Author: Chris Woodgate, ISAS Officer
Nobody does you any better than you (reminds me of a certain Bond theme song), nobody else can be you and no one else can achieve the way that you can, in the way you lead, practice professionally, treat colleagues, develop new practice and research. I think sometimes we forget how unique and special we are.
Is your goal in life to love what you work at, and work at what you love? That would be great wouldn’t it, but that isn’t reality at every stage of life. Sometimes you’re called to do a good job for a not-so-good company, boss, or salary.
Looking at the positive, you have a job that supplies your needs; there are unemployed people who would switch places with you if they had the opportunities and education you have.
If you are stuck in the mundane daily grind, how about thinking about it differently? Some of the things you do every day are absolutely miraculous.
You take approximately twenty-three thousand breaths every day, but when was the last time you thought about that or any of the other activities which happen without you thinking about it?
What about the daily tasks you have in your role that you think make no difference what so ever; I bet your patients would think otherwise.
If you no longer practice clinically, remember that the way you lead can influence patients just as much as your clinical colleagues, by making sure they have the best your service can offer.
That is why we have our professional standards (ISAS) so that you can ensure through the mundane you can achieve the extraordinary.
So how do you put this into practice? I would remind you that nothing dies quicker than a new idea in a closed mind. It’s impossible to learn if you think you already know it all.
Would we have penicillin or immunisation if Fleming and Jenner had not been open to new ways of looking at a problem?
A wrongly positioned mind is like a microscope that magnifies trifling things, but can’t receive great ones. Every situation, properly viewed, is an opportunity. But opportunities can only ‘drop into your lap’ if you position your lap where opportunities drop.
When you don’t open up to new ideas, it’s like asking for a pint while you’re holding a cup. Too often our minds are locked on one track. We’re looking for red so we overlook blue; we’re thinking ‘tomorrow’ and not ‘now’, sometimes the answer is right under our nose.
To be the best you can be don’t be someone who is known as being insensitive and unreceptive to the thoughts of others.
Arnold Sommerfeld, the German physicist and pianist, observed that a single hydrogen atom which emits one hundred frequencies, is more musical than a grand piano which emits only eighty-seven frequencies.
So much more goes on around us than we are aware of; often we need the combined ‘listening’ skills of others to get the full benefit of progress, change, innovation and in turn we need to listen to that collective.
The mundane when viewed like this becomes not so mundane, no one can do it like you because your life is an original score written only for you to perform. So when you think about what you do day in day out make sure you are doing the right thing for the right reason even if it is a boring audit, a report or QA activity.