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I subscribe to a handful of medical journals and email services which keep me abreast of the news and latest findings in Medicine and head-shrinking. Some of these sources are rawther dry and lofty, but a few are a bit ‘fun’ in their way. One of them sends me ‘tips’ to pass onto patients. I thought I would pass on one to the Spo-fans, because I like it and it seems to actually do something. Spo

A fellow named Jocko Willink has a habit to respond to everything that happens to him with the word ‘good’. In an error or a delay, or even in a fiasco, he pauses to say ‘good’ and reflect on the positive opportunity provided. There is an hour delay for a flight? Good: this gives ne time to read or answer calls. The project has fallen through? Good: it frees up time to do other things. A mistake was made? Good: I can learn something from this to better things.

I’ve started practicing this and so far it seems a handy way of finding the positive in things that could be viewed as entirely negative. The patient was a no-show? Good: I had time to finish notes otherwise done as homework. The pharm rep called to cancel lunch? Good: I can practice intermittent fasting.

The point of this exercise is not to deny the bad things but to realize everything has potential for growth and learning. There is brain research showing the more we focus on the ‘glass half-full’ the brain wires itself towards better ability for resilience and problem solving. The opposite happens as well and it is more chilling: the more we focus on the negative, the more the brain wires itself to immediately go for the negative in all events. Cynicism and negativism literally rewires the brain to become a paranoid anxious Debbie-downer. The cliché ‘think positively’ as a small grain of truth to it: choosing to focus on the light, not the darkness, is good for our well-beings and our blood pressure, as it were.

I am far from expert on The Jocko-Good approach; I find it hard to say ‘good” when there is no tea, a load of prior-authorization forms need to be done, and when lies infiltrate and dominate politics. However I know better not to see these as 100% awful (although the lack of oolong is a stretch).

That’s all I have to say on the subject. Good. I can get back to work and get ready for the day’s endeavors.

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