Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Moving to the enlightened side: a personal perspective on self-development and motivation
  1. David Caesar
  1. Correspondence to Dr David Caesar, Department of Emergency, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4SA, UK; davidhcaesar{at}

Statistics from

What is our purpose in life? What drives us? What gives us fulfilment?

These are deeply personal and sometimes incredibly difficult-to-answer questions, but I believe they hold the key to understanding what makes us tick.

Buckminster Fuller, the visionary architect and thinker in the throes of depression asked himself this:

What is my job on this planet? What is it that needs doing, that I know something about, that probably won’t happen unless I take responsibility for it?

It was to change his life around, and have in turn inspired many leaders to ground themselves in a career or life-defining purpose.1 It probably sums up my general approach.

Like many colleagues, I didn’t really plan a career in Medical Leadership. For a combination of reasons—inherent competitiveness, personal tragedy at an early age, strong role-modelling (good and bad), profound faith in the human race, fascination with the ‘human condition’—I have always had a deep personal drive to be the best person I can be. I am very driven to improve the world around me, and to mine the depths of my own potential.

I was launched into a Clinical Director role in a service under extreme pressure earlier than may have been …

View Full Text


  • Twitter @EM_Doc_Caesar

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.