Shot of Satisfaction

Antidotes for Burnout and Compassion Fatigue

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Thursday, December 17, 2015
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Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Originally published December 7th, 2009 

This Shot of Satisfaction relates to Step 3 – FORMULATE your plan. Recalculate the transaction of care using the Perfect Equation. Free yourself from your hidden agenda.


A Pot of Gold

We work in an environment where we have plenty of challenges. We can’t control others. Nor can we change them. The only thing we can change, and it is not easy, is ourselves. When each of us works towards changing our thinking, seeing our challenges as opportunities, we begin to change our world! – Dr. Frank

“The difference between try and triumph is just a little ‘umph!’”
-Unknown

We are all looking for satisfaction at work. Sometimes we think we know why we don’t have it. We might feel the reason is because our patients have a sense of entitlement or they don’t appreciate what we do. Maybe we feel our co-workers are not team players. Or maybe we feel expectations are too high and it’s impossible to meet everyone’s demands.

No matter what we think the problem is, it all boils down to one single thought: We believe our lack of satisfaction is the result of someone, or something, we routinely encounter which is less than ideal. Moreover, we want someone (other than ourselves), to change, or fix, those less-than-ideal “someones” or “somethings.”

Our thinking tells us that if those undesirable circumstances were removed or changed, we would instantly have job satisfaction. But perhaps it’s our way of thinking that needs to be changed.

Picture yourself standing at one end of a giant rainbow. At the other end is a pot of gold. You want the satisfaction contained in the pot. Now imagine there is a large fence between you and the gold. Did your satisfaction disappear?

No. It’s still there, but now you have to do something to get it. So would you give up and go home? Or would you scale that wall gladly, knowing there are riches waiting for you on the other side? Odds are you would because the fence is simply a challenge – not an impenetrable barrier blocking you from satisfaction.

It is similar for us at work. We want to care for others. This is why we are here. This is also where our satisfaction lies – much like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Those less-than-ideal people and situations are our fences. We need to see them as opportunities for us to get our satisfaction.

Get your copy of "Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care" at amazon.com

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

We work in an environment where we have plenty of challenges. We can’t control others. Nor can we change them. The only thing we can change, and it is not easy, is ourselves. When each of us works towards changing our thinking, seeing our challenges as opportunities, we begin to change our world!

TAKE ACTION

Today, and every day, dig deep, reach into your soul; find a way to see the obstacle in front of you for what it is: a challenge. See it as the fence you must scale in order to find a way to care, to make a difference.

With this mindset, you will have access to unlimited amounts of job satisfaction. You will become empowered. You will have scaled the fence and found the way to care for another, and you will get some real and lasting, good old-fashioned, satisfaction.

All the best,
Dr. Frank

 

Friday, December 11, 2015
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Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Originally published December 2nd, 2009 

This Shot of Satisfaction relates to Step 5 – EVALUATE your results. Recognize what you bring to the encounter. Is your giving care effective? If not, go to step six and begin again.


Look for the good in everyone

We can’t choose what happens to us, but we can make a choice about how we feel and think about those things. We could focus on the bad we see in humanity. We could react and get angry or frustrated, and let them wreck our day, or we can pause, and choose a different heartfelt response. – Dr. Frank

It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place.
Henry Louis Mencken, A Little Book in C Major, 1916

Forty-five minutes before the end of my night shift, the charge nurse Jeff, approached me with a problem. “I just put a domestic violence case in 24,” he said, “I feel really bad for this woman. She’s going through a nasty break-up and somehow her ex found out where she was staying. This morning, as she was picking up her kids, he rammed her car. I guess it wasn’t the first time the guy did something like this.  She already filed a police report. But now she’s complaining of head and neck pain as well as left rib and shoulder pain.”

I felt the pressure. I was exhausted, but Jeff wanted me to find a way to stretch myself a little more, to get in there and help. He genuinely felt bad for the woman. Just then, I was called away on an important matter. I was on the phone when the incoming doctor arrived. As he opened the curtain on 24, I heard him exclaim, “He did it again? I just saw you two weeks ago for the same thing! But it looks like you had a different name back then.” In an instant, the allegedly battered woman was miraculously healed. She got up and walked out the door.

