Passion, Pain and Patience 


“The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow”. While the author is unknown, it is a widely used statement that gets built into other quotes, inspires motivational writings and is printed on the wall in my home gym. 

When I started weight training in my mid-teens, I was not concerned so much about the pain of the day as I was about seeing how much weight I would lift and how big my muscles could get. In other words, I had no real plan and it certainly was not my passion. 

As I got older, I realized that the human body was not made for all things I was putting it through. I also learned I was developing a passion for being fit however it is tough to be fit when the pain you are inflicting on yourself has no direction and sometimes damaging results. 

It became frustrating as the pain I was feeling at this point was not oriented to any strength I would feel the next day. 

I needed a framework for my growing passion around fitness and leadership or I feared I would just give up. 

After a few injuries that required surgery to repair, my passion to remain fit became more focused with long-term thinking at the core. No longer was the drive to see how much weight I could lift or how big my muscles would be but rather how to position myself to enjoy life through being truly healthy and inspiring others to pursue the same. I also learned that taking on increased responsibilities as a leader would require me to have the endurance, both mentally and physically, to meet the demands of every day. 

At Johnson Health Center (JHC) where I serve as their Chief Executive Officer (CEO), there is parallel here. As an organization, we are clearly passionate about the patients we serve, the work we do and those we do it with. At the same time, we spent more time focused on the pain and reactions of the day than on what we could look like a few years from now. 

Our mission is to improve access to health care for all and we got intentional about this almost five years ago. We did it by leveraging our passion for the mission and knowing it would be painful at times. We also understood we would need to be patient throughout the process as this was the only way to stay the course and be successful. We were laying out our framework. 

As the CEO, there were times I had to assess my own patience level because anyone who knows me knows I like to push the envelope on what’s next. Thankfully, my style affords me the ability to take a pause at times and bring others into the decision making process. This is why teamwork is one of the five core values at JHC and I am thankful for that. 

In 2018, we saw more patients than at any time in our twenty-year history. We did this while bringing up multiple new sites and staff. Passion and pain were now colliding as you can imagine however the patience we had practiced over the last five years was now on display and helped us through the usual growing pains of nearly doubling your practice. 

Whether you are an organization doing what we are doing or an individual looking to grow and take on more; know that you need a framework and a plan. Know that patience must be part of the equation. Know that you will endure a certain amount of pain while pursuing your passion, that’s the way it is. 

Finally, don’t ever give up. If you do it right, the pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow. I know that Johnson Health Center is operating from a position of strength and providing excellent care to all of our patients and opportunities for our amazing staff.

To your impact,

Gary Campbell