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Last week, I received a letter from Claudia, a 41-year old doctor working in an Accident & Emergency department at a central London hospital.
''Dear Carole, I feel trapped in a mundane existence. I feel that I am stuck; my life is out of control and I am going nowhere! When I first started out, I believed that a better life was possible.
''I dreamed of achieving great things and living a life full of value and purpose. I wanted to become a great doctor and make a difference to society — there was nothing more important to me. However, over the years, the demands and frustrations of the job have crushed my dreams and I have now settled for an unremarkable existence, having lost my vision for the future. Can you help me to get off this endless treadmill onto a new, more rewarding path?''
I wrote back, instantly, ''Dear Claudia, It sounds as if you have lost your motivation to bring about change, both in yourself and in others, and are finding it hard to accept that your growth as a professional person seems to have stalled.
''But it doesn't have to be like that. Your dream of becoming a great doctor can still become a reality although I do appreciate that when you work the long hours that you do, it is all too easy to lose sight of your goals, your vision and your purpose.
''We all need to grow personally. However, not everyone knows the importance of personal development and they don't necessarily appreciate its impact on the individual. The fact is that our personal growth has a huge impact upon the success of our relationships, both at home and at work.
''Your first step should be to take an honest look at your life and your situation to see what needs to be modified. The next thing is to make an action plan to move your identified changes forward.
''Remember, anything that is worth doing will take commitment and dedication and no one can do this for you. This, you have to do yourself. However, there are some key elements in the path to personal growth and improvement.
''Learning is one way to cultivate your personal growth. Professional attainment can help you to do this as it will improve analytical thinking, develop critical thought and improve your chances of promotion.
''However, remember that learning doesn't stop at medical school or university. Those are just the beginning of a journey and you should grab every opportunity to further your professional development whenever you get the chance.
''Another avenue for personal growth is attitude and mindset. Negative thinking breeds failure and this must always be avoided and replaced with positivity. I appreciate that in your role as an A & E doctor, your time is limited and you are, no doubt, rushed off your feet going from one emergency to another — probably leading to exhaustion by the time you get home.
''However, it is important to hold onto an optimistic attitude that will lead you into increased career opportunities.
Claudia, I have to remind you that no one makes a conscious decision not to make the best of their lives. Your career is a work in progress and your personal growth will always be a lifelong pursuit.
''Only you can decide if you are currently implementing your vision successfully or if you are living an unfulfilling life. Every day that dawns brings with it a new opportunity for you to make a difference to your life and of others. Every day you will be presented with choices relating to your career.
''You will need to make and implement the decisions that are right for you and take actions that will change your life for the better. Only you can do that and only your own inaction and/or your lack of decision can hold you back.
''We want you, Claudia, to be the person you wish to be. We need your skills and contribution to society and I hope that professional development is the key motivator to the success of your future life. I thank you for writing to me.''
Read more: What have you achieved last year?
Source: Carole Spiers, Special to gulfnews.com
The author is a BBC Guest-Broadcaster and Motivational Speaker. She is CEO of an international Stress Management consultancy and the author of 'Show Stress Who's Boss!'