I have been given two life changing pieces of advice by colleagues. First: pick a side of the parking ramp, north or south, and always park there. It will save you a lot of time and frustration (and embarrassment) wandering around the ramp at the end of a long day. Pleasures of the simple, as my mom would say.
Second: care less. This one is a little more complicated. I was all in on my adminmistrative job, and I was becoming enraged. There were things that were very wrong and had to change. I was throwing my full force at these issues, making no progress. A wise friend, also a physician administrator, sat me down and talked me through it. Once he finished asking questions and listening to the answers, he said “Hmmmm……Maybe you just need to care less.”
“Maybe you just need to care less”
I was startled, even offended. As a doctor, caring is binary – you do or you don’t. There are no gradations, no caring “a lot”, “more”, “some”, “less”. You care or you don’t care. You’re all in or you’re not in it at all. It has to be that way when we are caring for people’s lives. But there are very few other things in life that work that way. A binary approach to caring is a prerequisite of being a physician. But it is an uwise approach to most other things in life.
Since then, I’ve realized there are things I can’t change – things that should be changed but aren’t ready yet – and I do need to care about them, but less. I put my energy where it can be used, not dissipated. It may not, at first, be where my passion lies. But satisfaction comes as I see change bloom. Passion follows. I find a new thing to “care more” about.