Something to keep in mind when things at first seem insurmountable. Keep at it.
And a related quote to think about…
“The emerging picture from such studies is that ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert—in anything,” writes the neurologist Daniel Levitin.
Dr. Benjamin Carson is a neurosurgeon and the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He operates on an estimated 300 children per year. In 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award that a civilian can receive.
This past Thursday (February 7th, 2013), Dr. Carson spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast. President Obama and Vice President Biden were both in attendance while Dr. Carson weighed in on Healthcare Reform, our national debt and government aid.
Dr. Carson’s style is refreshing. He never identifies a problem without proposing a solution. His knack for weaving in personal stories while making a point makes for a fun and relatable talk.
One of my favorite quotes is, “They are breathing the same air I am.” I say this small but powerful phrase to myself quite often. I find myself saying it before I get in front of an audience or before I meet someone who really inspires or impresses me. I also say it when I see or meet someone who is impoverished, sad or needs help.
Why do I say it? To me, this little phrase helps me put things in perspective. It is a reminder that we are all human and almost identical at our core at both a physiological and an emotional level. We all have basic needs (food, water, air, love). We all have worries, goals and plans. We are all self-conscious, have regrets and are aware of our faults and failures. We all need a purpose and to feel a sense of belonging to someone or something.
When I say this phrase, I feel less intimidated, more empathetic and more aware. It helps me stay grounded and at peace with what I am doing and who I am talking to, helping or learning from.
It’s a simple but powerful phrase. I’m really happy to share it with you.
Isn’t it amazing how powerful the arrangement of a few words can be on our thoughts?
I have a few other little “life hacks” like this one that I can’t wait to share with you in future posts.
The Shark’s Phrase
But before I sign off, I want to share another phrase with you that I came across recently. This phrase is used by Barbara Corcoran. You might know her as one of the sharks on ABC’s popular show Shark Tank – one of my favorites. Barbara shares one of her favorite phrases – “I have a right to be here” - in the video below. Take a peek at her video (below) to listen to how and why she uses it. It’s become one of my favorite quotes recently.
What are some of your favorite phrases? When do you use them and what effect do they have on you? Please comment below.
There is no doubt that healthcare is in the midst of undergoing a massive transformation. We are witnessing changes in terms of compensation models (e.g. pay for performance), corporate structures (e.g. consolidation of private practices) and healthcare coverage mechanisms (e.g. the advent of health exchanges, new rules placed on private insurance providers and changes to Medicare/Medicaid).
What might be the most significant change the healthcare industry is experiencing, however, is its adoption of healthcare technology. The tattered manila folder overflowing with paper and ink is being replaced by computers, smartphones and tablets. This change has been and will continue to be associated with growing pains, but they will be far outweighed by the long-term benefits of going digital. It will allow us to share, collaborate, learn from and predict things like never before.
For instance, just for a moment, imagine not having to fill out the same damn forms over and over again.
Or picture easily booking and managing your appointments online.
Or imagine your doctors being able to securely access your records and collaborate with one another from anywhere and at any time.
Or fancy syncing the data that you’re collecting on your mobile phone or glucose reader with your medical record so you and your doctor can track your progress over time.
We aren’t far from these fantasies becoming our reality. And it will all be made possible by healthcare technology. To assure you that this change is well underway and has the consumer interest to support it, check out this cool infographic below, which I found on Rock Health’s blog (highly recommend).
NOTE: I was actually going to just post this infographic by itself because I thought it was so neat, but I let my crazy passion for health tech get the best of me. So that’s all for now y’all. I got to get back to work… Enjoy!
Oh, and if you have any comments, questions, insights or suggestions – comment below (I read and appreciate them all).
I was inspired to publish this blog post when my really good friend, Daniel Kmetz, sent me an email. In the email was a note that Dan recently sent to our elected officials that expressed his concern over the government’s possible infringement on the rights guaranteed to us by the second amendment to the Constitution of America. I thought this note was so good that it had to be shared. When I asked Dan if I could post it here, he loved the idea. And I hope you enjoy it too. If you do, please pass it along.
