Published in American Urological Association News - January 2017

reprinted with permission in AAOS Now - January 2017

Reprinted with permission from AUANews, volume 22, issue 1, 2017; © American Urological Association 2017.


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Less Balance! More Focus!


The other day I was reminded of a very important idea while I was at my yoga class:

The value is in focus, not balance.

Much of what is required in yoga and a surgical career takes balance. And on many days, I find myself pushing for more and more of that balance. Sometimes I waiver, sometimes I fall, but I am always striving for that balance.

The benefits of balance are real, and I see them in so many ways which, is why I constantly strive for it, whether I’m at home, at the office, or in the yoga studio.

Unfortunately, any time I struggle with balance, my mind has a tendency to see that struggle as failure. When I am unable to hold a pose, or my career starts to take up too much of my time, I see that absence of balance as a personal shortcoming.

But that’s not how it should be because battles with balance are really opportunities for focus which leads to rhythm which leads to good things.

One of the key practices of highly successful surgeons is rhythm.

In my experience, getting into YOUR rhythm depends upon where you feel you’re functioning.

·      Burned Out? – Learn to triage your time, especially time for yourself

·      Surviving? – Learn to adjust your priorities consistent with your values

·      Succeeding? – Learn to increase efficiency and return on investment

·      Thriving? – Enjoy the journey!

When surgeons are in rhythm, they can go from one role to the next and one patient to the other, with the focus and mindfulness that leads to quality treatment and care.

And how do we define quality?

When our patients say we seem to “really care” or that we “listen well,” those moments are a reflection of quality derived from focus.

When our kids or spouse feels we are less distracted by work or enjoying our time with them, then we are injecting quality drawn directly from the purposeful focus of our attention into these relationships.

Are you battling for balance?

How can you use that battle as an opportunity to channel focus?

Remember--focus will bring you to rhythm, and rhythm will bring you to some fantastic spaces.

Stay Well.