Ok, before you attack in the comments section, let me elaborate a bit. Just yesterday, I graduated from Georgetown University with my first advanced degree. As how these things usually go, I’ve been getting the question, “So what’s next?”. Usually, I have a master plan, very methodically thought out, with a back up plan B, C, D and E which are just as robust, all the workings of an anxious mind. However, this time, I have no such plans. Nothing in the works and nothing concrete. “I’m going to spend the next year preparing for the MCAT and investing into my business, my personal brand,” I reply frankly, not feeling guilty or unsure as I usually did if I didn’t have things worked out. Usually, I would have been in full panic mode by now. However, I have tracked my growth over the past few years and attribute this change in approach to my change in attitude.
The commencement speaker for the Biomedical masters program from which I graduated from was a renowned novel prize winning physicist. There was a singular goal to his speech, and it was to be memorable, but in a completely different way to what “commencement speeches” should be or look like. Tribe, I kid you not, I was transported back to my early days, struggling through general chemistry lab, trying hard to focus on my sleepy and rushed handwriting of a lab manual experiment I prepared for just the night before. He demonstrated the properties of nitrogen oxide and how the “coldest thing known to man” was surpassed by his work. He came alive, speaking of his groundbreaking work, studying the cooling of atoms and how these principles have revolutionized areas such as conduction, super cooling and physics how we live our lives and how the very theory, the fabric by which most understanding of the subject was bound by, was stretched and expanded by individuals who dared to ask “What If?”. Apart from the exhilaration of seeing an experiment conducted live on stage, I took three very important lessons from this address that I would like to share with you, in hopes that you will reflect on these ideas for yourself over the rest of the year.
The first lesson I learned was that you shouldn’t believe everything you hear. Over this year, learning what I have learned about the benefits of integrating the best of what science and research has to offer medicine, I cannot help but awknowlege the major shifts in dogma that must occur for us to ever achieve goals we have set for ourselves. With the proper foundation, one who wishes to challenge the way things are should be celebrated and encouraged. Too often are viable resolutions overlooked because of the way we have chosen to think about things. Reductionistic, non pliable approaches, especially to a complex idea and theory such as health, can be counter productive and limit the possibilities based on comfort in systems we have created. Instead, we are urged to seek truth, in all its forms. The second lesson is to not take yourself to seriously. Over the course of my studies, I have been introduced to several mind body techniques that not only helped me realize I have the ability to manage things without stress, but to also know that my abilities, are in truth abilities gained because of hard work and patience. (Imposter syndrome is real y’all). To chose to conduct an experiment on stage during a commencement speech was an instresteing choice, but one that one cannot ignore was ultimately one of the greatest speeches ever listen to. In sharing his passion for his work, the entire address was a testament to do what you love and love what you do, and never take yourself so seriously that you forget how to connect with yourself.
The third, is don’t try to be memorable. Don’t ever walk into a room with the intention of being better than everyone else. Don’t focus on weaknesses you have, but rather your strengths. Be confident in who you are, your abilities, your journey, your identity and know, inside and out, that the path you are on was the path you were meant to walk and always has been. Trust the process, trust YOUR process. Be responsible for the energy you emit. By doing so, you have no choice but to be memorable without even trying. Remember, the key to happiness is being holistically you. Have a great evening tribe!
Link to my program if you are interested in Complimentary, Alternative and Integrative medicine and it’s application in health outcomes. We would love to have you! Congrats class of 2018!