Sunday, September 23, 2007

Overcome Procrastination if you want a Healthy Mind and a Healthy Body.

"Every duty which is bidden to wait returns with seven fresh duties at its back."

Charles Kinsley

"Don't wait. The time will never be just right."

Napolean Hill

"Procrastination is opportunity's assassin."

Victor Kayam

On my office desk is often a mound of paper work to be completed, patients' laboratory results I have to sign and personal affairs to attend to. Many times, I become frustrated and in my attempt to clear my desk of unfinished patient's records, I spend several weekends and nights in my office. I reclaim my peace of mind when I am able to complete those unfinished tasks. This is work in progress for me, because as far as I am alive, l will always have some incomplete tasks to perform. I approach this aspect of my life as never-ending, necessary chores like eating and performing ablutions.

Apart from my day-to-day chores that sometimes are difficult to complete, I also have hobbies I want to pursue such as writing, joining the Toast Masters and hobnobbing with my friends. I often ignore the small voice admonishing me to complete what I set out to do because it may not be convenient or I do not have the skills to pursue those dreams. For example, I postponed blogging for two years after I set up my current blog before I forced myself to make the time to write consistently. My excuse was lack of time. Yet when I overcame my inertia, I was able to make time to blog though it is sometimes difficult. What gives me the strength to keep me going is the glee I get when people read my posts and sometimes make comments. The feeling that I am helping people numbs all the pain or discomfort from staying up late to write.

How many times have you not procrastinated and seen your dreams fly away only to land on someone else lap? Remember that if many inventors and doers sat on their dreams the world would not have been in the shape in which it is now. You can join to improve the earth we call home if you quit sitting on your hands. Leave the dreamers and join the doers. These are some of my strategies. Try them. They may work for you.

  • Act on your dreams. Sometimes an idea may pop up in your dream, in the shower or when mining for ideas. When any of these happen to you do not procrastinate. Investigate to see how feasible the idea is and act on it. If you do not, you may someday regret it when you see it manifested in your neighbor's backyard.
  • When you discover your passion, have a plan of how you are going to tackle the project. You may need to educate yourself about your idea. Stick to it and your efforts will pay off. The satisfaction from seeing the manifestation of your idea will give you confidence to tackle projects that are even more difficult.
  • Continue learning because it keeps your mind young and opens you to new ideas. Learning new thighs also keep your mind healthy and sharp. You would be like the athlete who does not wait until the time for the athletic event, but keeps exercising and practicing to keep his skills in perfect form.
  • Believe in yourself like the old explorers of the New World (the Americas). To achieve your dreams, you have to have to have the courage of your conviction. The old explorers with only rudimentary navigational systems and an unshakable belief in their cause were able to discover and explore the New World. Imagine the emotional and financial satisfaction they got from their discoveries. We are all beneficiaries of their discoveries.
  • Take the first step and the subsequent steps may be easier.
  • Always seek to improve on what you do. When you see the product of your industry, you would soar like Bach's Seagull, a recipe for a healthy mind and a healthy body.


    "Take the first step in faith.

    You don't have to see the whole staircase,

    just take the first step."

    Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Spirtuality Courses Become Part of medical School Curriculum

The link between the mind and body health has been recognized to be important in enhancing our well being. Physicians as healers should therefore have a working knowledge of what spirituality is and how they can address their patients' spirituality to help them heal. Read on...

Sunday, September 02, 2007

To Have a Healthy Mind and a Healthy Body, Learn to Forgive Yourself.

"We all screw up sometime. Forgiving ourselves is as close as we come to a system reset button."

Sharon A. Hartman, LSW, a clinical trainer at the Caron Foundation

"If you haven't forgiven yourself something, how can you forgive others? "

- Dolores Huerta

You may sometimes do things that bring you shame. Some people hang on to this shame to such an extent that they harm themselves or get sick from the shame. Your peace of mind is worth more than money. When you loose this important asset, your mental and physical health suffers. The ability to forgive yourself is a potent source of healing for you. You may be quick to forgive someone than yourself. However, to be able to forgive someone, you should be able to forgive yourself. This is because when someone hurts you, your natural inclination is to see the offender pay for the harm he caused you. If you hang on to seeking revenge, you suffer yourself. To forgive an offender, you have to let go of the quest for revenge.

As an obstetrician gynecologist, I have had a delivery that did not go well. I have also had complications at surgery. In these cases, the soul searching goes on. I ask myself whether I could have done something to help prevent the unfortunate situation. Most of the time there is nothing I could have done. In some cases, if I had done some things slightly differently, I could have had a better outcome. To be able to continue working, I forgive myself so I can heal and have the courage to continue to save lives and heal the sick.

Forgiving myself is not enough unless I address the deficiency that could prevent further problems. Therein lies attending more courses, searching the literature for answers, discussing with colleagues who have faced these problems before, and finding ways that may improve my skills to better serve my patients. To forgive yourself, these are some of the qualities that may help:

  • Acknowledge the hurt. If it is a flaw in your character, recognize it and forgive yourself. If you are an alcoholic father who is spending all your money on booze and starving your family, then you have a choice of looking at your character flaw, forgiving yourself and walking away from this unhealthy behavior and getting your family back. By forgiving yourself and coming face to face with your demons, you may be able to walk away from your addiction and save your family.
  • Sometimes after forgiving yourself, you may need help. For example, if you are an alcoholic, you may seek counseling and join the Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • Commit to change because it is easy to slip back into your old ways.
  • To change a negative habit you need to replace it with something positive. Remember, you may slip back many times, however if you commit to change, the change will come. You will be like the little girl who is learning to ride a bicycle. She falls down many times and starts bleeding from her bruises. She however forgives herself and jumps right back on the bicycle and tries again until one day she rides with a smile on her face with her scars as her badge of courage, self forgiveness and determination to succeed at all cost.
  • In these stressful situations, spirituality helps. Spirituality will give you the spine, peace of mind and hope to carry on with your search for change when all else seem bleak.