It won’t surprise you that in Daniel Pink’s book, having purpose is the third and final way to really motivate and inspire people. Along with autonomy and mastery, we really are happiest when we’re involved in something that is bigger than ourselves.
The best part of this is, our work in the NICU is inherently purposeful. At the very core of neonatal therapy is our desire to work hard in the short term to help a human being have the best possible quality of life available.
I mean how happy are you when your unit receives photos of former NICU patients doing everything from getting off oxygen to being the fastest kid on their soccer team? Or the little guy that survived despite the odds 17 years ago weighing only a little over a pound, who is now 6’4" tall.
Sometimes those moments truly take my breath away. It’s why there’s so little turnover in the NICU overall. We can’t help but be inspired.
So, the only question regarding this third and final way to inspire change is this: how do we infuse this purpose, the feeling it provides us, into our everyday lives in the NICU? Because let’s face it, as inspired as we are, work is not always sunshine and rainbows. (Noooo, really, you say?! ☺
Can YOU and your team spend just 10-20 mins a week stepping back and finding a way to remind your colleagues that they’re working in a place of intense happiness and yes, sorrow. Of love and loss. Of everyday heroes, and extraordinary events.
We work in a place of miracles. And sometimes we forget.
Once a week or once a month, find a way to remember this, pat yourself on the back for your contribution and celebrate the fact that YOUR work has purpose. It’s built right in.
And how very cool is that?