Turns out, she lied. She registered without an I.D. And she almost got away with it. If any other doc showed up that morning to relieve me, or if I had found a way to get into the room before the phone rang, her lie would have gone undetected. What possessed her to get up at the crack of dawn and come to the hospital with such an elaborate story? On her previous visit, the woman saw the same doctor, and left with some pills to help ease her pain. My guess is that she wanted more pills. The question is, “Why?”

Was she in an abusive relationship where her tormentor forced her to get these pills? Was she addicted and looking for a fix? Did she need the pills to sell for cash to put dinner on the table? While we’ll never know which scenario applied, it is clear that she came to the Emergency Department because she had a problem that she could not fix herself. She needed our help.

In our work of helping others, it is easy to see how and why we can become jaded or burned out. Until humanity perfects itself, others will always try to take advantage of our good nature. So what? Who cares? Desperate people do desperate things. We cannot let others make us bitter. We can’t choose what happens to us, but we can make a choice about how we feel and think about those things. We could focus on the bad we see in humanity. We could react and get angry, or frustrated, and let them wreck our day, or we can pause, and choose a different heartfelt response.

Get your copy of "Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care" at amazon.com

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

When things like this happen, we can take the opportunity to see our own kindness, tolerance and compassion reflected back to us. We can feel good, we can feel satisfied with who we are as people, and with what we do. No doubt, as the holidays move closer, we will all be in this same position over and over again. But if we follow Jeff’s lead and express compassion anyway, we will experience all the joy this season brings.

TAKE ACTION

Make the choice to see the good. Be good, do good, look for the good, and most importantly, feel good!

All the best,
Dr. Frank

Friday, December 04, 2015
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Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Originally published November 30th, 2009 

This Shot of Satisfaction relates to Step 1 -REMEMBER what you came here for. Reconnect with your desire to care. Remember what you want from your work: the feeling good that comes from truly caring for others.


The power to create miracles

Obstacles to our satisfaction give us the opportunity to stop and, instead of going with the automatic reaction, inject a thinking and feeling response to the situation. That heart-felt response is how we become the cause of our own satisfaction. When we rise above our reactive nature, we enter the miracle zone, where we can expect the unexpected. – Dr. Frank

“The Tao Te Ch’ing says, ‘When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.’”
Mary Manin Morrissey

 

The power to create miracles

We just entered one of the most magical times of the year. Many consider this the month of miracles. A miracle is an event or effect that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and is considered supernatural in origin. Wouldn’t it be great if we could see miracles of healing as a result of our care every day?

So what gets in our way? It’s us. Why? One of our challenges to feeling satisfaction on the job is our need for appreciation – from our managers, our patients, our patient’s families and even each other.

Why the desire for a pat on the back? Some days we are just plain needy. The problem is, it’s difficult to give when you are empty. Subconsciously, we allow our emptiness to cause us to act in ways that are unhealthy. If we were confident and self-assured, we would not have the need to be thanked or appreciated. We would not seek assurance from others.

Our unconscious need for the “Thank you,” for the “Wow,” for the “You’re so great,” causes our agenda to get in the way. If we are dependent on the approval to feel good, then we really have nothing to give. We show up as takers, wanting to take from our patients.

It is all right to like the “Thank you,” or to love the appreciation. But nothing in this world will ever give us fulfillment if we are dependent on it. If we can only be happy when we have a million dollars in the bank, then we are probably doomed to a life of sadness. If our happiness is dependent on another, we will never be satisfied by the relationship.

Get your copy of "Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care" at amazon.com

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

So how can we get satisfaction? Let go of the kudos!

Obstacles to our satisfaction give us the opportunity to stop and, instead of going with the automatic reaction, inject a thinking and feeling response to the situation. That heart-felt response is how we become the cause of our own satisfaction. When we rise above our reactive nature, we enter the miracle zone, where we can expect the unexpected.

TAKE ACTION

Today, whenever you are feeling under-appreciated, under-paid, under-loved, or just plain needy, recognize it for what it is: an obstacle. Let go of your need for the kudos! Find a way to give care anyway. See if something miraculous happens!

