Google
About Philippa Kennealy

Philippa Kennealy MD MPH CPCC PCC is The Entrepreneurial MD Business Coach who wants to help you build your business!
meet Philippa>>>

 

 

Search this site
Subscribe to our newsletter

First Name *
Last Name *
Email *

Subscribe to our feed
Click here to subscribe

Or enter your email address here, and you'll get new posts delivered via email:



Powered by FeedBlitz

Recommended Books and Programs
  • The E-Myth Revisited
    The E-Myth Revisited
    by Gerber, Michael E.
  • Get Slightly Famous: Become a Celebrity in Your Field and Attract More Business with Less Effort, Second Edition
    Get Slightly Famous: Become a Celebrity in Your Field and Attract More Business with Less Effort, Second Edition
    by Steven Van Yoder

    A must-read for all business owners

  • Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
    Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
    by Chip Heath, Dan Heath

    How to create unforgettable messages

  • E-Myth Mastery: The Seven Essential Disciplines for Building a World Class Company
    E-Myth Mastery: The Seven Essential Disciplines for Building a World Class Company
    by Michael E. Gerber

    Implement the E-Myth business habits

  • Duct Tape Marketing Revised & Updated: The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide
    Duct Tape Marketing Revised & Updated: The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide
    by John Jantsch

    Just what it says it is!

  • Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time
    Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time
    by Keith Ferrazzi, Tahl Raz

    Masterful networking resource!

  • What Business Should I Start?: 7 Steps to Discovering the Ideal Business for You
    What Business Should I Start?: 7 Steps to Discovering the Ideal Business for You
    by Rhonda Abrams

    A practical approach to uncovering your biz idea

  • The Complete Idiot's Guide to Growing Your Business with Google
    The Complete Idiot's Guide to Growing Your Business with Google
    by Dave Taylor
    Fundamentals of being found on the Internet
  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
    Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
    by Jim Collins

    What matters in building a great business

  • The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
    The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
    by Timothy Ferriss

    Surprisingly practical for such a fanciful idea

  • The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want
    The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want
    by Sonja Lyubomirsky

    Practical implementable ways to create happiness

  • Mastering Online Marketing: 12 Keys to Transform Your Website into a Sales Powerhouse
    Mastering Online Marketing: 12 Keys to Transform Your Website into a Sales Powerhouse
    by Mitch Meyerson, Mary Eule Scarborough

    The nuts and bolts of Internet marketing

     

  • The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Blogs, News Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly, 2nd Edition
    The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Blogs, News Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly, 2nd Edition
    by David Meerman Scott

    Using blogs, podcasts, viral products etc to reach your target market

  • Concierge Medicine: A New System to Get the Best Healthcare
    Concierge Medicine: A New System to Get the Best Healthcare
    by Steven D. Knope M.D.

    The only book on the topic!

  • The Medical Practice Start-Up Guide
    The Medical Practice Start-Up Guide
    by Marc D. Halley, MBA and Michael J. Ferry, MPA

    A thorough guide to getting started in practice

  • Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive
    Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive
    by Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, Robert B. Cialdini

    Encapsulates the best thinking about how to influence others

    -----------------------------------------

  • Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live
    Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live
    by Martha Beck

    Discovering what your Essential Self really needs

  • Are You Ready to Succeed? Unconventional Strategies to Achieving Personal Mastery in Business and Life
    Are You Ready to Succeed? Unconventional Strategies to Achieving Personal Mastery in Business and Life
    by Srikumar S. Rao

    From a business professor comes the teaching that has inspired hundreds of MBA students

  • Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
    Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
    by Seth Godin

    A fascinating look by a master marketer and future thinker about how clear messages and contemporary tools are enabling the much-needed formation of loyal followers - a leader's "tribe"

  • eBoot Camp: Proven Internet Marketing Techniques to Grow Your Business
    eBoot Camp: Proven Internet Marketing Techniques to Grow Your Business
    by Corey Perlman

    Read my review here.

  • Endless Referrals, Third Edition
    Endless Referrals, Third Edition
    by Bob Burg

    A networking classic that shares immensely practical information on how to build a network that really delivers!

  • Career Renegade: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love
    Career Renegade: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love
    by Jonathan Fields

    A must-read for anyone wanting to flee the fold and launch a new and different career.

  • A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future
    A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future
    by Daniel H. Pink

    Dan Pink's brilliant analysis of what skills are needed to thrive in the 21st Century in business.

