Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot
On Fridays I like to share some of the experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant in some way. I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.
An analogy I like. I listened to a podcast the other day and the guest compared the freedoms we enjoy in this country to a buffet. I think this analogy works for a few reasons.
First, just like a buffet, there will be some things that really appeal to you and others you won’t like. Second, the ability for you to select what you do and do not want to eat is crucial. Vegetarians wouldn’t want to be told to eat meat, while others may not want to touch vegetables, etc. In either case, the point is, we shouldn’t limit choices based on someone else’s preferences. Finally, if someone were monitoring the buffet and telling you what you should be eating and why, it would be a dangerous precedent. Maybe the person telling you to eat the beef owns cattle. Perhaps the person encouraging you to eat the desserts sells a weight loss drug that you might find useful after years of sugar. The point is, if there are choices seemingly available to you but someone is there to make sure you only pick certain things, it’s not a buffet; it’s a prison cafeteria. Shutting a buffet down when you see people making choices you would not isn’t cool, freedoms work the same way.
Something I believe in. I had a new patient last week that came in (while I had a chiropractic student shadowing me) and was incredibly forthright in what he told me. He gave me information on how he was feeling but also was candid as to things he’d done wrong and what steps he’d taken to remedy those actions.
This was an example of something I believe in strongly – people that are honest, humble and want to change; have already won half the battle. On the road to change, we are usually our own worst enemy. We make excuses, we get embarrassed, and/or we blame people and circumstances for our shortcomings. Those who take ownership over their actions, admit that they could use help and are willing to do what is necessary to get there; will always succeed.
A good reminder. My dog is an older boxer that is sadly near the end of his life. One night this week I went to bed and after about an hour of sleep I heard him barking which he rarely does. I came down to check on him to see what he needed. I adjusted him and gave him a treat, but he was still not relaxing. At this point, I understood that he was barking because he didn’t want to be alone downstairs and, in his condition, he was unable to come and find me. I moved his bed next to the couch, petted him until he fell asleep and spent the night next to him.
This experience with my dog was a good reminder to me of a lesson in life. Sometimes the best thing you can do for someone is to just simply be there for them – listen, hold their hand, give them a hug, show them kindness, etc. We can’t solve every issue, even though we’d like to. At times, the best we can do is just be there for someone, so they don’t feel alone.
A trick I have relied on many times. Have you ever had to go to work (or somewhere else) after a fight with your spouse, getting bad news about something, or feeling like there is something you’d much rather be thinking about than work? This happens to all of us at some point and can be difficult to deal with.
What I have found effective over the years is compartmentalizing. When I get to work, I know my patients need me to be on my game. I must give them the courtesy of my full attention and provide the very care possible. If I am distracted about something this cannot happen. Therefore, if I have something on my mind, I tell myself it must go into “the box” and I compartmentalize by imaging putting my trouble into a steel box and locking it away. It doesn’t mean I am ignoring the problem or not acknowledging its existence. Rather, it is an act or prioritization – I make myself focus completely on the task at hand without worrying about anything else. Once I have finished what I need to, I allow myself to reopen that box and deal with whatever I must. Years ago, as my first marriage was falling apart, I had to do this on an almost daily basis to get through a workday. Last year when my brother-in-law died, I also had to use this technique. Your mind cannot be in two places at once so use “the box” to help you focus and prioritize better.
Some quotes I love.
“The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.” – George Orwell
“The dream is free, the hustle is sold separately.”
“What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.” – Confucius
“Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the state becomes lawless or corrupt.” – Mahatma Ghandi
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” – Mark Twain
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