I think one of the most powerful but sometimes scariest things we do as physicians caring for patients, but also mentors to students and younger docs is help them create a compelling future life, and then actually watch it start to unfold right before our eyes.
Think about it. As a doc, you did this too, first as a student at several levels. In reality, many times. In fact, at one point it was probably term-to-term.
Then, you began to practice. Still way more changes. Lots of excitement, new ways of doing things, patients that challenged every skill you thought you forgot.
So, in reality, you know you have the power to create magnificent changes.
After a while, what was once magnificent and exciting can seem dull, boring, and very routine. We sometimes so easily forget the sacrifices we made to get where we are. High school, under-grad, and on and on. If we allow it, the daily grind can become just that. If it’s not practice stress, it’s kids, family, etc.
Then sometimes we build fences, stop communicating with past friends, we can also become very rigid in certain habits, most especially mental habits and sometimes getting really, really stuck.
Before we know it, seems like years have passed.
If things did not turn out like you thought, it’s easy to just give in, and say, “…Oh well…” We in fact, can start to live by default.
That’s when it’s not pretty…
So what is the most simplistic solution? Respectfully, our role must be to maintain our own health and happiness first. This is the only way we will be able to carry forward our multiple roles as physicians, on our own terms. As long as we choose.