The end of May is approaching. This means that many of you are approaching the end of your first year in medical school. Many of you are also graduating from college (thanks for taking over my social media). Regardless, congratulations! These are big accomplishments which surely presented you with a variety of adversities.
As you look on to the next year and what’s next, I thought this post may serve as a source of motivation. It’s a mindset that I often turn to again and again when I’m in a slump.
If I was to pick a life motto, the core idea of this post would be it.
The Pursuit of a Perfect Circle:
I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying, “There’s no such thing as a perfect circle”. Every circle, regardless of appearance, has some degree of imperfection.
Additionally, you’ve heard there is no such thing as a perfect human being. We, just like the circle, have our degrees of imperfections.
Some of our “rough edges” can be easily pointed out, just as you can easily critique the flaws in a self-drawn circle.
On the other hand, many of our flaws are minor or easily hidden. We may obviously be aware of them. An outsider, however, may have to examine quite closely and for some length of time to notice.
But who cares? What’s the point of these circles-human analogies?
Smoothing Out Your Edges:
While it’s true that there is no such thing as a perfect circle or human being, the pursuit of more perfection is still worth the journey.
Every day we have the opportunity to work on our strengths and our weaknesses. Most individuals are too comfortable to work on either.
Most individuals are too comfortable to work on either.
When they do take on the endeavor to personally improve, they often work on their strengths. Why? Because it’s much easier to work on something you’re already good at versus having to face your shortcomings.
I, instead, insist that you focus on your flaws. The results will speak for themselves.
Quick example – one of my biggest shortcoming several years ago was my poor communication skills. English was not my first language and I often was demolished and humbled in my English courses during grade school. Everything else came easy, but English and I had a complicated relationship.
It would have been easy to remain content with the sub-par communications skills, or I could actively do something about it. I picked the latter.
I purposely put myself in uncomfortable situations. I volunteered for speaking opportunities, took on speaking dominant leadership roles, and worked in jobs which required adept communication skills (customer service, working with autistic children, etc.)
After years of facing the problem head on, I can say I’ve improved.
Have I perfected this “rough edge”? No. I still mumble, don’t enunciate all the time, and often jumble up my sentences. It’s a process, but it’s a process that day by day is becoming more perfect.
I can find countless examples in my life where I actively identified my weaknesses. Months and years of effort have led me to improve in all aspects of my life such as fitness, relationships, communication, and more.
Over time it has created this perception that I’m a well-rounded individual. In reality, however, I’m just obsessed with addressing my “rough edges”.
Now It’s Your Turn:
I don’t want to bore you with my personal examples. I do, however, want to motivate you to become a better version of yourself.
There is this popular concept of becoming 1% better every day. Imagine what you could become if you took this approach for a year.
Unfortunately, it’s only when we have a spurt of energy – a “motivation high”- where we attempt to make strides in our growth.
A few days here and there are not enough to result in exponential strides.
Many of you who are reading this are in medical school. You know as well as I do that our time is limited. Days easily fly by causing you to ponder on where the time went. Please don’t regret forgetting to focus on yourself more.
Make your circle more perfect – today and every day.
P.S. I enjoyed writing this style of post. If you’d like to see more then go ahead and like the button below. I won’t diverge from the advice and tips which are the core of this site. Still, I enjoyed adding something new to the mix.
If there is something specific you’d like me to address in a future blog post, comment below or email me at [email protected].
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Until next time…