Posted by on April 26, 2016 | 2 comments

7 Myths About Success

Successful people have no fear. Not a chance! Pick up a biography of any successful person and you will realise that they were terrified when they began their venture. The crucial difference is that they didn’t let fear stop them. Success comes easily. If this were true, everybody would be successful. Success is the prize of those who are willing to put in the hard yards. Success is exclusive. As difficult as the path to success may be, it is available to all of us, irrespective of where we come from, what we look like or what we believe. Overnight success. It’s more like over-many-nights-of-hard-slog success. Success depends on “who you know”. Yes and no. You create success by engaging with people, forming networks and being of service. Even the most unexpected people can open spectacular doors for you. It’s not only about being connected to the A-list people. Success equals money. Money is a valuable measure of success, but it isn’t the only one. Success is about making...

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Posted by on April 21, 2016 | 0 comments

Letter to Junior Doctors #11: Nurture Your Dream

A typical email to me from a doctor who’s read my memoir goes something like this: “Hi Maria. Your book was recently recommended to me by a colleague. I couldn’t put it down; it felt as if you were writing about my life! I’m so miserable right now; I don’t know what to do. I’ve been thinking more and more about leaving the profession. What should I do?” Firstly, this is crazy! And sad. It’s inexcusable that bright, young doctors are driven to the point of misery by their work. However, there is hope. And the hope comes from knowing that this is a common experience – i.e. you’re not bad or mad for feeling this way. This is unfortunately the reality for many who work in South Africa’s public health system. So what can you do about it? Am I telling the doctors who contact me to run for the hills? On the contrary; I strongly discourage doctors from leaving, even though this is the route I chose...

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Posted by on April 19, 2016 | 0 comments

Are You Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places?

We all need love in our lives; it really does make the world go around. So what happens when love is scarce? We find substitutes to fill the void. My early years were tough, and my substitute for the love I didn’t get much of at home was approval. I knew that I could get it if I worked hard and did well at school. As a result I made excelling at my studies my singular aim in life, and it worked … to a certain degree. Getting a pat on the back was nowhere near the hugs I craved. There was a major downside. My self-image was based on what others thought of me; I’d be on a high when they approved, and crushed if they didn’t.  I was left feeling completely disempowered. It has taken a lot of inner work in my adulthood for me to learn to be my own cheerleader. What do you crave? Is it recognition, validation, accolades or social status? Why? What inner...

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Posted by on April 14, 2016 | 0 comments

Is The Need To Feel Safe Keeping You Stuck?

I didn’t feel safe as a child. I grew up during a very turbulent time in South Africa’s history, when army vehicles were a common sight in the streets of our townships, and where gangsters roamed the streets, preying on young girls. Home was no refuge either. My father was an alcoholic and he would often erupt into an outbursts at the slightest provocation. In order to feel safe I created structures and habits which were designed to shield me from the mayhem around me. I would check and recheck doors to make sure they were locked. And I would walk around the house, looking out for anything out of place which could potentially trigger another outburst. I had to constantly know what was around the corner or at least anticipate it as best I could. These strategies helped me a great deal as a child, but they have also been a major hindrance to my growth and progress as an adult. Life is not predictable. It is impossible...

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Posted by on April 12, 2016 | 0 comments

6 Daily Practices for Success

We all know that success takes work. Dreams and aspirations are merely wishes if you don’t put in the required time, energy and effort towards their fulfillment. Carl Jung stated it aptly when he said: “You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” But consistently delivering your best work can take its toll on your well-being, leaving you exhausted, stressed and burned out. That’s why it’s essential to also incorporate practices into your life – activities you perform on a daily basis – which help to restore balance, recharge you and keep you motivated. Looking after yourself – physically, mentally and spiritually – is not a luxury; it’s a critical part of ensuring that you consistently perform at your best. You might be thinking: “Where will I find the time? I’m already swamped as it is.” Think of it this way – if you are constantly expending energy and charging ahead, sooner or later you will run out of steam. The time you devote to rest,...

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