Miracles and blessings,
Dr. Frank

 

Friday, November 27, 2015
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Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Originally published November 25th, 2009 – This Shot of Satisfaction relates to Step 4 -LOOK at your position within the transaction of care, and ask yourself if you are the cause of something better or the effect of another’s situation. Am I reacting or am I responding?
Reframe your role (in the patient encounter, or any interpersonal encounter), and your position in regards to your goal: to understand that the obstacles to your satisfaction aren’t outside you, but within you. Make the inner transformation and shift your position in your personal, internal quantum space from a negative to a positive one.


Diamonds, Diamonds, Everywhere…

As we run around like crazy people this week, tending to all the details and distractions of Thanksgiving, take a moment to hear the words of my patient, “But Doc, it’s Thanksgiving!” Take a moment to see past the distractions and illusions of our fast-paced world, to feel another’s pain, and to look for the things in your daily life that you are truly grateful for. – Dr. Frank

“I find that the more willing I am to be grateful for the small things in life, the bigger stuff just seems to show up from unexpected sources, and I am constantly looking forward to each day with all the surprises that keep coming my way!”
-Louise L. Hay

Yesterday, I told a patient (who came to the hospital thinking he had a bladder infection) that his CT scan showed he had bladder cancer. He said, “But Doc, it’s Thanksgiving!”

Unfortunately, there is never a good time to deliver bad news, especially of this magnitude. The reason it’s difficult is because, in these moments, we cannot ignore a profound truth: We care about our patients.

Last week, I shared with you a story about a man who went on a journey to search for diamonds. Along the way, he discovered that his natural gifts were the real diamonds – and they were worth more than any precious gem. In the emergency department, we often get so caught up in the details of searching for the physical diagnosis that we miss the essence of what we do: provide care. Diagnosing the problem is only the first part of the journey. The actions we take after we deliver the harsh news are where our diamonds can be found.

These challenging moments are our opportunities to share our natural gifts, to provide true care, and to be extraordinary. We have a chance to feel our patient’s pain as though it were our own. We can let them know that their diagnosis affects us as well. It’s not just business as usual. We are there to help shoulder their burden. We make it our responsibility to stay in that uncomfortable place with our patients until they feel our care and understand that our purpose is to lay down our own troubles and do whatever it takes to make things better for them.

These unique human interactions between care giver and patient, this uncomfortable place where we share genuine, intimate contact, where we catch a glimpse of each other’s humanity, are the precious gems of the work we do. As we run around like crazy people this week, tending to all the details and distractions of Thanksgiving, take a moment to hear the words of my patient, “But Doc, it’s Thanksgiving!” Take a moment to see past the distractions and illusions of our fast-paced world, to feel another’s pain, and to look for the things in your daily life that you are truly grateful for.

Courtney summed it up for us this way:

“I think the Emergency Room is a great place to work because going to work and witnessing the pain and struggle in others’ lives serves as a daily reminder to be very grateful for the blessings in our own lives. Everyone has trials in their life, and it is so easy to become so focused on the challenges that we forget to really evaluate all the good we have… A big reminder for me is when I go to Children’s Hospital. I take the kids there for various appointments, and EVERY TIME, walking through the hospital I see children in wheelchairs, and children that cannot talk or run. It strikes me as my own children skip happily at my side how blessed I am that my children are healthy. So, I am grateful that I am reminded every time I go to work to be grateful for the SIMPLE blessings in life.”

Get your copy of "Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care" at amazon.com

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

TAKE ACTION

Remember the immortal words of John F. Kennedy: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

Happy Days of Thanks!
Dr. Frank

 

Friday, November 20, 2015
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Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Originally published November 18th, 2009 – This Shot of Satisfaction relates to Step 1 -REMEMBER what you came here for. Reconnect with your desire to care. Remember what you want from your work: the feeling good that comes from truly caring for others.


How can tomorrow be better?

There is no greater healing force in this world than a human who can truly feel (if even for a moment) the pain of another. Feeling the pain of someone else, and having the true desire to make it go away, can create miracles. – Dr. Frank

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.”
-Kenji Miyazawa

The Emergency Department is a great place to work, mostly because of YOU, and the team that cares a lot!

