Saturday, 1 August 2009

How to judge success?

My Dad, Harold Garner (1924)

This random quotation on my blog today started me thinking:
Success is a journey, not a destination  -Ben Sweetland
Today a patient said to me that I have a very calming voice and that my soothing tones had helped her through a stressful examination. This is not the first time a patient has said this to me so I have to believe it. We rarely hear our own voices do we? And the few times I've heard mine played back to me I've cringed with embarrassment, but in dealing with patients every day over the years I must have subconsciously adopted a tone that patients find comforting.
Positive feedback from patients and the knowledge that I have helped them in my small way is important to me. It's what makes my job worth doing. It's why I've never accepted promotion to Management because I would lose that one-to-one contact with real people.
Everyone has a history and a story to tell, however humble and unimportant on the world stage. I find all people interesting, especially the elderly. They can make me smile just by telling me about their childhood or their wife or their kids or 'the old days'. I wish I could talk to them longer. I really do have a wonderful job and it's the individuals I meet every day who make it so.
(The stress comes with the targets I have to meet, the meetings I have to attend, and not enough time in a day to do what needs to be done!)
Compare me then to an actress or pop star and I am not successful, not at all. My name is not in the daily newspapers, my bank balance doesn't run to 6 figures! But what is the measure of success? Who can measure success? Is it yourself, your family, or others?
I have my health. I have a family, a home and a job I love. Truly, what more success is there?

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