Begin with the end in mind. ~Stephen Covey
The power of reflecting forward
To help new interns start on the powerful reflective process of writing down one’s own mission and values, Scott Wright, MD, asks them to write their own retirement speech, a personal development strategy suggested in Stephen Covey’s best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Scott wrote about the efficacy of this exercise of forward reflection with interns in “Beginning With the End in Mind”: Imagining Personal Retirement Speeches to Promote Professionalism, published in the June 2015 issue of Academic Medicine.
Begin with the end in mind
Covey lists, “Begin with the end in mind,” as the second habit of highly effective people, which helps us to “expand perspective” on what’s important beyond the immediacy of day-to-day demands. Covey encourages us to respond to daily situations with awareness and consciousness in sync with our overarching governing values. The following is an inspiring quotation from his bestseller:
Each part of your life–today’s behavior, tomorrow’s behavior, next week’s behavior, next month’s behavior–can be examined in the context of the whole, of what really matters to you. By keeping that end clearly in mind, you can make certain that whatever you do on any particular day does not violate the criteria you have deemed as supremely important, and that each day of your life contributes in a meaningful way to the vision you have of your life as a whole.
Monday Mission and Values
Along those lines, we’re excited to share our Monday Mission and Values feature with you each and every Monday to start the week off with inspiring food for thought. Here, we share the personal clinical mission and values statements from the members of the Johns Hopkins Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence–physicians role modeling exceptional clinically excellent patient care.
After nomination to the Academy, nominees are invited to apply for acceptance; part of their portfolio application is a clinical mission and values statement, writing down the values that guide them in their dedication to the daily work of compassion and giving back to others. The pieces are uplifting, and we want to share one with you each week, perhaps helping you to reflect on, revise, or refine your own clinical mission and values statement.
Writing down a clinical mission and values statement or a retirement speech can help us gain clarity on the overarching values driving our daily work, and help us stay grounded in a perspective of what’s truly important on a day-to-day basis.
Let us know what you think! Do you have a clinical mission and values statement that you’d be willing to share with our community? Please send it along, we’d love to read it!