A few weeks ago my yoga teacher Katrina shared something that has really stuck with me. A speaker at an event told her that everyone either has to choose a path or choose a destination.
If you choose a path, you trust that whatever situations or events along the way are the right ones. You trust the process. You see where it takes you and know that it will work out.
If you choose a destination, you do whatever it takes to get you to that place. You might change paths and make difficult decisions, but you trust and accept that they are what will help you get to your goal.
Naturally I started to think about my own life. I think most people would consider going to medical school a “destination” choice — becoming a doctor is the destination. However I don’t feel that way at all. Medical school is such a huge unknown. There are so many different directions my life could take.
- What specialty I choose determines my future schedule, income, day-to-day tasks, residency length, and more.
- Where I end up matching for residency determines where I’ll live, at least for a while.
- After residency I could choose to work in an academic setting, private practice, physician group, or one of the many other practice options.
- All of these things could affect my relationships and potential family.
So basically, my destination is totally up in the air. Instead I feel that choosing to go into medicine was choosing to trust in a path. Right now I know I love learning about medicine, I love the patient-doctor relationship, and I want to be able to heal for a living. That’s about it. That’s what brought me to medicine.
Other than that, I’m just trusting that the choices I make and the places they take me will lead me to a destination I am happy with. I am getting involved in activities that inspire me, developing relationships, and learning as much as I can.
This path I’ve chosen, while long and difficult and sometimes insanely frustrating, also feels so wide open. I make a consistent effort to overshadow the, “loans and regulations and long hours, oh my!” feelings with a more optimistic I can literally do anything approach. I have the opportunity go after wild, crazy dreams. So many of my options seem fascinating and fulfilling, so I know that I will end up somewhere that makes me happy.
For now I am enjoying my path.
- Do you have a path or a destination?
- Here’s a fun game – what type of doctor do you think I’ll end up becoming?