Lessons I Learnt Today…

I like to think that everyday I learn something new or that an old lesson is reiterated; today has been no exception so far. As I was seeing my patients this morning, a number of lessons were reinforced to me, please note that each of these may be completely unrelated to the other, here goes:

1. You cannot afford to not have health insurance.
I live in Barbados, where public healthcare is free to all citizens and permanent residents. Our healthcare system is pretty decent, but as with any decent system, it has it’s drawbacks. One of those drawbacks is that we have very limited resources for a not-so-little population (relatively speaking, of course! We are 260,000 on 166 square miles. You do the Math.) especially as it relates to highly specialised health services. The fallout of that is that if you need to have a highly specialised procedure done like yesterday and there is a backlog of appointments for said procedure for the next 10 months, and you can’t afford to pay to have that procedure done privately even though you’d be able to get an appointment like tomorrow and you have no health insurance that may cover the costs…you will be left in dire straits.

I suspect the situation is even more dire for those living in countries where free health care sounds like an urban legend. There are lots of arguments against insurance generally, but I personally feel that good (or even average!) health insurance coverage is a necessity that should not be overlooked. None of us knows what tomorrow may bring, so better to be prepared for the worst.

2. Communication is very important
I cannot read minds. I am pretty sure that you cannot either. You see someone doing something and you assume that you know why they’re doing it and their thought process behind it. I know because I have done it myself. Very rarely, does anyone stop to consider possibilities for someone’s actions other than what we have already come up with.
Instead of assuming that you know why someone said/did or didn’t say/didn’t do something wouldn’t it make more sense to ASK them why or what their thought process is?
Because in my own interactions with others I try as much as possible to remind myself that, no, Lesley, that person may actually have done/said that for another reason and *gasp* the reason may have nothing at all to do with you. Since adopting that attitude I have tried to demonstrate that level of thinking to my patients especially. Example: Patient says her son doesn’t want to take her to the supermarket after Pilates and he prefers to just be given a list to buy her items for her but that frustrates her because she doesn’t mind going to Pilates and relaxing in the car until he is done then she will go to the supermarket and pick her items up, including anything she may have forgotten on her list. She believes that he is being selfish.
My response was:
1. Have you ever told him that you don’t mind sitting waiting in the car (because let’s be honest, who likes waiting in a car for an hour?). Her response was, “No.”
2. Maybe he isn’t being selfish at all but instead is being thoughtful because he believes that you may get frustrated waiting in the car for his class to finish, so he may be offering to buy you the items because he considers that this is being helpful to you.
The look on her face was as though a lightbulb in her head had just been switched on. Now had there been more communication, e.g. her telling him that she doesn’t mind waiting, then the hurt feelings and frustration MAY have been avoided.

My point here is that people need to communicate more often and more effectively. Say what you are thinking when you are thinking it and invite others with whom you interact to do the same. Stop assuming that someone knows what you mean to say or do and make a conscious effort to stop subconsciously treating others like mindreaders. Most importantly, stop taking the words and actions of others so personally, everyone has something else going on, the world does not now, and did not ever, revolve around you!

3. Worrying is a huge waste of time.
More than half the things we worry will happen never do and even if they do we end up effectively dealing with them. Worry gets you nowhere. Stop it. It’s like sitting on a rocking chair going back and forth and expecting to end up at your final destination.

Additonally, worrying plays on your mind, stops you from eating, stops you from sleeping, stops you from smiling (all the above are my favourite things to do by the way, I therefore have no time for worry) and eventually makes you physically sick. And if you don’t have health insurance see Lesson 1 above.
Stop it. Everything happens for a reason. God has a plan. The Universe is perfectly ordered. Relax and enjoy the ride.

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Have a great week!

xo.

You Are Enough.

Stop waiting and hoping for others to see your potential when you aren’t even looking for it in yourself!

Acknowledge your potential, tap into it, embrace it,  and tell the world about it. You never know who may be listening and is willing to help propel you forward!

You are enough. Come on…get on with it!

xo.

Do Better.

“It is to no profit to have learned well, if you neglect to do well.”

~Publilius Syrus

This quote was on today’s page of my diary. Yes, I still carry an actual physical diary in which I write my business appointments, because I actually like putting pen to paper. Don’t judge me. Anyway, back to the quote. It strikes a chord with me because I think it applies not only to formal learning, but also learning from one’s life experiences.

How does it profit you to experience certain fortunes and misfortunes, if you refuse to learn from those experiences and furthermore refuse to apply that knowledge to your future decisions and actions? The simple answer is that it doesn’t.

Sometimes we find ourselves in the same undesirable situations repeatedly,  with seemingly no clue of how we end up in said situations. Everytime the situation in question presents itself we are  able to acknowledge and identify it, which suggests that SOME form of learning has occurred. Yet we seem to be unable to avoid the occurrence of the situation and incapable of managing it if it does occur. Many of us, therefore, are neglecting to “do well” with our learning.

It may be worthwhile to reflect on a situation, large or small, that you are faced with repeatedly. If not a situation, then any pattern of behaviour that you exhibit or that you tolerate from others. Think then about  what you know to be undesirable about the situation or behaviour and the effects of such. Acknowledge that you have learned much of what there is to learn about it (oh goodness, I surely hope you have learned since it IS a situation that presents itself repeatedly) but that you just have not been putting that knowledge into practise insofar as preventing the situation and/or its effects. Now resolve to do better.

Knowledge is power, but the non-application of knowledge is powerless. It is not enough to learn from an experience, one must put all that is learnt into future practice.

I hope you can draw as much from this as I have. I would love to hear your thoughts!

xo.

Ya Gotta Work!

“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Words to bear in mind as you plod on towards your goals. Honestly, I first heard this quote in the lyrics of a song by dancehall recording artiste, Beenie Man, and while it made sense it was not as relevant to me then as it is now.

I intend to attain my goals in life. My dreams are big and my determination even bigger. I know they will not be handed to me on a silver platter. And I know that my hard work will make the reward that much sweeter.

I hope that you can draw similar magnitude of inspiration from the quote above as I have.

xo.

Be The Change…

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The photo is one I took of my baggie from lunch today. Each and every phrase on it is something that I tell myself and others close to me at least once a day.

Everywhere I go, I find some inspiration in something that I have seen or heard or read. It may not be as blatant and obvious as on my lunchbag today, but guaranteed it is there to be found and added to my catalog of inspiring things.

I implore you to find some little bit of inspiration in every day. I also implore you to BE an inspiration to someone, somewhere. You already may be and just don’t know it yet. It is simple though: be positive, roll with the punches, let your light shine for others to see and you’re already there.

Oh and my lunch? It was AWESOME!

xo.