“First, do no harm” is used in the medical profession as a guiding principle for physicians that, whatever the situation, the patient’s well-being is the primary consideration. I understand this is used by physicians in a literal life or death situation, but can’t it also be used for ourselves in every aspect of our lives?
Shouldn’t we be more in tune to whether or not the decisions we make are going to impact us negatively or even permanently disable us from living the life we’ve imagined? This life I’m referring to is above and beyond a monetary or materialistic gain. It’s about living a life worth living, the life you were meant to live. If you’re like me then the worst, most crippling feeling in the world is to be a cog in someone else’s machine. As I make decisions I keep this very, real fear in mind in order to ensure I don’t lead down that path professionally and/or personally.
Ultimately when I say, ‘first, do no harm’ I’m suggesting that when you are creating your goals you must be mindful of every choice you make. Will it impact your family? Will it limit your ability to give back? Will it allow you to go on that vacation that you’re yearning for? Keep your priorities in order and make your decisions surrounding those. No judgement here as to what those are. Just consider what harm really means for your life and who could suffer as a result.
My hubz and I really enjoy watching travel shows especially the Anthony Bourdain series. There was one episode we watched recently about Tokyo and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it! Traditionally, the Japanese are known for paying attention to detail to an extreme — just look at bonsai or exquisitely crafted sushi! This same obsession to detail can apply to several scenarios in our life. For me, I kept coming back to focusing on the details that shape goals. Culturally, the Japanese focus on one thing or one pursuit in order to reach as close to perfection as possible, beginning with the tiniest of details.
In our overworked, overloaded and distracted society just thinking about being able to focus on one thing seems impossible. Yet, but what would it mean for your life if you could? If you could focus on just one thing at a time? I’m the worst at doing this. My mind rushes from one thing to the another, from one idea to the next always seeking the latest best thing. Lately, however, my mind keeps going back to the same handful of ideas. So I’m challenging myself to focus on the one thing to in order to see what will develop. Instead of flip-flopping through my plethora of ideas – I need to focus on the details that will enable me to create my bigger picture goals.
I challenge you to also identify what one thing in your personal or professional life for you to focus on. Make it a goal to intentionally spend time focusing your energy and mind towards accomplishing that one thing. Even if it’s 20 minutes a day, start by identifying the details that form your goals. Then as you master each detail of one component you can add on from there. Slowly but surely, you will create what you set out to accomplish by focusing your efforts on the details that make up the bigger picture.
This week has been a little bit rough and has caused me to really think about who I am when it comes to business. Unfortunately, I didn’t like what I was discovering. I was moody, frustrated, insensitive and distracted. Why? Many reasons that don’t really matter as it was very clear I wasn’t being real with myself. I didn’t like how I was behaving on behalf of ‘business’.
In order to grow, it’s necessary to get out of our comfort zone. So for me, having this ‘frank’ discussion internally was quite uncomfortable. It’s easy to complain about others decisions, or think that you can do it better, or feel complacent with who you are or whatever the reason turns out to be you start to resent the opportunity you once coveted.
It isn’t easy to be frank with yourself. But, if you wish to find your particular success in life, it is the most rewarding reaction of them all.”
I think it’s safe to assume that at a certain age we are expected to stop defining who we are. Isn’t there a magic age where we have it all figured out? I’m quickly learning that it just isn’t so. I have the fortunate opportunity to be surrounded by some amazing people both professionally and personally at all different ages and stages of life. What have I found as the common thread? They are all still figuring it out. From who they want to be, what they want and how to get there. I saw this quote from Ricky Gervais, “The best advice I’ve ever received is, ‘no one else know what they’re doing either.” Its good to know that we are all in the same boat. The pressure is off. If you’ve figured it all out then lucky you. As for me, I’ll never stop defining, progressing or improving. If you think it’s permanent, then its permanent. If you think you’ve lost, you lose. If you think you’ve reached your limits, you won’t go on, if you think you’re weak then you are. Change your thinking. Remove the limitations and embrace the always forming definition of you.