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Entries in courage (1)


The "Six C's" for Creating a Better Life

I’ve been speaking with lots of doctors about their lives and careers lately, and the vast majority tell me they’d like to be doing something different with their lives.  Not all of them are ready to give up on medicine, but almost all of them wish they could change something about their careers or lives in a substantial way.  Some would like to work less, some want to see a different type of patient or would consider a different practice style, some want to do more volunteer work, and some would like to try a different career altogether.

Sadly, of all the doctors I talk with, only a very small fraction believe they could actually make the significant changes they dream about.  Most of them are so entrenched in the day-to-day grind, so wrapped up in the identity of how their current career defines them, and so unaware of the amazing gifts they possess, they can’t allow themselves to really consider making the changes they think would ultimately make them happier.  Instead, most doctors just keep living lives of quiet desperation, burying their true desires and watering down the impact they can have on the world.

So what does it really take to step away from what’s familiar, yet unfulfilling?  How do some people—even “successful” doctors—make the leap from a career that feels safe, though uninspiring, to a life that is more exciting and rich with opportunity, yet certainly more risky and uncertain? 

Through discussions with those who have accomplished this transition, as well as looking back at my own journey, I’ve identified six major principles, or characteristics, that must to adopted or developed to successfully recreate yourself in some meaningful way—whether it be within the realm of your medical practice or an entirely different pursuit.

I call them The Six C’s

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