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Focus on being “in the moment”

January 8, 2019
A New Year’s message from ACP President Stan Dyjur.

My kids on December 31, 2018: “Daddy, we need to find all of the candy in the house and fill the bath tub with it.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

My kids: “So that we can eat it all tonight and move onto 2019 candy tomorrow!”

Me: “Well, we better get this done before your mum gets home!”

It is hard to believe that another year has come and gone. The New Year offers an opportunity to reflect on the past year and I am proud of the care that we, as a profession, have provided to Albertans. Our pharmacy teams have made progress in working together to our full scopes of practice to ensure Albertans are provided with consistent, person-centred assessments, despite the challenges that 2018 presented.

In particular, I take great pride in the following statistic: since the introduction of our opioid assessment guidelines, the number of Albertans who died due to an opioid (other than fentanyl) after receiving an opioid medication from a community pharmacy within 30 days of their death has reduced significantly. Thank you for continuing to put patients and their needs first in your practices.

Having once attempted to make a living in the health and fitness industry, this time of year also seems to trigger the need to commit to self-improvement. Maybe it’s because I played with He-Man figures as a kid, but I’ve recently tried to further escalate the aging process of my body by competing in powerlifting meets. These meets have taught me a lot about myself over the years and one lesson from 2018 really stands out.

Leading up to my last meet I was not training or dieting (remember, I’m the guy who fills his bath tub with candy!) as intensely as I had for previous meets. I almost didn’t compete, but I decided to approach the meet with a child-like enthusiasm and curiosity of what I could accomplish. I let go of thoughts and ideas of what I was able to do in my previous meets. It turned out to be the best meet I had ever competed at and I hit personal records (PRs) for nearly all my lifts.

Why do I share this? I am a regular subscriber to Dan Rockwell’s Leadership Freak blog and one of his past New Year entries spoke about how the future is now and how you can’t move towards a future state if you continue to joust and hold onto the past.

“How will today’s actions be a small expression of the future you aspire to build for yourself and others?”

I encourage us all to reflect on this statement and how we can incorporate at least one small expression of the future towards the care we provide to patients each day. How can we, as pharmacy professionals (community and hospital practitioners, pharmacy technicians and pharmacists), together, engage each day, each patient who we have the privilege to care for, with a future-facing focus? I encourage us to not allow ourselves to be limited by challenges, barriers, or past ways of doing things, but to focus on being in that moment, to be solution-focused and doing what that patient who’s in front of us needs of us; to do the right thing.

As Robin Sharma says, let’s “dream big, start small, and act now.” Let’s start with small steps to empty that tub of 2018 candy and to live our vision of our profession of “Healthy Albertans through excellence in pharmacy practice” starting today, and every day moving forward, one patient at a time. And to know that you are not alone, to have the courage and professionalism to reach out to one another for support, and to hold each other accountable to this vision.

Together, there is no PR our profession can’t hit.