EVENTS + RESPONSE = OUTCOME (E + R = O)
Whether you are a football fan or not, this simple formula can change your life. If you are a hermit (or just don’t like sports) you may not have heard a little bit of Ohio State’s football team’s tumultuous journey this past year, just in case read the link below. If nothing else, it will at least give you some inspiration. Some may say that sports are over-rated and hold no real life application, but to those nay-sayers it at least gives us tremendous insight into the word “Teamwork” which is invaluable to any business and life in general, which is a topic for future discussion. No one wants to be that lone vessel floating away in the current of life, everyone needs a “team”.
Unfortunately, many times we cannot dictate the EVENTS in our life, both the good events and the bad. Everyone has a mix of good and bad events (even the people that seem to have all the luck). In some respects, this part of the equation is uncontrollable (not totally). The totally controllable variable is the way we RESPOND and we determine that part! We all know the people that seem happy throughout all types of life events, as well as the people who drag you down and are out-right depressing through both the good and the bad life events (these individuals can suck the life right out of you). In the end the outcome or result of the event will be molded by our response. In bad events, it can be particularly hard to see something positive and it requires an act of our will. In good events, this response is easier, but we must also make a conscious effort to acknowledge and give credit where it is due.
We have all been there, where one of our patients may not have had the desired outcome, such as developing a catastrophic complication or worse may arrested or past away during a procedure. This type of event (for veterinarians and physicians alike) will happen and is something that not only deals a firm blow to the owner and family, but also affects us as well. Once this event has occurred, often the next step is communication with owner/family. It is extremely important that this be handled appropriately and with compassion. If not, the emotion with these types of events can spiral in a whirlwind of misplaced accusations and resentment of and for both parties.
Another less intense example:
We have all had those days where we wonder “why did I get up this morning”? When everything seems to go wrong from the minute you step out of bed. Maybe you stepped on a vomited hairball in bare feet (kidding, I’ve done that) or maybe the toilet overflowed right before you were going to leave, or you pulled a muscle during your morning workout. Whatever the cause, your mood is less than stellar when you come into work on Monday morning. As you walk into work, there are five charts of client callbacks and it isn’t even 8:15am yet! Oh yeah, you have three emergency transfers from the emergency room and an 8:30am recheck appointment (that showed up early) and standard new patient appointments starting at 9:00am. It is at that point that you need to stop yourself and think -“I can’t control WHAT I need to do, but how can I respond positively to these events?” My gut response may be to turn around and walk back to my car, however that would be a less-than desirable response. Remember your team (whether you are a boss, associate, or employee) is dependent on you and your positive response will not only help you get through the day, but inspire the team to rally around you and help you through these events. You may also notice that a positive response may start to determine the events that occur in your life. The events in our life are not left to fate, if so both Warren Buffett and Bill Gates were extremely lucky. Instead their decisions and responses helped mold the events in their lives.
While these events may sound extreme, I think we have all been through our own version of them. We all know that the days can be very, very long when we respond poorly. Inspire yourself and the team around you with a positive response – I promise, you WILL see results!
Kevin Benjamino DVM, DACVS