Archive for tag: motivation

Looking to the Future

What is the thing in life that you want the absolute most? How many times do we ask ourselves this? I figured it was time for another philosophical exploration here on the blog.

Whether you're still in the planning stages, full on into your training experience or career, or a supporter of someone who is training for a career in medicine, motivation and goals will always be a big part of the training experience. It's so easy to get disillusioned by what it is that we're doing. It feels so endless. I can't say how many times I've had friends, family, or significant others comment to me that I work too hard and have no time for rest, relaxation, or even them. Sometimes it's a lonely and miserable existence to be in medical school. And now that we're all depressed... Motivation is so important--especially now as my countdown is in full swing and I'm starting to think about what comes AFTER school.

I have to give a shout-out to my classmate Julia, who honestly keeps me sane (or less borderline insane) a lot of the time. This weekend we're planning a "vision board" exercise to plan for what comes after we're finished with school. If you're not familiar with the concept of vision boarding, it's pretty simple, and a lot like arts and crafts in kindergarten--but with purpose.

Get a cheap piece of poster board, some old magazines, some glue sticks or tape, and some scissors. If it inspires you, grab a bottle of your favorite beverage and a clear spot on the floor and spend some time thinking and planning about what you want--either short term, long term, or just what you want out of Life. There are no absolutes. I've seen people with vision boards of houses, careers, decorating ideas, healthy living, etc.

I'm looking forward to this exercise. It's been about five years since I've done one of these. Maybe some of my goals were a little bit different; maybe some were the same. Nothing has to be set in stone. As we grow, our goals and desires change. I know one thing that will definitely be right in the middle of that vision board. I want to be happy.

Happiness means something different to everyone. Maybe for you it means a house and a family, a thriving practice, a fancy car, a big garden. For me, it means fulfillment--and laughter. I guess I see a lot of the other things as extraneous. They might be nice, but it's not something that I need to live. But being happy--that's like breathing. When it feels like the world is crashing in, when there are too many tests and I'm being pulled a million important directions, when all I want to do (but can't) is not what I'm supposed to be doing, or when there's some kind of crisis (for me or someone I care about), I have to have a sense of humor. I have to be able to laugh, because I'd much rather laugh, than cry.

This week, like many other weeks, we have exams and projects to work on. I'm coming to the end of the quarter for the master's program at UWS and through midterms here at NUHS. Distractions abound. Fatigue sets in. And thankfully, I have some pretty awesome people (thank you Julia, Grey and Forest, and many others) to remind me to find my motivation, keep my sense of humor, and keep going.

For those of you needing a "feel good" moment, for those starting to feel that fatigue set in, for those that are maybe feeling a little bit lonely in their journey--this video is for you. I hope it lifts you up and gives you a great big smile this week, like it did me.

Have a great week everybody!!!! Laugh. Be Happy.


Boy, do I have a BIG case of Senioritis! We've talked about motivation before, about how to stay motivated, studying for midterms, etc. But this is a whole new level of short-timer's syndrome. Surely you all know what I mean. It's -- day before vacation, Friday afternoon, last week of school -- syndrome. The unfortunate thing is, I don't think I'm classified as a senior yet. 

Last week, Forest (age 14) and I were talking about school. It seems that we're both lacking in motivation (except I seem to hide it a little bit better). During this conversation he said to me, "Mom, I've had senioritis since the 5th grade" -- to which I laughed. He's in 9th grade now. But I know exactly what he means. Being in 7th Tri provides just a bit of a tease regarding being done (writing business plans, talking about practices, etc.). The fact that we keep talking about clinic is a pretty big deal. We've already started talking about schedules. It's coming quick. I can't wait. As far as Forest and his senioritis, he's got a good bit longer to go than I do. It'll probably be a bit more of a struggle for him than for me. Until then, we'll have to keep tabs on our goofing off and not doing schoolwork.

(Image source:

One thing that people don't really talk about outside of school (at least it seems that way) is variation. When you get to cadaver lab, you'll see how vastly different things are from body to body. Sometimes an artery is on the medial side of the muscle -- sometimes the lateral. Maybe there's a split in the vein and maybe there isn't. I happen to know that none of my nerves in my head and face are in the "right" spot. I have a condition known as a Chiari malformation. I tell everyone that my brain is too big for my skull -- which is actually true (but still funny). But the fact that the junction where most of the cranial nerves exit is lower in the head has made for interesting positioning as far as the rest of them. My dentists are always (not) amused if I need work done. And we figured out that regarding acupuncture of the head (on Saturday), it's not necessarily a good idea for me.

So, regardless of the condition or the modality, it's important to remember that not all people are wired the same, have the same sensitivities, or respond to therapies the same way. There is no "one size fits all" approach. The idea of "protocols" is a trap that we can fall into -- but we have to keep in mind, that our patients are individuals with unique bodies and unique needs.

Dave and Ricky

In Modalities this morning, we were experimenting with TENS units. Since it didn't happen last week, I wasn't going to include it in this week's post, but the reactions were priceless. Ricky and Dave decided to "exercise" (or maybe it was exorcise, LOL) the digitorum profundus.

Have a great week, everybody!!!!

Motivation and Inspiration

It must've been sometime around my sophomore year in high school, when I was taking World History, that I realized that if I had motivation to do something, anything, it would get done. It wasn't that World History was all that difficult; it was that I had absolutely no interest in it. I had no motivation--whatsoever. 

Finals are the time when I have to find the motivation to keep going--when I have to find things to keep me motivated to make it through. So, below I am listing a few things that are giving me motivation.

  1. As of the writing of this blog article, I have approximately 625 calendar days until I graduate.
  2. In 9 school days, Tri 5 will be over.
  3. Tomorrow, I'll learn something that I didn't know today.
  4. Both of my kids will soon be on the same school schedule (High School -- yikes!).
  5. Part I of Boards is the first week in September (good and bad -- but a milestone, nonetheless).
  6. In less than 2 weeks, I'll be on break, which means I can refocus and take time (even though I'll be studying for boards).

This is just a smattering of things floating around in my head.

Sometimes, we need a little inspiration. This morning I heard board pass rate statistics (Go National!), which are not too shabby. I've caught a few videos on YouTube and Facebook encouraging me to keep going (a little bit of inspiration never hurts). I've been sent a million cute pictures of cats and maybe even more quotes superimposed on beautiful mountain scenery.

The best motivation, however, is the desire to know. I look at most of my classes as a tease. We're exposed to some small snippet of factoid about some condition, some biochemistry, some physiology, or some treatment. It might be enough to pass the boards. It might even be enough for some people to use in their practice later on. But for most of us, it's just a primer for what we need to know. Every time I come across someone that has an issue that I don't know the answer to, it encourages me to learn--the more obscure the issue, the greater the learning opportunity. These opportunities fuel me.

Finals start this week. Adrenaline keeps me moving, but inspiration keeps me going. What motivates you? What inspires you?

I wish you great fortune on finals, everyone. See you in a few weeks.