Thursday, June 12, 2008

Becoming Better

In Atul Gawande's book Better - A Surgeon's Notes on Performance suggestion are given on how to become a positive deviant in society.  That is how can one make a worthy difference is society.  How can one not be content with just being average?  The advice Gawande gives is directed toward surgeons but I find it relevant to fatherhood, dentistry, spirituality, athletics, and much more.  I was moved and motivated by his suggestions and thought to write them down.   

5 Suggestions To Becoming a Positive Deviant 
1) Ask an Unscripted Question- take a moment when you meet someone new to ask them an unexpected question.  A child--what is your favorite food?  A waiter or waitress--do you have kids?  An acquaintance -- How long have you lived here and where are you from?
2) Don't complain- All of us as parents, professionals, members of a congregation, teammates have plenty to complain about.  It is easy to feel worn out.  Resist complaining.  It never solves the problem.  It is counter-productive.  It usually turns to malicious gossip.  It brings the morale of everyone down.  
3) Count Something- How many patients get dry-sockets post extraction.   How many miles biked in 2008.   How many words Meredith can say in June. The number of times Amelia finishes her jobs.  How many times Scripture is read.  You will be surprised at the successes and the failures.  
4) Write Something-  (As you can see I was motivated...)  A blog, thank-you note to a friend or relative, letter of protest to a senator.  It helps give one a sense of purpose.
5) Change-  Don't be afraid to see outside the routine and the habitual. Believe that you can be different and better.  

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