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Life Full Of Promise

07/16/2010 - A Pet for Everyone

07/09/2010 - Acts of Patriotism

07/02/2010 - Technician: New & Naive

As I watch my kitten exploring my desk, which is truly an adventure because it’s not very tidy, I am amazed once again at how little Thomas O’Malley views the world (yes, that’s from the alley cat in Aristocats!). It’s all one great big amusement park, full of excitement and promise … even though we would look around and notice the danger that lurks: the pile of loose papers that could land him on the floor, the heavy stapler that could fall over and land on a toe, the small foreign bodies that could be ingested. It occurs to me that I wish we could all see the world full of promise like he does, rather than full of threats as many of us do.

At work, the same threats hover over us, waiting to annoy or enrage the person who sees the world in gray. The staff meeting could be a waste of time where we listen to complaints, or, it could be an opportunity for us to build a better team and improve the quality of care. The new person we’re assigned to train could be a ball and chain around our ankle all day as we try to do our job, or, that person could be the next really great employee that makes our days go smoother and even helps up to laugh a little more often. The new doctor coming aboard could be yet another ego-centric new graduate waiting to prove what they know despite the fact that they don’t have the 10 or 15 years under their belt like us, or, this could be the next doctor to raise the standard of care for the patients and demonstrate to other doctors how to show the staff the respect they deserve. It’s all a matter of perspective.

In the end, we choose how we want to view the world: full of threats, or full of promise. Depending on how we see it, we either are ready to make our negative prophecies come true, or, we are poised to help our best wishes manifest themselves. We tend to look outside ourselves, and blame the world around us on everyone besides ourselves, not realizing the role we play. When I am managing an employee with this outlook, I refer to their personality as having a “victim attitude.” In other words, everything happens to them and they have no control over the chain of events that often has landed them in trouble in my office. I joke with my management colleagues that if I could design a pre-hire test that identifies “victims,” my management life would be perfect. All joking aside, it’s hard to manage this type of attitude, and I imagine it’s very difficult to live like this type of person. Who wants to be continually bullied by life and everyone around them? Who wants to view every change, every challenge, as the doomsday to be met, or ran away from? It can’t be any fun being this type of person, and it makes the job much less fun for everyone around them in the practice.

So the question is, how do you choose to view life? As full of promise?

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