There is one person who has been with me on the journey to develop Clear2Care. She has stood by me since the beginning—encouraging and supporting me. That person is my assistant, Cheryl Kolesar. She wholeheartedly supports Clear2Care’s singular mission: To remind the brave souls who work in chaotic emergency departments everywhere who they are and to reconnect them to their pure desire to help others when their help is needed most.

Cheryl is facing a personal crisis right now. She is currently battling a rare cancer. Although she has already undergone major surgery, this weekend she bravely cut her hair, went into the hospital, and had a power port installed. Cheryl is now receiving three days of intense chemotherapy to kill off any remaining cancer cells in her body. When that is through, she will undergo more cycles of toxic chemotherapy to rid her body of the malignant cells that threaten her life.

If there is one thing I know for certain, it is this: There is no greater healing force in this world than a human who can truly feel (if even for a moment) the pain of another. Feeling the pain of someone else, and having the true desire to make it go away, can create miracles.

As Cheryl faces a life threatening challenge this weekend, I can honestly say that I feel her pain as if it were my own. I faced the same feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, when I was diagnosed with cancer. I remember feeling totally abandoned and lost. I remember begging God for help, for healing, and for another chance at life.

Looking back at that critical point in my own life, I realize that my prayer was backwards. I wanted God to spare me from the cancer, to take it away from me, to change my reality so that I did not have to go through the surgeries, the chemo, and the long healing process. Today, I realize that my prayer would have been much more effective if I had asked God for the strength to proactively move through the process to the other side as a whole, healthy and happy individual.

No doubt, I am a changed man because of my journey through illness. The journey was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to endure. But looking back, I would not change a thing. I see there were blessings delivered through the curses. … Today, I am a better version of myself—a happier, more humble, more grateful version of the man I was.

While Cheryl may not be in the emergency room, her life is still in a state of emergency. I know she is in intense pain right now. There is only one thing that I can do, and that is pray that God will provide her with the strength to be full of hope. I can meditate for Cheryl to have the endurance to triumph and embrace whatever lesson this disease is here to show her. And I can envision the day when she will once again feel whole and alive.

I would like to ask: Can you feel her pain? Even though you don’t know her, can you care for her and for those that are going through a similar process? I would like to ask you to please make an effort to connect to her, and others like her, and send them your healing energy. Thank you.

Get your copy of "Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care" at amazon.com

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

TAKE ACTION

Today, appreciate your life. See your blessings. Realize how lucky you are. Any one of us can have our lives threatened by an illness.

I would like to invite you to try something powerful. Stop and practice TRUECARE by putting the needs of another, someone you don’t even know, in front of your own. Take a moment, and in whatever way you experience your world view, please pray and/or meditate for Cheryl or someone like her.

Just wish the best for them. Ask your higher power to help them, to comfort them, to lead them through their personal despair and to give them the strength they will need to face the challenges that come their way. Envision them as a healthy individual so that they can face a future that is bright.

See how powerful your prayer can be when there is no personal agenda attached, when you want nothing in return. Just desire the best for another person. No doubt, many blessings will show up in your own life as well.

Thank you with all my heart,
Dr. Frank

 

Thursday, November 12, 2015
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Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Originally published November 4th, 2011 – This Shot of Satisfaction relates to Step 3 – FORMULATE your plan. Recalculate the transaction of care using the Perfect Equation. Free yourself from your unconscious actions and outdated agendas.


How can tomorrow be better?

If we want success, we have to step into the process of generating success. If we want health, we need to step into the process of preparing healthy foods and going to the gym, regardless of the number on the scale or the inches on your waistline. Focusing on the process is where we go from knowing to doing. This is where real change occurs. -Dr. Frank

“Ideas are a dime a dozen… but the man who puts them into practice is priceless.”
-Joe Gandolfo

If I know the proper foods to eat and how to exercise, how come I’m overweight, out of shape and unhealthy? If I know how I’m supposed to behave in a relationship, why don’t mine ever work out? If I know what it takes to have a successful business, why is mine always in the red?

