Perfect to Excellent

Just because we’ve entered a new year does not mean everything is magically better. Viruses don’t pause during the holidays, but I do hope you were able to enjoy a bit of the season and take your mind off some of the chaos that may be going on around you.

I was recently speaking to a pharmacist who said something that made me think. He shared that he went through something very impactful in his life, and as a result, he realized he needed to make a few changes. It changed the way he viewed his life. He made the decision to go from perfect to excellent. He realized that he performed with the goal of doing everything perfectly. Type A personality, I think many of us can relate. He realized this was not a reasonable expectation of himself nor a healthy one. By switching to a goal of doing everything excellently, he could still exhibit a work ethic he could be proud of while understanding that he needed to be content in working within the resources he was given. That resource could be time, budget, support, staff, etc. Nothing is perfect out there. If we recognize this and do the best we can with the resources we have, contentment and a healthier existence will follow.

There are times we have so many competing priorities coming toward us that we just can’t get to them as fast as we think we should. For those of us who attempt to be perfect, we run ourselves into the ground trying to achieve that perfection. I have been there when I have gone into a new hospital to consult and see all that needs to be done to bring them into compliance. I was there at the LA Surge Hospital when working endless hours to get the pharmacy up and running. Many of you are there currently with the surge of COVID and now the vaccine distribution. It’s a lot. Reflect a bit. Do not set the bar to perfect. Set it at excellent and allow yourself to perform to your full capacity given the resources available and let the rest go until those resources become available.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. –Theodore Roosevelt

Terri Vidals
Terri Vidals

Terri has been a pharmacist for over 30 years and is a drug diversion mitigation and monitoring subject matter expert. Her years of experience in various roles within hospital pharmacy have given her real-world insight into risk, compliance, and regulatory requirements, as well as best practices for medication and patient safety.

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