What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sometimes you have to stop and listen to that voice deep inside telling you something very important. Is it telling you what you yearn for, or you wish you hadn’t given up on?
Can you hear what it says above the roar of your day to day cacophony? Would you like to open your heart to living a life you really want?
Which door did you close when you opened the one to became a doctor? What would you find if you opened it again?
Is your life too routine, too busy and too stressful?
Are you engulfed in the day to day overwhelm of general practice? If you continue along the same path what will you regret if or when you reach the age of ninety five?
Have you forgotten what it’s like to have fun, to have laugh?
You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing. – Michael Pritchard
Do you want to do something wild and wonderful? Is your answer a ‘don’t be so silly’ or ‘what would people think of me’? Would you love to revisit hobbies, play music, sing, walk, jog, paint, write, dance or photograph or whatever, but believe you don’t have the time?
Are you scared to get that almost forgotten buzz again from doing something really exciting? How about trusting your instinct, your inner voice, which urges you to give something a try? You may say ‘….what if I fail?….what if they think I’m crazy…? Have you tried reassuring yourself with a ‘never mind that…at least I had a go!’
Whose life are you living? Are you sure? Who sets the agenda you follow? How can you change?
To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act. – Anatole France (1844 – 1924)
Close your eyes. Imagine being at one with the universe, at ease, happy, fulfilled, relaxed. Who are you? What are you doing? Where are you? How do you feel? What’s different?
What gives you, an extra-ordinary sense of excitement, a buzz, an awareness of ‘this is what life is about’? That you need more of, again?
To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter … to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life. – John Burroughs
Has your life as a doctor tended to have suppressed your natural creativity? Is it the right time now to allow your imagination to run free? What beliefs about yourself or the ‘system’ stop you having a fabulous life? Are you scared of what others might say or think? Is that the way you want to live? You can’t predict how the other person will react if you behave differently. They, like you, have a choice. You may even be their inspiration if you start to ‘walk your talk.’ If you actually do what you’ve been thinking or talking about for ages.
Change your thoughts and you change your world.– Norman Vincent Peale
4. Do it your way
To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.– Joseph Chilton Pearce
Has the time come to put yourself first for a change? To ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’? Is now your opportunity to have what you want in your life?
5. Get out of your rut
Find a rope to haul yourself out of your hole, and seek whatever support and encouragement you need to change your life.
It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not. – James Gordon, M.D.
6. Keep going
Your decision and enthusiasm to make a change will give you some momentum. Decide your goal. Be pro-active. Work out the steps to get there and you’ll be well on the way. Keep going and you will get to where you want to go.
7. Hold on
Julia Cameron recommends two wonderful ‘tools’ to keep you on track. She recommends ‘Morning pages,’ which are ‘flow of consciousness’ writing about what’s happening and your reaction to the changes you’re making. Secondly, arrange to take yourself on an ‘Artist’s date’ each week. Make a commitment to do something, on your own just for you. This could be, for example, an outing, a walk, or sitting quietly in the garden.
8. Take action
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. – Confucius
If you really want more joy and happiness then truly believe in yourself and know that you have the power to create the life you want. Stop waiting for others to do things differently. You can change your life yourself . But you have to do something. You have to take the first step, however small.
They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. – Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987)
9. Keep going
Do I hear you murmuring ‘been there, done that, started a load of projects but can’t stick at anything’? What can keep you going? Will you use your diary, a computer programme, charts to tick? Who can be there for you? Someone who will encourage you to do what you want and give you positive encouragement? Your partner, friend, relation, mentor or coach? Someone to travel along this bit of your life’s journey with you for a while?
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. – Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)
What will you do when you are on the top of your world?
I celebrate myself, and sing myself. – Walt Whitman, Song of Myself, 1855
Susan E. Kersley, Life Coach, Retired Doctor