No dark fate determines the future – we do. Each day and each moment, we are able to create and recreate our lives and the very quality of human life on our planet.

Dalai Lama & Desmond Tutu
The Book of Joy


Today, I write from my heart. No KPIs. No dashboard discussions. No marketing plan recommendations. Not even a long post.

Today, I want to talk about you. Why you decided health care marketing was your calling. How it was when you first got into this business. What gets you out of bed and into the office every day. Because with all the crazy things going on with health care today, it might be good to stop and remember the core reason we do this.

I’ve reflected on this a lot recently as I’ve been reading The Book of Joy, Lasting happiness in a changing world. The book tells of a week when the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu came together to reflect on joy. It’s a truly amazing book. In one part, the Dalai Lama says that joy comes from gratitude, from the recognition of all that has made it possible to have the life that we have and the moment we are in now. Showing others our gratitude, even those that don’t always treat us kindly, brings joy to our hearts.  

So why did you get into this?

I would love to hear your answer. I’m going to guess it has something to do with helping people get healthier. Helping them get through some of the hardest times they will experience in their life. Reassuring them that you are there if and when they should need you.

It seems like every day something happens that sucks the energy out of us. A complaint from a physician or a patient. A change of direction from leadership that you weren’t expecting. Or a million other things that just aren’t fun.

How do we turn these stressful times into feelings of gratitude? What can we do to get in touch with the patient again?

Start with yourself

Close your eyes. Take a deep breath and remember why you went into this business in the first place.

  • What are you most grateful for?
  • What gives you true joy?

Remember this: you are helping people

You are creating a healthier population. Folks are making better decisions about their health because they have better information. They are exercising more and eating better to prevent diabetes, high blood pressure or even cancer. You did that. Pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself.

Do things that feed your soul

A walk in the middle of a workday. Reading for pleasure. (Put that business book down!) Sit by the water’s edge. Look at old pictures. Find a quiet corner and meditate for five minutes. Think about where in the world you find the most peace. Plan a trip there.

Give love and encouragement to others

  • It will bring it all back in your direction. Trust me, it works. Here are a few thoughts:
  • Spend an hour greeting people at the front door of your organization. Welcome them with a smile. Ask how you can be of help.
  • Sit in the ED waiting room and thank people for their patience. Pass a cart of beverages and healthy snacks.
  • Take healthy treats to a different department each week. Thank them for what they do.
  • Share your good mood with your colleagues and patients by giving them a word of acknowledgment or encouragement.

You do good. Every day.

And that’s what gets you up every morning. Now get back out there and save some people. Because in doing that, you just might save yourself.