55. Nursing meaningfulness into our lives.

Jen called earlier this week to chat about how she believes her life is blessed because she has spent her entire career doing the job that she loves.

In talking to Jen it became apparent that she is one among many thousands of dedicated nurses who give selflessly of themselves every day in their quest to make lives more comfortable, healthier and less painful and sometimes just to show those suffering they are in the presence of people who care.

Jen also explained that while many of her colleagues share her views, there is an equal or greater number of nurses who don’t.

In the 28 years since first proudly reporting for duty Jen has never worked a shift she did not love. That’s not to say that many of those shifts were not filled with sadness, tragedy and heartbreak but rather that she had gone to work each day with a sense of passion and commitment that can only come from knowing there is no greater calling in the world than helping others’.

She pays no attention to the media and the innumerable accounts of how broken our system is or the criticisms leveled against long queues and waiting times.

She acknowledges these are all real problems and distances herself from becoming involved in these discussions because, as she explained to me, “All I can do is put my energy and focus on helping those in my care.”

Many of her colleagues spend much of their at-work time complaining about the hours, the staff shortages, the challenges of the job and the lack of respect and gratitude shown them by ungrateful patients.

They watch the clock and wait impatiently for their shifts to end.

These colleagues work extremely hard, she explained, but they deprive themselves of the joy of the job by virtue of their constant complaining.

Like these colleagues, Jen has had many, many times when she felt exhausted and stressed and frustrated and angry and none of these things have ever put the slightest dent in her love for her chosen career.

She considers each opportunity to serve a blessing and feels honored that she is afforded the privilege of attending to those in need. She seeks, and finds deep meaningfulness in everything she does and by doing so the anger and frustration soon fade from memory.

This delightful lady told me that those colleagues who “whine all the time” are “looking through the wrong end of the lens.” She said nothing has changed in 28 years; patients are still patients, nursing the sick is still nursing the sick and doctors still believe they are gods. She pointed out that a job cannot give you meaningfulness; you have to find it in the job.

She explained that every job is meaningful and seeing the glass half-full is simply a function of observing it through one end of the lens; seeing it as half empty is the result of looking at it through the other.

Jen told me the Habit of Loving What You Do is possibly the greatest gift we can ever give ourselves and asked me to share her message with you.

Thank you Jen. You have demonstrated that The Habit of Loving What You Do truly is a wonderful gift and by using the gift to its maximum capacity you are a role model for us all.

If I am ever admitted to a hospital I know which nurse I am going to ask for.

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

My book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours now has its very own website. Please visit us at  www.lifesinksorsoars.com  and let me know what you think.

P.S. My company, Strategic Pathways, recently introduced our newest Personal Coaching experience called Boot Camp for Your Brain. Please click here and take a peek at our Ebrochure

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