While reading the Sunday paper, I was painfully reminded of the fragility of a professional life that can teach us all a valuable lesson. As you know, Perfect Practice advocates building your life first, and your practice to follow suit. We talk about this extensively in the first module called “The End in Mind.” It discussed about your close friend, spouse and family who knows your passions as a health care provider and how you incorporate them (or fail to) into your personal life every week.
The story was about an executive, 58 years old, who built a very significant company, with tons of time, travel and a grueling schedule. He takes very little time off because he thought he can later enjoy his life when he retires.
Unfortunately, retirement never came. He died of brain cancer in 90 days. He reflected back in his last days, even writing a book encouraging his colleagues not to follow in his footsteps.
Life is brief, with no second chances. How many times I see clients and friends go down this same road.
Here are other true stories that have touched my life a few months back.
For those that spend any time in an ER or as an EMT, you see some of this everyday. But back in our nice clean offices though, in private practice we are sometimes shielded from harsh realities.
Alex, age 48 dies in the ER. Previously healthy, maybe hypertensive was looking forward to his early retirement. Always had a smile, and has pleasant greeting for everyone he met.
Gary, age 45, is sitting in his truck at a stop light. Gets a sudden blinding headache, throws the truck into park, clutches his dog, and according to the ME, is unconscious in 15 seconds, and a short time later dead of a cerebral aneurism. He was a self made, financially independent, fun loving guy, still very much in love with his life and friends. Wiped out in 15 seconds.
What is it that you are putting off, not confronting or handling? Do you know what you might miss out if you don’t take action TODAY?
Tough question? Maybe.
Easy to answer? Probably. But only if you stay brutally honest with yourself.
I suggest that you take time everyday to reappraise where you are going in practice and life. Make sure your decisions are moving you closer to ideal. And really enjoy each day.
I urge all of you to look beyond your practice life, not only to destress, but also to make sure that you have scheduled enough time off every week to be able to live life with passion. Be sure to use the tools, especially those we have provided, that will allow you to accomplish financial freedom now, so you can immediately enjoy your life, without waiting for something that may or may not be.