We all know how to live our best life, but knowing isn’t enough. Somewhere between knowledge and practice there is a breakdown…

For me, the breakdown happens because I run around all day long reacting to my environment. I am constantly putting out fires, managing chaos, and allowing myself to be the effect of the people and situations in my environment. I am busy fixing or dealing with problems. My thoughts are generated in reaction to my environment and my body. I am on auto-pilot.

The flaw in “if” happiness thinking

Most of us ask for water when we are thirsty. We ask for a relationship when we don’t have one. We ask for health when we are sick. We ask for success when we are unsuccessful. This is because we are so attached to our environment and outcomes. We believe that when we have the car, the job, the girl, the boy, or the diamond, we will be successful and happy. This is effect-oriented living and there will never be any change in our lives when we live this way.

It is time for you and me to be the cause of a new and better reality for ourselves and for those around us. It is time for us to choose the thoughts we will engage. I know this, but until I let go of my attachment to results and surrender to the fact that I have to do the work, put in the effort and engage in the process, I will stay stuck in the same place of knowing and not doing.

Dr. Srikumar Rao, a colleague of ours, is considered a happiness expert.  He maintains that the reason we are all so unhappy in our Western world is because we all buy into a flawed mental model of how the world operates. According to Dr. Rao, it’s like this: we think we have to get something so that we can do something so that we can achieve something so that we can be happy. In short, we believe that if “this” happens, “then” we will be happy.

To see the flaw in this logic, Dr. Rao asks us to questions ourselves. “What did I want 10 years ago?  What was it I thought I needed to be happy?” If we are honest, we will see that we probably got that “thing” – our degree, the car, the house in the suburbs – and we are probably not much happier now than we were then.

Happiness lies in our process

Dr. Rao then asks us to remember times where we had a blissful, peaceful moment. Maybe we stumbled on a breathtaking scene in nature, a waterfall or a rainbow, or we participated in a joyous moment like the birth of a baby. Can you remember what it was like to see your child take their first steps or utter their first word?

Get your copy of "Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care" at amazon.com

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

Dr. Rao brilliantly points out that in these moments we accept the Universe just as it is. Our habitual wanting of another “thing” drops away and our innate happiness surfaces, and we feel it. Even years later we KNOW we felt it because we can still remember it as if it were yesterday. 

These profound moments in our otherwise ordinary lives allow us to feel perfection despite our problems. These moments show us that happiness, satisfaction and success are in the process and not in the outcome.

When we concern ourselves primarily with end results, we experience frustration, angst and all the emotions that are the antitheses of authentic happiness and satisfaction. The obvious solution is to invest in the process. In life, when we give the process everything we’ve got, our attitude changes.  If we arrive at the destination, great!  If not, still great!

When we live this way, every day is amazing.  If we want success, we have to step into the process of generating success.  If we want health, we need to step into the process of preparing healthy foods and going to the gym, regardless of the number on the scale or the inches on your waistline.  Focusing on the process is where we go from knowing to doing.  This is where real change occurs.  It is the only place where we have to power to be the cause of something new or different or better!

TAKE ACTION

Today, I will choose to be the cause.  Today I will not be the effect of my environment or those in it.  Today I surrender to doing the work, exerting the effort to change, and practice my knowing.  I surrender to the process and trust that the outcome will be better, as long as I stay in the process of thinking, speaking and acting better!  My joy will come from my success in the process.  My victory is in the moment.

All the best!
Dr. Frank

 

Thursday, November 05, 2015
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Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Originally published October 28th, 2011 – This Shot of Satisfaction relates to Step 7 – TAKE CARE of yourself. Restore and renew yourself by applying the quantum skills you’ve learned to energize and elevate every part of your life. Apply the tools of transformation so that you can transcend your present limitations.


As good as the first time

Our work is not necessarily doing what we “know.”  Our work is to take off the blinders of our experience, of what we think we know, and see the world with fresh eyes and an open heart. – Dr. Frank

“To get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.”
-Dr. Shaun Marier

Even when things are good, we all want more. We’re all looking for more satisfaction in our work, our health, our finances and our relationships. We believe things could be better. The question is: How do we get what we believe we can have? What work do we need to do to get what we really want?

