Passion and Gratitude List

October 15, 2009

Passion and Gratitude: It seems that the more I don’t want to do something the better it is for me to do it. A good friend of mine, Marv Wopat of Milton, Wisconsin, for years has told people to sit down each day and make a gratitude list. It is what it sounds like, a list of what a person is grateful for.

I have also heard a phenomenon that when given the choice, the great majority of people would not trade places with someone else.

In healthcare a majority of people are in a job in which they make a great difference in the lives of others, work in relatively clean environments and like most of their colleagues, have good benefits and pay. When I ask healthcare workers, how many of you work two jobs to make ends meet financially, very few say they do. I understand this is not everybody, but most do not. In essence, healthcare workers do a job or provide a service in which they have a good aptitude and skill set. They make enough money that they don’t have to work another job to fulfill their passion. Not many people are this fortunate.

My father loved to duck hunt. He liked nothing more than to sit in a duck blind for hours on the Mississippi river, in cold weather, waiting for a flock of ducks to fly by. If he could, he would have done this every day of his life. So what’s the problem? He couldn’t find a professional duck hunting job. In order to afford the equipment to hunt with and to travel to his favorite duck blind and stay in a cabin year after year, my Dad had to work two jobs. During the week he worked in a factory, which covered family expenses, and on weekends he worked in a junk yard to earn money to fulfill his passion of duck hunting.

When I was last in Nashville, I asked some of the employees in the hotel what they were there for. Many said they were working odd jobs, like the one in the hotel, but they were really musicians or song writers or a publicist, etc. See, they have a passion. They also have talent, but in order to meet their goal they need to earn money doing something else.

Healthcare is loaded with passionate people, like you, who earn enough money doing what they are passionate about and can afford to live a fairly good life. We are some of the fortunate ones.

Marv was right. Every time I finish my gratitude list I feel better. Let me know if it works for you.



Quint Studer

Quint Studer


11 Responses to “Passion and Gratitude List”

  1. leslie Says:

    I keep a word document saved on my computer and it is simply a list of things for which I am thankful. On bad days, it serves as a simple reminder of all the great things in my life and on good days, I have something new to add to my list.

  2. Teresa Says:

    Gratitude is the doorway to generosity! I make a list just before going to sleep as well as throughout the day. Every day I add to the list something I have not listed previously. This keeps me conscious of the blessings inherent in each day.

    Healthcare is a great place to make a difference!

  3. I’ve been fortunate to work at 2 fantastic organizations: Elks Rehab Hospital and St. Luke’s in Boise Idaho since 1977. It’s an awesome opportunity to help others through our training in therapy, and provide the tools to improve the quality of someone’s life. Often times I’ve discovered the best gift is to just listen and that alone can heal wounds. I now work toward the goal of bringing in passiionate therapy students, letting them know that every person they have the great fortune to treat in kindness and with required skills per their situation, will remember them always. The gift that always keeps on giving is caring for one another.

  4. Britt Nelson, MD Says:

    We, the healthcare workers also have the honor of sharing a family’s most sacred events – including birth and death. No actors, no scripts. These real life relationships are filled with honest, raw emotions and trust. A chance to help, to literally save a life, to stop pain, restore hope, hold a hand, close a wound, wipe away a tear. These are the rewards of our passion.

  5. angela Bottesini Says:

    This is a beautiful story and we are all so blessed. I can’t imagine going to work every day and not being in love with what I do. I think you need a hospice story after all Nov. is Nationaly Hospice Month. Thanks for always connecting the dots. Angela

  6. Quint,

    Again, I was moved by your grounding words of wisdom. The message, though directed toward the health care industry, is applicable to my profession-education-as well.

    With your permission, I would like to adapt your blog (keeping you as the author) to education to send out to the 450 educators in my organization.

    Thanks again for your inspirational, drilling-down-to-what-is-important words of encouragement and wisdom.

    Scott Thompson

  7. Phyllis Graunke Says:

    How true! I never realized how grateful I was for my position in healthcare management until my position of 17 years was eliminated this summer due to a company reorganization. While I was unemployed I began to miss the sense of accomplishment and self-worth I always took for granted. I was fortunate enough to obtain a position, once again in healthcare management, and in the eight weeks I have been in my new position I have a renewed sense of gratitude. While my new position requires longer hours and more “hands on” work than my former position I am learning and growing in new areas. How fortunate for me!

  8. Ron Del Ciello Says:

    Marv is absolutely right about the gratitude list. It serves me as a “balancer” – keeping me emotionally and spritually fit. I am very grateful for what I do. Someone told me tha Iget paid for playing St. Francis. Not a bad gig!

  9. Melanie Says:

    This gratitude list is not a new idea for me. My mom started all of her 6 children doing this at a young age. We were all taught how to be grateful for what you have and to DECIDE to enjoy the work that you do. It is a decision, not just something that happens.

  10. My sister, Mary Bass, is a Manager a William Beaumont Hospital in Michigan. My Brother Gene Michalski, is the CFO and VP for the Organization. I am a Registered Nurse working for Hospice of the Chesapeake in in MD in Staff Development and we all are very passionate about our work (even on those rough days). We have a wonderful life and you are right on target with Passion and Gratitude. We all love what we do and I really suupot your philosophy! Thank you and Thanks to my sister for sending this to me and thank you for your inspiration! Deborah Michalski

  11. Charlene Turner Says:

    Thanks for your article about passion and gratitude – it hit home today when I read it. Sometimes we let the problems in life distract us from the things we are grateful for, and the passions we live for. I truly would not change jobs with anyone I know, because I love what I do! I’m so grateful that God has given me the opportunity to provide care for others, and a family that has supported me in this for many years.

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