow White and Hardworking 7 Dwarfs. TMC Pediatrics is one of the happiest place in the hospital!