Not so long ago one of my patients, a girl who is almost a teenager, drew me a sketch. When I asked her mom “Tell me what your child is good at?” the mom did not hesitate.
“She is very good at art” I was told. Indeed, my patient was a star…..in less than five minutes she sketched a cat sitting in a regal pose. I have kept this sketch to remind me of the fact that all of us have been given gifts.
I refer to these gifts as our cargo.
We are on this planet to deliver it.
Not just for our sake but for the sake of others.
I have observed that those who are truly helpful —and thus meet needs— live lives of purpose, peace and passion.
Physician wellness comes down to really two questions:
—If I know my gifts, do I deliver them at a pace I can sustain or am I overloaded? (even when by doing what I enjoy)
–If I do not yet know my gifts, even at a later stage in my career, how can I dig deeper, go within, and mindfully investigate ways to be truly helpful to those who come to see me, hoping to be coached by me toward healing?
One final reminder: do not be jealous of the gifts of your peers and do not feel inadequate by comparing your gifts with theirs. Instead make peace with your own purpose and run your own race; stay in your lane; be kind toward yourself. Just do it.
PS: In the months ahead I am excited to announce that I will share some weekly nuggets. I call them Nieman Nuggets. They will be brief, original and practical. The motive is simple: share a weekly reminder of what we can do to promote our own wellness—for our sake but also the sake of our patients.