Today I was walking through the hospital to the cancer Institute, like I do every morning, when a glossy photograph of a neurosurgeon in the hallway caught my eye. I’d seen this collage of pictures on the wall hundreds of times, but today it hit me:
I can do anything.
Neurosurgery is actually the last thing on my career list, but today I remembered that if I truly wanted to do it – I could. If I decide that my heart truly sings when it’s transplanting lungs, or threading catheters through veins to remove a blood clot, or rushing off in a helicopter to the scene of an accident, or finding new herbal treatments for cancer – I can do it.
But this wasn’t always my future. My roots were born where Christmas didn’t happen every year, the government paid for my school and my lunches, and I knew the stale taste of food banks. My childhood friends have grown up to flaunt their bare bodies for money, and I have no doubt that my future wouldn’t have been much different had I not driven myself to pursue something that I believed was impossible. This wasn’t something that was handed to me or something I stepped into.
You have to have a vision – one that you create. One that you don’t have to push yourself towards because it pulls at you. You have to gain the passion and the unwavering confidence to know that even though the other guy has a million things you never did, you can fall seven times and stand up eight. You’ll show up earlier and work harder and longer, and you’ll be happier the whole way through – because this wasn’t something that was handed to you.