Posted by on October 18, 2019 | 0 comments

Power of the Pivot

On 12th October 2019 the world celebrated the remarkable achievement made by Eliud Kipchoge in Vienna, Austria. The Kenyan marathon runner became the first person ever to run a marathon in under 2 hours. Like many people, I was in awe of this historic achievement and I combed the web to find out more about this remarkable man and his achievements. One thing stood out for me above all else: the power of the pivot. Kipchoge began his running career as a track athlete. His most distinguished achievements included winning the 5000 meter bronze and silver medals at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, respectively. Then he hit an obstacle: he failed to qualify for the Kenyan team for the 2012 Olympic Games! That was a decisive moment for Kipchoge, one that would ultimately lead to the historic achievement in Vienna. Instead of continuing as a track athlete, Kipchoge made the decision to rather switch his focus to marathon running. The rest is literally history! Since making that powerful pivot, Kipchoge...

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Posted by on October 17, 2019 | 0 comments

What If Fear Isn’t Something to “Overcome”?

We’ve all been there. The moment arises when we need to pick up the phone to make an important call/ stand up in front of our peers to deliver a presentation/ pitch an idea to key decision makers… and we freeze. Fear has come to pay us a visit! The logical reaction is to try to do something to overcome the fear so that it goes away. After all, who wants to wallow in the discomfort that comes with fear? Here’s the thing: if you try to push it down, ignore it or “overcome” it in some way, you’ll be spending an enormous amount of energy which could be put to more productive use. Plus, you’re unlikely to keep it down for very long. So here’s what to do instead: Acknowledge it. “I feel scared”. “I’m afraid I’ll fail”. “I’m scared they’ll laugh at me”. Feel the fear. This isn’t some glib motivational statement; I really mean “feel the fear”. Notice where in your body the fear is showing up....

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Posted by on August 29, 2018 | 2 comments

What It Really Means to Thrive

We all have an intuitive sense of what it means to thrive. But what does it actually mean? For some people it’s about feeling happy and content; for others it means living up to their potential and succeeding at the goals they set themselves. What does it really mean to thrive? Is there a way of defining it so that we have a clear, common understanding of the concept? How do we implement strategies for thriving in work and life if it means different things to different people? Fortunately for us, researchers from the University of Portsmouth in the UK, lead by Dr Daniel Brown, have come up with a definition of what it means to thrive. They tell us that a person who is thriving possesses the following characteristics: Optimism – having a positive outlook on life. Motivation – the inner sense that “I can do it!” Proactivity – seeking out opportunities and new challenges Enjoyment of learning and embracing learning as a life-long journey Flexibility and adaptability...

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Posted by on June 21, 2018 | 2 comments

Is Your Workplace Burning You Out?

It is no secret that workplace burnout has reached epidemic proportions. Many hard-working professionals experience at least one of the three dimensions of burnout as described by the leading burnout expert, Dr Christina Maslach: Emotional exhaustion. “I can’t do this anymore.” Depersonalisation. “I can’t be bothered.” Decreased sense of personal accomplishment. “What difference do I make anyway?” The result is not only poor performance on the job, but there is also a cost to the organisation through absenteeism, low morale and high staff turnover. However, focusing on employee burnout is only part of the picture. Burnout doesn’t happen in a vacuum; it happens in workplaces that predispose people to burning out. In addition to her extensive work on describing and unpacking the nature of burnout, Maslach has also worked with Dr. Michael P. Leiter to develop a model of the organisational context of burnout. The Areas of Worklife Scale describes six areas of worklife which have a strong relationship with job burnout. These areas of worklife are: Workload. Too...

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Posted by on May 17, 2018 | 2 comments

Is There a Place for Happiness at Work?

If you had asked me when I was a medical student whether there was a place for happiness at work, I would have laughed in your face! Back then I subscribed to the notion that happiness is a reward gained only through years of blood, sweat and tears. This notion is not uncommon, especially in the medical profession. There is a prevailing culture of overwork, success-chasing, and little regard for self-care. You earn your stripes by enduring the onslaught of medical practice. I remember one doctor even saying to me: “If you’re not depressed, you’re not doing it right.” It’s not hard to see that this perspective is not only short-sighted, but also plainly harmful. My own story of burnout sensitized me to the struggles that many healthcare professionals face, and the prevalence of burnout in the profession. I now know otherwise: happiness is the foundation for sustainable success. You might be thinking: “Are you kidding me? Are you saying I just need to feel good and I’ll be...

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