What do you do when your destination isn't what you expected

Sep 12, 2022
Close-up of a doctor's eye in surgical cap and mask with an exclamation mark on a yellow background.

What do you do when your destination isn't what you expected? 


My kids are now teenagers feeling some pressure to decide the direction to pursue in their lives.  More school or work.  Sales, service or creation.  


I remember the butterflies I felt when answering those frequent questions as a teenager:  

What do you want to be?  

Where do you want to go?  

Who do you want to become?  


Not knowing can seem paralyzing.  

Not knowing can make us feel trapped and stuck.



Not knowing does not mean we have to stand still and do nothing.  

Not knowing can mean there are many options to test out.  

Not knowing opens the door to dabble wherever as long as you learn something.  

Not knowing means we must try something new as we remove the No's until we discover our HELL YES.  

Not knowing translates to anything is possible!  

From Peter Pan
What if I fail?

Oh darling, what if you fly?



All through high school, undergrad, med school and training, I never stopped growing and learning.  I loved learning.  But I learned more than radiology, surgery, or OBGYN.


I began to learn who I was, who I wanted to be, what speaks to me, what feeds me, what fuels me and where I wanted to go.


Docs are smart, hardworking, driven, goal oriented, accountable and resilient eternal students.

When I look at what I’ve done.  

How long it took. 

How much I have overcome.  

How much I have learned.  

How focused I have been.  

How driven I am.  

How much hard work I have been given.


I am proud.


But the past is not a guarantee that I can glide on auto-pilot.  


I realize that for many years, I clung to a mindset of ease and safety that guaranteed me more of the same.  That perspective guaranteed me one thing - I would go nowhere different.  

I would remain planted, stuck and stagnant.  

I realize I can become addicted to who I am.  It’s safe.  It’s easy.  It keeps me in the same place.  

Do I want to be in this same place in 10 years?  20? 30?

I don’t.

I discovered that I thrive on growth and progress.

The antidote to suffocation is expansion.

I learned that wanting to stay where I am and not change is an ego trick that keeps me safe in the same place rather than evolving into more of me.  

Excuses help me avoid the discomforts and uncertainty of a detour and throw me into a prison of paralysis.  


It took crisis after crisis to force deviations from my stagnation.

And lead me to breakthroughs of which I am most proud.

Even if they felt horrible at the time.

Actress Sophia Bush says:



I need to remember that I yearn to expand my knowledge, skills, networks and experiences.  That is how I make my dreams come alive.


Medical training may be over.  

But my life training is far from done.  

I will never stop growing and evolving.  


Rather than be paralyzed in fear and uncertainty, what if I were curious?  

What if I kept learning?

We love learning.

Just like premed – med school – residency- each job and – each stage of life, today is a new beginning.  A new start.  A new opportunity.  


As much as my medical knowledge and experience continues to grow, my life experience must match or even exceed it!


I am never done.  

I am always work in progress.

I will never stop learning and growing.  

I love evolving and becoming a better me.


How do you relight the flame? 


What do you want to learn to make your future better?


We want to know.

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