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Common Ground Connection

Jun 23, 2022

While my husband and I were walking out of the elementary school campus after the 5th grade graduation ceremony, a mother introduced her husband, let’s call him Tim, to us. As we were about to get into our car, Tim stopped my husband and pointed at a magnet at the back of our car. Tim asked if my husband ran 26.2 (miles).

Many of us have seen those magnets. The white oval magnets with black letters or numbers. “13.1”, “OBX”, “MTK”, etc. Usually, at least that is my assumption, that is someone puts a “13.1” magnet on the car, it means that whoever drives that car has run a 13.1-mile race.

My husband smiled, and pointed at his sticker for Tim to look closer: below the number 26.2, there is a line of fine print – “Oreos I can eat in one seating”. (And now you all know how much my husband loves to exercise…his stomach). Tim laughed and walked to his own car.

When we drove past Tim’s car, we saw a magnet on the back of his car: “70.3”. Oh my! That is more than the length of 2 marathons! In fact, it is the length of the half ironman, which includes a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run.

I imagine that Tim wanted to connect with my husband because he thought there was something in common between the two of them. The conversation would probably have gone much further had my husband actually run the marathon.

We as human beings are not designed to live alone. We find things in common and make connections. We talk about events we can relate to, share our different viewpoints, and cultivate our relationships.

First comes the decision to want to connect with the other person. Then you embrace with courage to approach that person, not knowing if the desire of connection will be reciprocated. To do this, you will have to be engaged in the moment. In order to appreciate that there is something in common between you and this other person, you first have to be present. You have to be in pause rather than be in transit. The common bond is easily missed if you don’t look for it, or if you believe you don’t have time to seek it.

I feel a deep connection with fellow physicians. We all went through years of rigorous training. We all have experienced how the medical system has changed over the years and how it has affected our lives, both as providers and in our realms outside of work. I know how stress and overwhelm can negatively impact us with our well-being. Through coaching, I get to land on the other side of burnout. I “gained” back time to spend with my family. I feel more content and gratitude.

This unique and invaluable relationship of coaching is what I have decided to be the link to other physicians. I have the time to pause and reflect because of coaching. The possibility of many more connections is endless. I choose coaching to lift other doctors up, to let them know they are not isolated, and to show them there is a better way to live and feel. Together, with our special bond, we can make medicine more joyful. We can make every day a living experience rather than a being a passenger who is always in transit to a destination you will never arrive at.

Are you ready to stop feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Are you ready to have more time to do what you want?


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