In our business, experience is a great teacher. As we gain experience, we come to recognize which patients require critical attention and when we need to act quickly. We believe we know how best to handle things. We become less and less open to new ideas or techniques. In our case, experience can be dangerous because it limits us, especially when we think we know best.

When we apply what we think should work to our present situation and we do not get the results we want, we complain and long for “the good old days.” We say life was simpler then, better, more predictable and easier. We say the system is broken now. We dream about what could have been and we resign ourselves to settling for less, for what is rather than what could be.

Think about what it was like when we were younger and had big dreams. We were ready to take on any challenge to change the world. We weren’t discouraged by what was “impossible.” When we wanted something, we put our nose to the grindstone and did whatever it took to make it happen. The diploma, the car, the girl, the job – we got it and it felt great! Yes, we made mistakes along the way, but we ultimately got what we wanted by continually changing our formula until we were successful.

Most of us now have what we thought we wanted, but we are left wanting more. We find ourselves wondering: Is this all there is? Is this as good as it gets?

We think we know what “should” work. But our old formula isn’t working in our present situation, leaving us feeling frustrated and blaming other people and circumstances for our lack of satisfaction. So we fall into a rut and no matter how hard we work, nothing seems to change. Nothing seems to get better and we can’t seem to find the “more” from life that we want.

Maybe, just maybe, we are doing the wrong work. Truth be told, the system does work – and if we are not getting the results we want, there must be something wrong with our now outdated formula.

If what we are doing isn’t working for us anymore, it’s time for change. If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times; if we do not have what we want out of life, we simply are not doing the work we need to do to get it. Our work is not necessarily just doing what we “know.” Our work is also to continually take off the blinders of our experience, of what we think we know, and to see the world with fresh eyes and an open heart.

Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. When we are continually feeling frustrated in dealing with others, we just have to choose to stop and let go of whatever it is we automatically say or do, and choose instead to look for a way to respond differently.

Get your copy of "Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care" at amazon.com

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

We need to let our desire for more, for something better, lead us to continually re-create a new personal formula that works for us right now and gets us what we want. When we do this, it is like getting it for the very first time, and there is nothing sweeter than this kind of success!  Br recognizing what’s not working and changing our formula until it does, we become the cause of something better for ourselves and those around us.

TAKE ACTION

Today, let go of what you think you know; what is familiar, what is comfortable! Loosen your grip and open your hands so that you can grab something new, novel,  unprecedented and much better.

Be willing to do whatever it takes to get what you want. Engage all of your wisdom, your insight, your desire for more, your resourcefulness and your power and inject it into what you are doing. BE OPEN to doing it differently. Use a new approach or a different tactic.

Experience and engage with your relationships, your work, your finances or your health as if it was for the very first time. There is absolutely nothing better when you see (y)our world with new eyes!

Make this a new day, a fresh week, an innovative month, and your best year ever!  Make right now just like “the good old days.”

All the best!
Dr. Frank

 

Thursday, October 29, 2015
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Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Originally published October 12th, 2011 – This Shot of Satisfaction relates to Step 4 – LOOK at your position within the transaction of care, and ask yourself if you are the cause of something better or the effect of another’s situation. Am I reacting or am I responding?
Reframe your role (in the patient encounter, or any interpersonal encounter), and your position in regards to your goal: to understand that the obstacles to your satisfaction aren’t outside you, but within you. Make the inner transformation and shift your position in your personal, internal quantum space from a negative to a positive one.


Isn’t all about feeling good?

In connecting to my desire to care for others, my work is more than just to provide an intellectual solution or immediate relief for their discomfort. My job is to manage my own personal energy, my thoughts and emotions, regardless of what is going on in my physical environment, what they are saying to me or how they are treating me. – Dr. Frank

 “Ooooohhhhh… you’re so good, I can feel your energy workin’!”
-Shawn T.

We work in an environment where everyone who enters our doors is in crisis. They are often scared, angry or upset and feel entitled to be loud, demanding and demeaning. The insults and mistreatment they often direct at us and our co-workers only add to the already stressful situation.

At times it feels like there’s a contest going on. Everyone is trying to see if they can push enough buttons to get the energy and attention they feel they deserve. How in the world are we supposed to navigate through all that negative energy? How are we supposed to remain happy and satisfied with who we are and what we are doing amid the jabs and barbs?

