Are you striving for success? Do you wish for contentment? Do you believe you have to choose one or the other for your life and career? How can you have both? Most healthcare leaders work extremely hard, utilizing their knowledge, skills and interpersonal relationships to achieve and maintain their positive outcomes. What they often lack is the ability to relish their large and small victories. Each project or challenge becomes a tick off the checklist and then time to race on to the next issue or obstacle. Can you imagine running a marathon without stopping to refuel your body? Of course not, so take the time to refuel yourself.

Contentment or the yogic concept of Santosha, is being happy with what you have and where you are. It’s looking internally for that happiness; creating peace within. It’s taking the time to stop, even if just for a few minutes to savor your accomplishments before dashing off to the next task or meeting. This is one of the reasons I encourage leaders to have some type of team celebration when a significant project is complete. People want to bask in that moment of contentment, the recognition of a job well done, before moving forward. That doesn’t preclude striving to open a new service line, improve performance metrics, develop your team or win a coveted new position. If you felt only contentment you wouldn’t be motivated to grow. Santosha is about cultivating gratitude, calm and peace through good times and challenging ones. Can you view challenges as opportunities and feeling gratitude for the lessons learned? This helps to build resiliency, a core strength of leaders with high emotional intelligence.

Contentment means focusing on the big picture and enjoying where you are now. The past and future pull you away from living fully in the present. When you focus on developing gratitude and contentment within, you’ll have a happier life with more capacity to make a positive difference for those you serve.

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