  • Entrepreneur's Notebook: Practical Advice for Starting a New Business Venture
    Entrepreneur's Notebook: Practical Advice for Starting a New Business Venture
    by Steven K. Gold

    A useful book written by a physician

  • Escape From Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur
    Escape From Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur
    by Pamela Slim

    Humorous, practical, excellent guide written by my dear colleague, Pam Slim

  • The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything
    The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything
    by Guy Kawasaki

    Guy Kawaski's classic about starting your own business

  • The Intelligent Entrepreneur: How Three Harvard Business School Graduates Learned the 10 Rules of Successful Entrepreneurship
    The Intelligent Entrepreneur: How Three Harvard Business School Graduates Learned the 10 Rules of Successful Entrepreneurship
    by Bill Murphy

    Great and inspirational stories -- I've blogged about several of the "secrets"

  • The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life
    The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life
    by Rosamund Stone Zander, Benjamin Zander

    Most enlightening -ten vital practices to develop the attitude that transforms how you live your life

BlogCatalog

Medicine Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Google+

Optimism: Why it Matters so Much to Physician Entrepreneurs  

“Success is measured by your ability to maintain enthusiasm between failures.”  - Sir Winston Churchill

Mahatma Gandhi, Norman Cousins, Helen Keller, Christopher Reeves, Thomas Edison and Mozart are just a few names I think of when I write about optimism and success.

Most of us know that to be successful, you must have two things:  
    1. talent or aptitude
    2. motivation.
More recent research shows that there’s a third very important element:
    3. an optimistic attitude, particularly in the face of adversity.

In the research, high scores for optimism predict excellence in everything from sports to health, elections and sales! When Metropolitan Life used an assessment of optimistic attitude to select and hire salespeople, they saved themselves millions of dollars in personnel selection. Those highest on the optimism scale outsold others in their first year by 27 percent.

When Matt Biondi was in training for the Seoul Olympics in 1988, his coach would repeatedly tell him his times were slower than they actually were. Because Biondi scored high on tests for optimism, his coach knew that this discouraging news would only motivate him to swim faster. He ended up winning five gold medals in his last five events.

Guess what - optimists are also more resistant to infectious illness and are better at fending off chronic diseases of middle age. In one study of 96 men who had their first heart attack in 1980, 15 of the 16 most pessimistic men died of a second heart attack within eight years, but only five of the 16 most optimistic men died.

Dr. Martin Seligman, a researcher and psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, is author of “Learned Optimism” and "Authentic Happiness". He has spent a lifetime studying why some people are more resilient than others. He developed an Attributional Style Questionnaire (ASQ) which measures optimism and pessimism. In one study of school children over several years, those scoring highest for pessimism were most likely later to suffer depression.

He has also shown that optimists not only do better educationally and in their careers, they also enjoy superior health and longevity. Data from cancer patients show a definite association between pessimism and mortality for those under 60.

Are you a Dynamic or a Passive Optimist?

The influential futurist and philosopher, Max More, Ph.D., proposed an interesting concept about two distinct kinds of optimists: those who are “dynamic” and those who are “passive.” 

Dynamic optimists have an active, empowering attitude which creates conditions for success by focusing and acting on possibilities and opportunities.
Passive optimists simply tell themselves that all will work out just fine. They expect other people and organizations will solve the problems.

On the surface, optimism may appear to be a simple case of “don’t worry, be happy.” However, an effective assessment of optimism/pessimism will show that there are degrees of optimism. Not all kinds will move us forward in life.

Dr. More proposes that effective optimism requires study, understanding and practice. A passive optimist, while more effective than a pessimist, sees no need to take action. They think positively but don’t know how to turn thoughts into actions. Those who are really dynamic in their optimism turn their thoughts into behaviors. They apply optimism in diverse ways to attain goals in career, finances, spirituality, health and leadership.

The good news is that optimism can be learned and cultivated. Very few of us were lucky enough to have been raised with an attitude of optimism. Research shows that it is learned in childhood from maternal caretakers.

Pessimists, passive optimists and dynamic optimists all selectively focus their attention. The pessimist focuses on problems, pains, and pitfalls. The passive optimist sees only what is encouraging and enjoyable, but blinds him- or herself to potential obstacles which leads to missed opportunities or limited success. 

And the dynamic optimist dwells on what is constructive and enjoyable, while de-emphasizing pain, difficulty and frustration. Such a person can look at a frustrating event, fully accept its reality, and choose to interpret the event in a way that leads to action, growth and mastery. They recognize dangers but have a wider vision open to solutions, possibilities and assisting forces.

Optimists and Pessimists As Entrepreneurs

A successful company has a diverse set of personalities serving different roles. Optimists are good as researchers, developers and marketers. Their optimism helps them in their roles as visionaries. But if your business were to consist of only optimists, it would be a disaster.

There is a place for a certain type of “pessimism” - those people who have an accurate knowledge of present realities. They must make sure reality holds your optimistic excesses in check. Your attorney, financial planner, business advisor and CPA all need an accurate sense of what your business is planning to accomplish, to be able to assess possible risks. Their role is provide accuracy, prudence and caution to any expansive thinking that may be losing touch with reality.

What do you do when you hit that brick wall?

