The wisdom of children
Several days ago me and my family were having a picnic near a beautiful lake of Kalviai (one of the best lakes to hang out near Kaunas). The way to the beach leads near a surprisingly interesting church and a statue of a fish which is said to fulfill your secret wishes if you touch it. Well, we said our 6-year-old if he wanted to touch it. I was expecting to hear some desire for a thing (what I was thinking is a likely statement from a pre-school kid). He came to the fish, touched it and said “I want to grow healthy and strong”. I still feel touched by the deepness and wisdom of the child’s wish.
In this materialistic world, many adults have a lot to learn from kids.
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How to remain healthy
As a doctor I often face people of the same age, but with fundamentally different health status. A 50-year-old may be in a significantly worse overall health condition than a 70-year-old.
And what I have noticed is that healthier people have something in common - they do not do certain things. They:
DO NOT SMOKE
DO NOT USE MUCH ALCOHOL
DO NOT EAT TOO MUCH
That’s almost it. It is THAT SIMPLE. Just avoid things that definitely damage your body.
But we tend to be weak and find excuses.
Think about this before you take your morning cigarette. Or before ordering at MCdonalds. Or before drinking the second glass of wine.
If this was easy we would all look and feel better. It is NOT EASY. We have to WORK to keep ourselves away from bad things.
Stay motivated. Stay healthy.
Can you WIN at medicine?
A very common mistake I notice among the best and most motivated young medical students and beginning doctors is that they are trying to achieve a complete victory.
To get the best mark possible. To pass one more, most sophisticated examination/quiz/test. To eliminate the disease. To WIN. And every time they start feeling successful - another question they have no answer to is asked, another and more prestigious examination is introduced, a new patient with a devastating disease arrives. And they try to WIN again.
I am not stating that perfectionism is bad.
The problem is that there will be no end to this. Medicine as well as being a doctor is a dynamic process with new and more complicated challenges rising again and again. Medicine is an infinite game (please refer to the concept of the “Infinite game” by Simon Sinek). Just like many other subjects.
You just have to put up with this. You must remember that you will never achieve a complete victory. Beware of burnout. You have to preserve and protect yourself, and be the best version of oneself for as long as possible. And later, be happy to pass your skills, experience and role to the upcoming generation.
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