Gut Check | Tuesday, April 10, 2018
I Wish I Had Known Sooner: Life's Lessons for the Journey
Looking back on the past 20 years, I can say, “If I hadn’t lived it, I wouldn’t believe it.” February 1998 seems like a lifetime ago and for those readers in their early to mid-20s that would not be an understatement! So what is it that I have learned in those years that could be worthy of your time to consider? I decided to make a list of “a few of my favorite things.”
Get along with your co-workers. You’re probably going to spend more waking hours with them than anyone else. Some people say they aren’t at work to make friends, but I can tell you it’s a lot more fun to work with friends than trying to avoid animosity. I have worked with some really fantastic folks and some who needed to be smoothed out a bit. At times, I have been both. Learn about different personalities and how to relate in a positive way with each of them. Five years from now, you will be a product of the books you read, the things to which you listen, and the people with whom you associate. Choose wisely.
Pump the brakes. I learned this phrase today, but I was taught the principle years ago. You can’t go full speed all the time. You have to take time to slow down and rejuvenate. No matter how much you love your work or co-workers, you need time away. For some of us, vacation time is limited to a week a year, for others it is much more. The key is to use your vacation time. Think about a rubber band. You can stretch a rubber band out and keep it in that position for a considerable period of time. Eventually, that rubber band will not return to its original shape or strength –and it might even break. We are exactly the same. One can’t run forever without recharging and when we do recharge we are more effective (and likeable).
And from a calendar at my desk at work: “Living from your heart means that you choose a life and lifestyle that are true for you and your family. It means you make important decisions because they resonate with your heart and your own values and not necessarily with those of others. Living from your heart means you trust your own instincts more than the pressures from advertising or the expectations of society, your neighbors or friends.”
I haven’t always practiced these tips as well as I could. The advantage for all of us is that we can learn from others and don’t have to clear the trail, make all the mistakes or reinvent the wheel. Here’s to a future that resonates with your heart and from there has a positive influence on all those with whom your path may cross.
Gail Crowe, RN, BSN, CGRN