Stephen Covey: Work Centered – The Story of My Student

When I met her at the base of the elevator, her energy was off.  I’ve seen this wonderfully, stern-faced doctor a plenty of times.  She’s kin to me….like a sister.  However, I just felt like there was a ball of negative energy around her that I couldn’t quite understand.  So, I asked her, “what’s on your mind?”

“Nothing,” she replied.

As the lesson went on and I tried asking her about different stories: funny, scary, adventurous, inspirational…..she was at a loss of words.

I asked, “have you been living?” — jokingly.

“No, I have a sad life,” she retorted.

The opening up came in and that’s when I realized something was up.  I went through the wheel of life exercise with her and her categories were suffering.

Personal Development – 0

Career – 4

Fun & Hobbies – 4

Friends – 8 (although the friends she’s around kind of live the same dismal lifestyle)

Health – 4

 

Awareness

“Look what’s happening.  You’re now aware though.  A lot of people don’t develop this type awareness and go through life seemingly discontent which ultimately breeds depression.  Best part about this session is you’re not aware of what’s happening.”

“What am I supposed to do, AJ (nickname is AJ in Thailand because they can’t pronounce Arsenio)?”

I pulled out my little Jack Canfield book that has an exercise to “find your purpose.”

I went down a series of questions.  “What brings you joy? What’s your defining moment?”…..and so many others.  She didn’t know.

See, schools (especially those “academic” schools) don’t knock on the core genius of young individuals…so then they grow up being “work centered” and end up being miserable.  A study showed these results of American doctors.

A GRIM PICTURE OF PHYSICIANS’ MENTAL HEALTH

The study polled more than 15,000 doctors in 29 specialties. In the survey, 42% of physicians reported burnout. Physicians in critical care, neurology, and family medicine had the highest rates of burnout. The specialties with the lowest rates were plastic surgery, dermatology, and pathology. The specialists with the lowest rates were also more likely to seek professional help for their mental health.

Fourteen percent of physicians reported being both burned out and depressed. The specialties with the highest rates of co-occurring depression and burnout were:

  • Obstetrics and gynecology (20%)

  • Public health and preventive medicine (18%)

  • Urology (17%)

  • Neurology (17%)

Of course she’s a Thai doctor, but you guys get my point.

I was sitting there with my hands on my chin wondering what the hell to do next, and then suddenly I realized a very good exercise I saw in Stephen Covey’s book in regards to finding your “center.”  She read through it and she began reciting something so identical to what her present situation was — she was work centered.

Someone who puts everything into work to whereas they forget about everything else, especially life.

What did I do next as a coach?

Ok, we need to find your passion.  You’re uninspired for so many different reasons. Do this exercise in terms of answering the questions about yourself that’s been untapped forEVER.  After that, you need to figure out your true alchemy.  Sure, you have the money, but you’ve neglected every other area (as pointed out above).  So, time to read about your alchemy (Paulo Coehlo’s The Alchemist).  After that, read the ensuing 10 pages of Stephen Covey’s book to completely unlock what’s happening in your life (I almost know the chapters verbatim).

What I’m expecting?

She’s going to come back with renewed passion.

Podcast

 

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