If you're thinking about becoming a doctor, you can click on the photo above to find out more about the long path to earning that title. This post isn't about learning to become a doctor but about one of the things I've learned from watching my amazing older daughter decide NOT to keep following the path she started.
When she was young, she liked watching medical dramas on television. From middle school or maybe earlier, she wanted to be a doctor. In particular, she had her sights set on becoming a psychiatrist. During one summer, she earned her EMT certificate by completing an extensive training program, riding along with an ambulance, and passing difficult skills and knowledge tests. In college, she took all of the required classes to fulfill a pre-med curriculum, even through the difficulties of taking a semester abroad and having to enroll in some laboratory classes remotely during COVID times. She loved and excelled in many of her classes in college, but many of the pre-med classes were not her favorites. Still, she's a tenacious, smart, strong person, so she stuck to the plan and powered through.
Sometime before her graduation, she decided not to apply directly to medical school, but instead to get a job that would give her medical experience and allow her a break from an academic existence. She got an amazing job at a COVID research lab. There, she learned to draw blood (yes, she's a phlebotomist), got certified in various haz-mat-level safety protocols (BSL-3), and ran important studies connected to COVID and its co-morbidities. Her work was, quite literally, life-saving. As powerful of a learning experience as the job was, she didn't like it. She didn't enjoy doing what she had to do to become a doctor. She decided to pivot.
Instead of thinking about what she wanted to be, she started to consider what she liked to do. She's always been a social person who thrives on being surrounded by others. She's always been organized and good at seeing what needs to be done. She decided to try to get an office job in a totally different field, finance.
Because she's personable, smart, and organized, she found a new job she was excited about pretty quickly. When I heard her talking about the new job, describing her assigned responsibilities, I was filled with happiness for her. When she spoke about what she was doing, her voice filled with excitement and joy. Rather than thinking about what title she has or will have, she was talking about what she gets to do in the company. And now, at last, she is doing what she likes to do.
How would all of our lives be different if we focused not on what we could be but on what we do? Any ideas to share in the comments?