Enjoying What You Do

By the time you read this post, AHIMA will have concluded the 89th Annual Convention and Exhibit in Los Angeles. I’ve had the honor of writing seven articles for the Journal of AHIMA over the past two years and serving as Co-Chair for the Clinical Terminology and Classification Practice Council. And I just celebrated my 21st anniversary in the HIM profession. Last year saw the passing of my cousin and mentor at the age of 86 – a fellow RHIA. My intense involvement in the HIM profession over the course of my career has afforded a special opportunity to see the inner workings of the industry and to meet extraordinarily talented and intelligent people. As my knowledge of the broad impact of coded data has grown so has my commitment to quality. Quality coding is my passion because it is integral to a healthy population.

I recently read a marvelous article in the Harvard Business Review (March 30, 2015) written by Robert S. Kaplan entitled “Two Ways to Clarify your Professional Passions”. An excerpt appears below but I invite each of you to read the entire article. It’s well worth your time.

“Passion is about excitement. It’s critical because reaching your full potential requires a combination of your heart and your head. In my experience, your intellectual capability and skills will take you only so far. Regardless of your talent, you will have rough days, months, and years. You may get stuck with a lousy boss. You may get discouraged and feel like giving up. What pulls you through these difficult periods?

The answer is your passion: it is the essential rocket fuel that helps you overcome difficulties and work through dark times. Passion emanates from a belief in a cause or the enjoyment you feel from performing certain tasks. It helps you hang in there so that you can improve your skills, overcome adversity, and find meaning in your work and in your life.

The problem for many mid-career people is that they’re experiencing a plateau that is beginning to alarm them and diminish their career prospects. This plateau is often a by-product of lack of passion for the job. It may be that the nature of the job has changed or the world has changed, and the mission and tasks of their career no longer arouse their passions. In other cases, nothing has changed except the people themselves. They simply want more meaning from their lives and professional careers.

Passion is critical in reaching your potential. Getting in touch with your passions may require you to give your fears and insecurities a rest and focus more on your hopes and dreams. You don’t need to immediately decide what action to take or assess whether your dream is realistic. There is an element of brainstorming in this effort: you don’t want to kill ideas before you’ve considered them. It is uncanny how much more likely you are to recognize opportunities if you’re aware of what you’re looking for.”

Let’s talk after you’ve read the article and worked through the exercises. I would like to hear your thoughts on your professional passions.

Daniel Land, RHIA, CCS


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