There are days that feel like you’re running a hamster wheel. There are due dates, when the main 95% of the day is focused on turning in that assignment (the other 5% is making it through the snow, in March). They’re the seven-hour lecture days, when nestling into your bed will make everything better. There are your “typical” days, a big deja vu of the day before…and the day before that…
When you’re running the hamster wheel, “today” is a 24-hour period turned into one huge busy task. It’s coming to class for attendance, but not to hear the lecture for the next exam. It’s aiming for Friday, because you can’t miss a second of How to Get Away with Murder on Hulu after your last class.
The beginning of the semester typically starts off energized: new term’s goals are set, study plans in place, and, well, enough Keurig cups to power a small village. You know HTGAWM will be there for you after finals (and who doesn’t love a solid season binge with your friends, Ben & Jerry?). But it’s not uncommon to fall into the hamster wheel, making each day only worth itself.
Let me in on a little secret. Embrace. Tomorrow. Today. Now I can’t take credit for that sound piece of wisdom; you can thank Scott Steinberg, motivational speaker and author of Make Change Work for You. If you go by the old saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.” But embracing tomorrow, today is the antidote to insanity.
Treat today like a stepping stone over a rushing river. It’s not a destination, nor is it a resting point, but it’s a platform – a launch pad of sorts – to make it to the next stone. Embracing the future, whether it’s the future of a day, week, or three years, means making goals, a plan to reach that goal, and using today to make progress on that plan.
Embracing tomorrow could mean networking; reach out to mentors in your field, or professors and teachers, and see what they think about the “tomorrow” of your career, field of study, or class registration. It’s beyond being prepared – it’s being involved in how your future plays out.
I had the fortune of attending The Permanente Medical Group’s Shareholder conference this year. As you can guess, I was a kid in a candy store (or, a pre-med in a room of 3,000 Kaiser Permanente doctors). I was jetlagged from my red-eye flight from New York, and was not ecstatic about an early morning, but had I missed that day, I would have missed out on a wealth of information about the future. The speakers and keynote, Malcolm Gladwell, focused on the medical group’s excellence in healthcare – something the country deeply inspired by – but furthermore, how the group is coming up as the future, ideal standard of the healthcare model.
The discussions flying about how the highly organized organization of Kaiser’s multidisciplinary group practice addresses (may I say, even solves?) huge issues in American healthcare, just shuts down arugments that our system is doomed. If anything, “tomorrow” of healthcare is being embraced today, in a single group on the west coast. Aside from inspiration about the field, it reminded me that, when I came back to school from spring break, I needed to continue embracing my tomorrows (exams, junior year of college, graduate programs) today – by being involved, being connected, and accepting that tomorrow – and every tomorrow – is another stepping stone, not a chore.
Embrace tomorrow, today. Because you’re more than a hamster running a wheel; you’re winning a marathon of your goals.
Click HERE to win a free copy of Steinberg’s book!