Winners never quit

Talking to Transfarmer the other day I mentioned how my sense of achievement and success in life has changed somewhat.

When I was younger and lived in NZ I saw a big part of what I did in life as that doctor type stuff. To work hard at it and do it well. Because a well done thing is worth doing – a general principle I had learnt cleaning corridors in Craigavon Hospital in my student years.

Medicine is that wonderful vocation where they pay you well, respect you and you get to do something where you can easily fool yourself into thinking you’re a good person (by which we mean better than someone else of course).

Which makes it awfully easy to to get muddled in your motives and purpose in life.

I am good at what I do. I think. People tell me I could be better – this usually involves being at the top of the hierarchy in the hospital. I’ve never quite understood why that makes me better. Though as much as I’ve never understood it I’ve always found it very tempting. I’ve realised that most of this is just good old-fashioned pride. This does not mean that career advancement is inherently bad, it is merely a statement about where I think my motives come from.

Transfarmer once told me that my job was to love my patients. I’m pretty sure this isn’t covered in the GMC’s good medical practice. That was fairly insightful to say the least. My basic purpose in life is to love people, so why does wasn’t that extending to the work sphere?

Professionalism is important no doubt but loving people trumps it. We can argue about what that looks like but not about the starting point.

So what does acheivment or success look like today – loving my (almost) wife, loving my family, loving those around me, loving GOD.

[Yes I know this is very Jesus Creed but I am about to hear Scott McKnight speak on 4 different occasions this week…]

As life goes on, more and more this looks like a 3 day employed working week and the rest of the time devoted to the people in my life. I could live with that I think.

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June 2010

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