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Lessons from an empty fuel tank

published4 months ago
2 min read


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- from Dr Katya Miles, The Working Well Doctor


Anyone else feeling a tad overwhelmed?

I'm sitting here with my coffee - reminding myself to savour it and the sunlight streaming in...

“Only a few things really matter”
- Anon

It seems like we have been catapulted to the end of Sept, with the pace cranking up.

Between back to school, the Queen's death and national financial woes there's a lot on contend with...

Focus on what matters

So how can we respond?

I find the quote above helpful.

Because - when you get down to it - only a few things do really matter.

Last time I was forcibly reminded of this, I was at the Hay Festival (I am a total bookworm).

We had an Air BnB 40 minute's drive away as those closer were booked.

On Saturday evening, my buddies left while I stayed on to listen to the amazing Elizabeth Day (I do love her). I got to my car at 10pm to find a thimbleful of fuel, which I had overlooked on my arrival that morning.

"I'll just nip to the local 24 hour supermarket" I thought.

But there was no 24 hour supermarket.

There was no 24 hour anything, in fact; as Hay-on-Wye is in a beautiful, rural part of Wales.

I didn't have enough fuel to get back, my phone had no reception and the first petrol station was closed.

And the second.

And the third.

An hour of fruitless driving, anxiously watching the fuel gauge creep lower definitely focussed my mind on what really mattered.

What really mattered was getting safely back.

What really matters to many of us is often similar;

Safety, shelter, nourishment.

Loved ones.

Connection - through faith or community, environment or service...

What really matters to you?

Focussing on this can help tackle overwhelm, by highlighting where to put your time and energy.

(In case you were wondering, the 4th fuel station was, thankfully open - a huge relief as it was 30 minutes in the opposite direction; so I arrived on the forecourt as my fuel needle reached zero.)

Fresh Ideas For You

  • If 'the disciplined pursit of less' resonates, you might like Greg McKewan.

  • What do you think of doctors with tattoos? - Click here to read more, exploring ideas around professional identity.

  • Fancy joining a friendly newsletter writers group? I have just launched Nail Your Newsletter - a fun co-working space for like-minded newsletter writers! Reply with the words 'Nail it' to learn more.

Till next time, take care.



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The Working Well Doctor

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Love Your Work Again


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