That Which Doesn’t Kill Me Will Make Me Stronger….

I greeted a friend at a conference last week, and when I asked how he was, he replied: “That which doesn’t kill me will make me stronger.” We had a laugh, and I replied: “You’re looking pretty fit.”

As Jon Reiners, our guest author writes, the amount and pace of change in our industry can be overwhelming, and resilience will be key to our effectiveness as we work to transform healthcare. The friend I referenced above is working through the merger of several health systems into a new entity. Later the same day another friend shared with me the difficulties in building a collaborative, including politics, one-upmanship and waste, as folks strived for the opportunity.

As our industry works to transform, change will be a constant. And change is hard. I love Fred’s rubber band analogy. Like a rubber band, resilience requires maintenance. Left alone, untested and unchallenged, it will dry up and lose its effectiveness. In Jon’s article he introduces “trading fours,” which furthers the point by emphasizing that one gets better with practice and experience.

I am, as I would suspect many of us are, a brand new rubber band at heart. Anything and everything is possible with the right attitude and initiative. I set a new personal best at a race this past weekend and have taken on what is turning out to be a very successful project at work. But it is hard, and I find myself reflecting on the Serenity Prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things which I cannot change, the strength to change what can be changed, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

And the wisdom to know the difference. … That is the key, and I think it makes the prayer a kind of circular argument. To know the difference, you often times must try. And if it doesn’t kill you, you’ll get stronger.

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