I was struck by a quote I saw by philosopher Eric Hoffer in the Boston Globe: “The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and having no time. It is born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life.”
I often live in a state of feeling as if there is not enough time to learn all that I need to know to become the most effective psychotherapist I can possibly be for my clients. It is a very uncomfortable state to be in, and I question myself quite often when yet another topic, book or symposium piques my interest.
But then I read one of many wonderful posts by Scott Miller who studies this topic in depth. His focus is measuring the therapist’s effectiveness in sessions with clients, and how individual clients are rating themselves on the outcomes of the work they are doing. He recently posted that the best therapists are those who frequently wonder if they are on the right track with how to help a client, the “self doubt” that is felt. He believes those who measure outcomes regularly, and those who continue to educate themselves, are indeed the most effective with their clients.
I happen to believe this can be extrapolated to any profession. How do you know if you are improving? Do you constantly feel curious enough to seek new knowledge and information about your field? I would pose the question: Does your seeking make you feel alive? Because if that is the case, your own curiosity and engagement are the evidence that you are not wasting your life, that you are on a fascinating journey, and that you are continuing to seek new ways to be in this world, with work, with family, with friends, and with life.
I don’t want anyone to feel as if they are wasting their life. If this gnaws at you, call me. Together we can figure it out so that you move towards your life’s journey with gusto and purpose. A tough transition can often be the gateway to a new path.
Bon voyage! Every. Single. Day.
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