Think about those times when you are contemplating making a change in your career or office and you feel blocked and discouraged - you’ve run up against a brick wall. What to do when you hit that wall?

  • Optimists persevere. In the face of routine setbacks they persist. They keep going, looking for that one thought that will free them up to move on. Even in the face of major failure, optimists persevere.
  • Optimism can help every time you face new challenges. It can make the difference between getting the job done well or poorly - or not at all. Even in routine tasks, such as paper work or writing, an optimistic attitude can make the difference.
  • Procrastination is the result of not having optimism as a mindset to start and finish a task. Some people call putting off work just laziness. But at the root of the problem is the internal dialog that goes on in the mind of the person facing an unpleasant, scary or boring task. A pessimist thinks all kinds of negative thoughts when facing such tasks. The optimist tends to focus on positive thoughts that actually encourage and energize.

We all have our own point of discouragement, our own wall. What you do when you hit this wall can mean the difference between helplessness, guilt, and a sense of failure, and success and feelings of accomplishment.

Failure often does not stem from laziness, nor from lack of talent or lack of imagination. It’s often simply ignorance of some very important tools not commonly taught at medical school or in residencies.

The good news is....

The basic tools of optimism can be learned.

If you are working with coach, you can take the opportunity to work on developing the skills of optimism.

Here are three important tools for learning to cultivate an optimistic attitude.

  1. Become aware of your attitude: look at how you selectively focus on events.
  2. Examine your internal dialogue then change what you tell yourself.
  3. Do something pleasurable to distract yourself from bad events.

1. Notice what you focus on when a bad event happens to you.
Are you seeing only one side of the situation? Are there learning opportunities you can focus on, rather than mistakes? How would an extreme optimist look at this situation? How else could you view this? Are you looking at this as permanent or temporary? Are you looking at this as global or specific to this one event only? Do you assign blame personally or to some external person or thing?

2. Talk to yourself with kindness.
If something goes wrong, pessimists tend to have hopeless thoughts. They tell themselves, “I’ll never get it right,” or, “There I go again, I always screw up.” Even worse, they label themselves with a global declaration of negativity: “I’m a stupid fool.”
The goal here is to speak to yourself with kindness and compassion. You might say something like this: “Ouch! That didn’t go very well today, but I can learn from this. Some of what I did can be corrected. I can do better tomorrow.”  Reframe your self-talk by saying something like, “I know I feel like a stupid fool, but I’m not. I’m a lot better than I was when I first started this job. I’m learning quite quickly and I’m not going to get everything perfect all of the time.”

3. Distract yourself with pleasurable activities.
Another technique for overcoming pessimism is to distract yourself from negative thinking. It’s important not to ruminate about bad events that happen to you - at least not immediately. Studies show that if you think about problems in a negative frame of mind, you actually come up with fewer solutions.
By participating in activities that you find pleasurable, thereby boosting your mood and self-esteem, you can break the pessimistic cycle. So, if you get a rude letter from an unhappy client or patient, don’t ruminate and obsess about it. Engage in a pleasant activity to free your mind and to think more optimistically and creatively later on.

How do you rate yourself on your explanatory style?

Fianlly, explanatory style is the way that you explain events to yourself - both good and bad
. You "explain" to yourself that what has happened is either permanent or temporary, pervasive and global, or specific (limited to just this one event), or personal (you’re responsible) or external (somebody else gets the credit or blame.) This is one way to measure your optimistic or pessimistic attitude.

By learning techniques to adjust your explanatory style to be less judgmental and more compassionate and realistic, you will be well on your way to seeing the glass half full!

Take this short quiz to better understand your explanatory style:

When something good happens to me, I tell myself that:
A.
1. This kind of thing always happens
2. These things happen sometimes
3. This never happens
B.
1. This event happened because of something I’ve done
2. This happened because of me but I was lucky: in the right  place at the right time.
3. This is really due to someone or something else
C.
1. This is a great example of the way things always go for me.
2. This event is great, but it’s just limited to this one specific situation
3. This event is a quirk, it’ll never happen again.

When something bad happens to me, I tell myself that:
A.
1. Wow, how unusual! This never happens.
2. This may just be a quirk; this normally doesn’t  happen.
3. Here we go again. This is typical of what always happens.
B.
1. It’s not me - it’s them.
2. Maybe I could have done better, but so should they.
3. I should have done better - it’s my fault.
C.  
1. Well, this is only limited to this one situation
2. This is too bad, and it could easily happen again.
3. This is awful. It will ruin everything.

Circle 1,2, or 3 and add up your score. The lower your score (close to 6), the more optimistic you are. The higher your score (close to 18), the more pessimistic you are. If you scored in the mid-range, you may be optimistic, but passively so. In order to achieve more, be more successful, maintain good health and possible longevity, you may want to work on how you can raise your score and develop a more dynamic optimistic attitude