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Opportunities in Health


Some of the most rewarding events for me as a keynote speaker are when I get to speak to people in healthcare. Unfortunately, the major issues faced are the same today as they were when I first published this blog in 2008. Fortunately, things are changing, albeit slowly (see the link at the bottom of this post for an example).

I’ve been speaking to a lot of healthcare groups lately; sharing my patient testimonial. A common thread running through the entire health sector is that people are incredibly stressed; not just those working in healthcare, but the majority of their patients are showing up as a result of incredibly busy lives with increased demands being made of their time and energy. It’s a familiar story, one we know all too well. Who isn’t stressed these days; really?

What is becoming more and more apparent to me though is that while the sector faces some very real challenges; those working within it also have an incredible opportunity on the horizon. For some it may have already arrived. What I’m talking about is the opportunity to finally have the work you do recognized; to receive validation for the contribution you make to our lives each and every day. I see a big shift coming. It’s been a long time coming, but with the current wave of “greenwashing” we’re seeing at the moment comes an emphasis on organic food and wellness in general.

We’re also seeing more and more proof, in case we need it, that stress has a very real and extremely detrimental affect on our lives. We’re finally starting to realize that we are what we eat, and probably more importantly than that; we are what we think. As more and more of us figure this out, and we begin to make the shift from a sickness system to a true health and wellness system, we’ll be looking to our health practitioners to guide us.

Those in healthcare need to be ready. You don’t want to be stuck in the old model which sees you so stressed there’s no possible way you can be of help to anyone else. You need to practice what you preach; be an example for people of what they should aspire to be. You’re in a position to be at the forefront towards a kind of sustainability we should all be interested in, environmentalist or not; the sustainability of ourselves. Of our own wellbeing. You’re in a position to be there; to be there for people, when this shift takes place. It’s an exciting time if you let it be, full of opportunity. But only if you see it…

Here is a video of a recent event I took part in with an emphasis of reminding staff why they do what they do.

Warren Macdonald
Warren Macdonald

One catastrophic moment redefined Warren’s life in April 1997 with a freak rock fall on a remote Australian island that left him pinned under a one-ton boulder. For two days he lay trapped and alone, surviving the ordeal only to lose both legs at mid thigh.

Doctors told him he’d never walk again. Warren’s response: “I don’t recall them saying anything about cycling, kayaking, or climbing mountains…” Just ten months later he scaled Cradle Mountain, and in February 2003 Warren became the first double above-knee amputee to reach the summit of Africa’s tallest peak, Mt Kilimanjaro.

Born in Melbourne, Australia; Warren lives in Canmore, Alberta (an hour from Calgary, 20 minutes from Banff National Park) in the Canadian Rockies with his partner Margo.

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