Hope is Not a Plan

Hope is Not a Plan

By Eric Warm M.D.

When you’re on a plane the first thing they tell you to do if the plane depressurizes is to secure your own oxygen mask before helping others.

The logic is clear: how you can help others if you yourself are incapacitated?

This week I’ve been sitting with residents talking about getting ready for winter.

“What is your plan to stay well in the cold and dark?” I ask.

“I hope it will be OK,” they say.

This worries me.

Hope is not a plan.

You don’t hope to remain conscious when the oxygen drops. You plan.

Be deliberate. What will keep you well?

Make a list.

Mine: Running. Playing guitar. Writing. Microsoft excel (don’t judge!), fixing stuff (see the Stanford Model), sleeping, skiing, batting cages, watching kids play soccer. Movie night with everyone on the couch including the dog.

What’s your list?

Write it down. Put it on the calendar. Get a friend to keep you honest. Make a commitment to be well. Be deliberate.

Do it so you can help others.

And, do it so you won’t harm others. I recently went to conference where the speaker said that 26% of your burnout comes those around you. Burnout can be infectious.

So can wellness.

Now, if you excuse me, I’m going to eat some mallomars, make a pivot chart, go to bed on time, get up early and run the same distance as the calories in the mallomars.

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