“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.” – William James
It is easier to overlook minutia when it comes to my kids. “You guys wanna make an ever loving mess in the kitchen? Aright! Let’s do it!” I have found that having kids has helped me to relax my OCD quite a bit. I bristle at people that have said, “She just needs to have a baby,” about me or female colleagues as I think it is fairly disrespectful (particularly because it is always men saying it in reference to legitimate complaints/concerns brought up by said women) but there is some level of truth here in that you cannot micromanage a child. You start stepping back and asking yourself if that is a battle that is worth fighting…will it make a difference in the long run?
Not so easy to ignore the minutia in my patients. “You didn’t check your blood sugar every single day for the past three months? (Cue stern look.)” Never mind that it really doesn’t change what I do with them most of the time. They didn’t do what I told them to!
But the art of medicine (and life) is motivating people. Give them realistic goals. Encourage instead of berate when they fall short. Not only do patients respond better, I feel happier too.