Last night, I had a patient’s family member ask me, point blank, if I had a clue about what I was doing or what was going on. She was deliberately trying to insult me, to provoke me, and to push my buttons. In this tricky situation (when I wanted to react), I had to remember not to let her steal my joy. I had to realize that if I wanted to be fulfilled and happy, I’d have rise above the negativity. I had to be able to lift myself out of the mud – the purely physical world of matter – and step into Einstein’s quantum world of energy where happiness, joy and satisfaction exist.

In times like these, where others are deliberately mistreating me, my job is to simply manage my own energies; to choose my thoughts carefully so that I can stay connected to my own joy. I remind myself that my satisfaction is my business.  My happiness is not dependent on another’s behavior. My happiness is dependent only on what I am thinking and feeling at any given moment.

If I want to be successful, happy and hold onto my joy, I have to remember that all I really want is to care for others. It does not matter who the person is who is standing in front of me – a patient, a family member, a nurse, a doctor or medic. It can’t matter how the one in front of me is acting. It can’t matter if the one in front of me is mistreating me. If I really want to feel powerful and be the cause of a new and better reality for myself and those I come into contact with, there is only one thing I have to do:  Use the key to my success and satisfaction.

This key to my happiness is simply remembering my uncorrupted pure and simple desire to care for others. Care is the blend of benevolent thoughts and energies that I give to the one in front of me. Remembering this key connects me with my passion for care. My job then, in these defining moments, is to transform my energy and align it with my desire to care, and then give my care to the one in front of me so they can feel my empathy, understanding and compassion at work. I am successful when I make them feel heard, let them know they matter, that I want the best for them, and that I am willing to work to improve things as best I can.

In connecting to my desire to care for others, my work is more than just to provide an intellectual solution or immediate relief for their discomfort. My job is to manage my own personal energy, my thoughts and emotions, regardless of what is going on in my physical environment, what they are saying to me or how they are treating me. When I do my job, things will change for them. They will feel that they have been heard and that I know they matter. They will feel that I want things to be better for them. They will relax, exhale, and maybe even smile and, in the process, I will feel better too.

This is the only way that I can be the cause of my own satisfaction, rather than the effect of another’s bad mood or situation. The only way I can feel powerful in my work, each and every day, is by taking the responsibility to be the cause of my own happiness, joy, personal fulfillment and success. By remembering that this is what I came here to do, to care for others, I can remember to focus my energy to demonstrate my care. This is how I will be able to be the cause of a new and better reality for myself and for those I came here to care for.

Get your copy of "Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care" at amazon.com

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

TAKE ACTION

Last night, I was working with one of the happiest surgeons I know.  I was warning him that the patient he was about to see was not so nice – angry actually – even confrontational.  I told him not to take it personally and he said something I hope I will never forget.  He said: “No problem, I haven’t taken anything personally since the sixth grade.”  Therein lies the key to his happiness.

Our real work is to remember that to feel truly satisfied, happy and successful at work and in life, it can never be about me, it must always be about the one in front of me!

Today and every day, remember the key to your satisfaction lies in aligning yourself with your uncorrupted desire to care for others and using that pure energy to respond to the person or situation in front of you.  This will make you both feel good!

All the best!
Dr. Frank

Friday, October 23, 2015
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Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Originally published October 12th, 2011 – This Shot of Satisfaction relates to Step 1 – REMEMBER what you came here for. Reconnect with your desire to care. Remember what you want from your work: the feeling good that comes from truly caring for others.


Got Satisfaction?

To create satisfaction for ourselves every day, we just have to stop for just a second and refocus and remember we have the power.  By consciously injecting our care, we transform ordinary days into extraordinary ones. - Dr. Frank

To create satisfaction for ourselves every day, we just have to stop for just a second and refocus and remember we have the power.  By consciously injecting our care, we transform ordinary days into extraordinary ones. – Dr. Frank

Over the years, I have asked you what you would need to feel satisfaction at work…  If I distill all your answers, it is clear to me that you simply want to feel your care makes a difference.
 
