At first glance, you might think that the picture to the right of this paragraph is of a pretty young lady taking a selfie in the mirror of the restroom. When you look closer, however, you’ll notice the time-stamp – 4:02AM! At the bottom of the photo you’ll learn that she’s at the San Antonio Medical Center, and that she’s wearing scrubs. Pay close attention to the caption – “24 hours down, 2 more to go.”
My daughter is a 3rd year Med School student and this photo was taken during one of her training shifts in the Organ Transplant Center. In case you were wondering …Med School is hard, VERY hard. Med School is demanding, VERY demanding. Med School pushes students to the very limits of their endurance (and sanity). This 26 hour shift is the norm, not the exception. This young lady is a BEAST and a BEAUTY!
I’m not sure I can explain exactly what motivates her to continue to strive toward her goal of becoming a Doctor(and she will be an amazing Doctor, probably the best ever). Author Brene Brown says “We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.” This young woman chooses courage every day and it’s not easy, she chooses to manufacture motivation when the supply runs short, she chooses to pursue her goals and will not be deterred.
That’s all well and good, but what’s the point? you may ask…
Well it’s simple, I’m afraid that I, and maybe most of us, choose ‘comfort’ far too often and we’re mostly motivated by the path of least resistance! HOW TRAGIC! Do you remember the British alt rock group Chumbawamba? The lyrics from their ‘one-hit’ are “I get knocked down, but I get up again, I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down” (feel free to sing along!) We all get knocked down, life is tough, bad things happen, no surprise there. What worries me is that I see so many people with the attitude that says basically “I get knocked down … and really it’s not so bad down here, it’s not great but maybe I’ll just lay here for a bit and get comfortable”. We often choose comfort over courage, I do, you do, we all do, don’t deny it.
I was thinking about what today might look like if I choose courage instead of comfort? I wonder what would happen if I did the same tomorrow? How would my life change if maybe I strung 3-4 days of choosing courage together?
What about you? Do you choose comfort over courage? If so, what’s your motivation? What are you hoping to accomplish by choosing comfort? How’s is going to benefit you, your family, your profession, and ultimately the world?