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“Control what you can Cope with what you can’t Concentrate on what’s important” The 3 C’s of Stoic philosophy
At a recent European Physicians Health conference, the president opened the meeting by stating that “Medicine has become a battlefield”. With dwindling resources, ever intensifying workloads and what seems like a daily barrage of negative headlines decrying the poor performance of the NHS, sometimes this job feels exactly like that.
Over the years I’ve developed a series of soft skills that enable me to not only enjoy my job and the challenges it brings, but skills that enable me to function better and provide the best care possible for my patients despite the pressures of the job.
Like all skills, they won't come automatically. For them to be useful you must practice regularly (see Anders Ericsson’s philosophy of deliberate practice). Practice enough, they become habit, practice for years, they will become part of your behaviour.
The top skills I have developed over my 31 years in the profession can be found in my recently published “Baker’s Dozen of Mental Toughness”, a visual stress management and resilience toolkit developed through my years of learning.
Where the Baker’s Dozen looks at 13 top skills (and all are worth considering), I’m going to emphasise 6:
A parting bonus skill from me…keep learning - download the baker’s dozen stress management toolkit at: https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/808950/Bakers-Dozen-Toolkit.pdf
Once upon a time I would get angry and internally upset when things were turning pear-shaped. Now I breather and convert anger to disappointment mindset that frees up the cortex to say - how can this be made better ?
Disappointment does not stir up the gastric juices - it just opens up the thinking channels.
I am a happier and more resilient person in so many ways . How do I know ?
It is a calming influence and it augers successful resolutions.. It is on my agenda to take as many 'stakeholders' on the same path.
The work environment is so much better.