While attending an outstanding leadership training, this saying stuck in my head, “You can buy my hands and my back, but I volunteer my heart and my brain.” I was reminded of this saying yesterday as I struggled with wondering what contribution I’ll end up making in the new organization forming as a result of an affiliation with a much larger healthcare entity, that is led by its for profit arm. Throughout my career, I have always worked for a non-profit or government hospital because the mission to serve the community came before profit. I’m conflicted about working for an organization that may have profit as its number one goal. Of course, when I worked for a Catholic hospital, Sister Catherine always said, “No margin, no mission,” but money was never their primary focus.
Employee engagement is so dependent upon feeling that your work is worthwhile, you have a purpose, and you make a difference. As I reflect on these three things, I’ve come to the realization that money does not motivate me at all. Instead, I am motivated by purpose, worthwhile work and making a difference.
As I shift to the latter part of my career, it is sad to say that right now I almost feel as though I add more to the Universe with my stories. Over the last several months a greater number of positive messages have come my way in e-mails, private messages and reviews on my books…unfortunately far more than on my work that pays the bills. All of this leads to a decision that my wife and I are not taking lightly. It may be time to devote more energy into what has been feeding my soul lately—writing. I am seriously considering retirement much earlier than the original three year timeframe and the most important added benefit is finally living with my wife full-time. Living apart during the week sucks!
I still can’t believe I managed to have four novels published in my debut year while continuing to work full-time. I don’t know if retirement will result in a greater number of books, or if I’ll spend more time honing my craft and hopefully produce increasingly polished and engaging works. I guess time will tell.
All I can say is….readers, I volunteer my heart and my brain. You will never have to buy that! Now of course, if you do wish to buy my books….go right ahead!