In order for us to feel satisfied at work, we must care.  If we spend our whole day robotically getting the patient’s history or just concerning ourselves with the diagnosis, the chart, the prescriptions, the IV’s, the meds, the crutches or the splint, we will never be able to draw satisfaction. The physical tasks we busy ourselves with do not contain care.  Care is not the diagnosis, the prescription, the admission or the discharge paperwork.
 
To give the care that makes a difference we have to put all of our distractions aside and show up fully present at our patient’s bedside.  We have to make a personal connection, let them know that we understand their situation and empathize with them.  We have to stay in that connection with them until they “get” that we feel how much their situation disturbs, affects, or frightens them.  We need to let them know that we want the best for them and that we will do everything in our power to make them feel better.  This is the kind of care that our patients need and that we need.
 
There is nothing more satisfying than dispensing the milk of human kindness, understanding, empathy and compassion.  We generate these intangibles with our hearts and our minds.  The result is a blend of emotional energy and positive thoughts that make all the difference for our patients.  With this energy, we step out of the ordinary world of physical matter and into the extraordinary quantum world where we can create personal satisfaction through our effort to care for another.
 
We do this conscious act of rising above the purely physical reality and stepping into the quantum world so that at the end of the day we will know that we cared, that we made a difference for both ourselves and another, and that what we do matters.  To create satisfaction for ourselves every day, we just have to stop for just a second and refocus and remember we have the power.  By consciously injecting our care, we transform ordinary days into extraordinary ones.
 

TAKE ACTION

Today and every day, whenever you are feeling frustrated or overburdened – stop, breathe and ask yourself: What do I really want?  What really matters to me?  I came to this profession, this hospital and to this particular patient’s bedside because I want to care.  Caring makes me feel good. 

When we remind ourselves of this, we can make the connection and generate the emotional and thoughtful energy that will help our patients feel our care.  This will certainly change everything.  We will finally have our satisfaction.  Go ahead, be someone’s hero today.  What could feel better than that?
 
All the best!
Dr. Frank

Get your copy of "Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care" at amazon.com

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

Thursday, October 08, 2015
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Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Originally published October 5th, 2011 – This Shot of Satisfaction relates to Step 3 -FORMULATE your plan. Recalculate the transaction of care using the Perfect Equation. Free yourself from your hidden agenda.


It’s in our hands

In life, one thing is always true — consistency and effort yields results. When you are clear on what you want, the only thing keeping you from getting it is you.

We decide what we have today. We decide what we will have tomorrow. If we want something different tomorrow, we will have to do something differently today. When we get clear about what we want from our lives and make the  decision that we’ve had enough of what we don’t want, that we deserve more and won’t settle for less, it is time to start working the programs that will get us there.

Desire is our tool. We can use our desire to help us decide what matters most to us, what we will focus our energies on and ultimately what we will have. When we are clear on what we want, we are willing to do whatever it takes and no amount of effort seems too great.

Our desire is the seed. We have to nurture that seed of desire and help it grow into our deepest longings. We can’t just plant it and forget it. We will have to exert real effort. We need a plan, a program to bring it to bloom. Some programs are more powerful that others. Your finished product will only be as good as the program you used to create it.

Get your copy of "Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care" at amazon.com

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

What is the best program for creating positive change in our lives?  Perseverance, consistent effort and delayed gratification. It is a simple, tried and true formula for success. In life, one thing is always true — consistency and effort yields results. When you are clear on what you want, the only thing keeping you from getting it is you.

Whatever it takes!  No giving up!  No giving in! Wake up to your desire every day, nurture it and, no matter what, do the work to make it grow to it’s fullest potential. No excuses. Remember, if you aren’t seeing the results you desire, you simply are not doing the work.

TAKE ACTION

This week, make the commitment to do whatever it takes to realize your goals. One step at a time: slow, methodical and consistent. Some days it will be about the watering and other days about the fertilizer. It is all about staying committed to the process.  When the seed you plant today is finally ready for harvest, you will have satisfaction down in spades!

All my best,
Dr. Frank

Shot of Satisfaction
Antidotes for Burnout and Compassion Fatigue
Thursday, December 17, 2015
A Pot of Gold
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Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on … Continue reading