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“There’ll be days like this…”

March 29, 2012

Problem solving – that’s what healthcare professionals do. We look for the issues and then focus all our energies on making what is wrong –right! A noble endeavor for sure, but it also can color how we see the world in general.

We’re “always” looking for the problem.

Even in my role now, supporting the healthcare industry with workforce management solutions, it was no different for me this morning. I approached my computer – which lately I’m spending much too much time with – expecting to be confronted with the “problems of the day”. What deadline was in jeopardy? What customer appointment needed to be rescheduled? How will I prioritize the demands on my time? What more can I do to get consensus on a new initiative to move the ball forward? What are the problems organizations have with workforce management practices that adversely affect the working lives of healthcare professionals? And the list goes on…

Expecting to find problems, I found problems and lots of them! So many, in fact, I pushed back in my chair and decided I needed to clear my head and take a walk. I grabbed my iPhone, adjusted the ear piece, turned on some music and headed out the door.

First, up the hill than a left turn around the corner finding a brisk but not too taxing pace, I settled in to my walk. The music was pleasant. Since the music player was on “shuffle”, each new song was a surprise. And considering I have a gazillion songs on it, I hadn’t heard some of them for a long, long time.

And that was certainly true when I heard Van Morrison’s soulful rendition of “Days Like This”. If you’re familiar with the song, you know that it’s a tale of potential and reflective appreciation for all the good things in life. And it was just what I needed…

There was a lot about today that I was overlooking by focusing on the problems. I was missing the fact that as “Van the Man” was reminding me in many ways there was a lot of good stuff happening all around me. The sun was shining. I was working with great people. The work I was doing was meaningful to me (and hopefully to you!). Even the problems had a bright side – they were all fixable!

So for my healthcare friends and colleagues in the trenches solving real problems, please continue to do so, but every so often lift your head up and see all the good stuff. Take notice and be glad for the shift when no one calls in sick, the vacation request that gets approved on the first round, getting out of work on time, hiring that new employee – workforce management isn’t just about the problems!

And if you need just a little nudge to help you see the good stuff, take a listen to this:

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