By: Sergio Santolo
I was sitting in a coffee shop the other morning after a bike ride when I saw a man reading The Path by Christine Gross-Loh and Michael J. Puett.
The book discusses the views of Chinese philosophers on how one can find and live “the good life.” Although I have yet to read it, I was inspired to think about my own path and whether or not I create it.
Some argue that since we don’t get to decide the nature and magnitude of the events that occur in our lives, we must then not be able to create our own path, but I like to think we create our own path based on our interests, fears, and on how we choose to react to different situations in our daily lives. Thinking this way can help us see the value of our decisions and the impact they have on our future.
Just like many others in my program, I want to pursue medical school because it is where my passion lies, or so I thought. After reflecting more this year, I seem to have adopted a new perspective that I feel might be helpful to others in a similar situation.
I used to believe that different diseases, medicine, anatomy, physiology, and all that good stuff was my passion in life; however, after a long reflection, they’re merely just interests (and strong ones at that). I had to dig a little deep, but my true motivation and the reason I decided to pursue medical school in the first place, was based on my passion of human life and my desire to have a meaningful influence on others. With that new insight, I’ve realized that learning about diseases, medicine, anatomy, and physiology are all just mediums by which I am driven to live out my life with purpose and passion.
If you find yourself questioning your program and/or struggling to determine what career is the right one for you, I highly encourage self-reflection. I personally like to turn my phone off and go for a long bike ride to help sort out my thoughts. Whatever your method may be, take some time to reflect on your interests and what motivates you to work hard. It’ll likely take some time, and you might have to be a bit selfish about it, but eventually you will begin to find meaning in the things you excel at and better determine what drives you.
Sergio Santolo blogged for the Student Success Centre from 2017 to 2018.