Let’s face it. This year will be one of the most challenging times for you. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by your schedule and caught up with everything that you have going on. And while some pre-meds move through this time with ease, not thinking much about what it takes to make it, most of them do not.
And there’s nothing wrong with that, because with a little self-confidence and motivational cues, this time of you life can be a little less stressful than you would imagine it could be. To remind you that you already have what it takes to successfully make it to the next stage of gaining admission to medical school — and push you to become even better than you even know you are — here are 10 quotes:
Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really: Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.” -Thomas J. Watson
Lesson: This year may bring a lot of ups and downs, but despite any downfalls that may come along, it is important to stay positive and push through the tough times.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something–your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” -Steve Jobs
Lesson: There are many paths to becoming a doctor. If your true desire is to practice medicine, trust that your passion will take you in the direction you need to go, regardless of if you understand the path it is taking you on at that moment. Getting into to medical school, becoming a doctor – trust and believe that it will happen.
“Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down.” -Charles F. Kettering
Lesson: Don’t ever give up on yourself or your dreams of becoming a doctor. You may stumble, you may fall, but what matters in the end is that you get your butt back up and keep it moving.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
Lesson: If you’re going into medicine and pursuing a career as a doctor, and it’s for all the right reasons – don’t turn back on your dreams. If this is want you want to spend your life doing, you’ll be happier doing it than not doing it. Explore your options. Dream big dreams. And discover what makes you happiest in the end.
“People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed. Similarly, when someone is failing, the tendency is to get on a downward spiral that can even become a self-fulfilling prophecy.” -Tony Robbins
Lesson: With your junior year upon you, there will be an endless number of things you’ll need to do. You may feel drained — physically, mentally, emotionally — but it is very important that you keep an upward momentum. Yes it will be difficult at times, but it’s necessary. This is the path in life you have chosen and what comes with the territory is what comes.
“A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.” -Vince Lombardi
Lesson: You must believe in yourself as a pre-med before any medical school will ever believe that medicine is where you want to be. And even if you experience self-doubt, you can teach yourself to believe. When fear of the unknown, fear of difficult situations, fear of a mistake begin to make you doubt yourself, turn it into a way to motivate yourself instead of letting it rain on your medical school parade.
“Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength.” -Corrie ten Boom
Lesson: Don’t be a worrywart! If you worry about things you’ll be wasting your mental energy on things that might happen instead of channeling that same energy to make something happen. If you find yourself worrying, make a real effort to take a step back, look at what lessons could be learned from a situation (a different approach, a different reaction) and learn from a situation that didn’t go as planned and change any negative things you are tell yourself.
“Going through difficult times and figuring out what does and does not work are ultimately the reasons for success.” -Steve Dabrow
Lesson: How you make it to medical school and how some other pre-med gets to medical school will be different. Your stories will be different, your challenges will be different, your obstacles will be different – it will all be different. Forget about how others are doing it and figure out what will ultimately work best for your. Forget everybody else. Write your own story and create your own way. Once you are able to figure out what works and what doesn’t you’ll be that much closer to getting into medical school.
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”– Napoleon Hill
Lesson: Anything that happens to you will make you a better person, better medical school applicant, and better doctor in the long run. In this case the adage about what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger is true.
This article was published in the September/October 2014 issue of PreMedLife magazine.