So here you go, a note from my buddy Dan…
To my elected officials, As your constituent, I strongly urge you to oppose any legislation that further infringes on my 2nd amendment rights and does nothing to prevent another national tragedy like Sandy Hook. As a 23yr old medical student and responsible gun owner who believes in liberty and personal responsibility, I am appalled at the role the federal government, more specifically the executive branch, is playing in politics today.
Ben Franklin said, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” The politicking of our President and liberal skew of the media has led Americans to believe we live with too much liberty, and that the government should take some of that liberty in order to ensure our safety. Thus we see a President issue 23 executive orders to satisfy the emotional response of people, all the while making them believe that more gun control will work. We have real-time case studies in our President’s hometown and his current city, where gun rights have been stripped from law abiding citizens and the crime rate has not changed. Criminals do not seem to care whether illegally owning and using a gun is against 4 laws, 5 laws or any number of laws, because by definition criminals do not obey the law. Is our President the right person to be ordering the entire country to take the same action that failed in his own hometown in the hopes it magically works on a larger scale? He has proven his ignorance on the issue. In addition, taking guns out of the hands of law abiding, mentally stable citizens is proven to increase violent crime rates and home invasions (cite: real-time case study, England and Australia).
Do not make me a criminal. I am a student studying the amazing intricacies of the human body and especially complex brain with the promise of using that knowledge to heal my fellow man. I understand that the mentally unstable should not be allowed to own guns and I encourage you to shape your laws to prevent criminals and the mentally unstable from getting guns, but it must be done without further infringing on my 2nd Amendment rights.
I urge you to support legislation to enhance school security and improve our nation’s ailing mental health system by doing more than just throwing money we don’t have at the problem. Mental illness should not be taboo, it should be openly talked about and understood. It is a disease, same as pediatric leukemia, same as AIDS. Do we not discuss nor treat the former because it is so sad and difficult to confront? No. How about the latter for the shame brought on by its method of transmission? No. How do we create that same open, understanding environment for the mentally ill and our troubled children? I believe educating our teachers on mental illness will help them identify and properly manage troubled children. Early prevention and thus early treatment is the key here.
Please reply to me indicating your ideas for how to prevent future tragedies and your stance on gun rights. I would like to know whether or not you believe the federal government, more specifically the executive branch and our President, should be allowed to call for or bypass congress to produce legislation that infringes on certain rights our Founding Fathers found so important they guaranteed them to every American. I am very disturbed by our President’s recent actions to disgrace these rights by overstepping his powers, especially given his proven ignorance on the issue.
I love Quora. Like Wikipedia, Quora has so many brilliant people donating their time to thoughtfully respond to users’ questions – it’s amazing. Recently, I saw a question – What are the most powerful healthcare IT trends for 2013 in your opinion? – that I felt I could weigh in on. I’m no brilliant gent, but I certainly hope others will take something from my response. It will be fun to see how the year pans out (and also to – in my own little way – have a role in shaping the future of Health IT). The response is below, as well as the link to the original Quora post. Enjoy! Oh, and if you think I missed one, feel free to share in the comments section below.
I could not agree more with the importance of continuing to educate yourself to remain marketable and relevant in any market. The greatest news? It is now easier to do than ever before.
In a future post, I will share what sites I like to visit in order to try to keep me sharp. Until then, visit my Top Shelf page to visit a few brain-boosting resources. I put them there for you.
Today, I stumbled across a neat infographic that prompted this post (below). It quantifies how overvalued higher education seems to have gotten.
By no means am I saying a college or graduate degree is a bad idea. I’m young now, so it’s unknown at what capacity my degree will help me in the future (and it’s almost impossible to quantify the ROI of higher education – do you measure it in monetary figures? In relationships? In the joy of understanding the world around you? I’m starting to sound like my philosophy teacher now…).
In addition to giving students the ability to think critically on a variety of problems far more complex than they would have faced as a high school student, college gives them an opportunity to take the time to identify what they might be interested in. Furthermore, one of college’s underestimated perks is the social education it affords students (connecting with people with different cultural political backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses).
Nevertheless, despite all of its perks, I do think that higher education is overpriced. I also think it instills a false sense of security in graduates – making them wrongly believe they are entitled to a well-paying job. The infographic below quantifies my argument rather well. Take a gander at it (if you dare learn).
Do you think higher education is overvalued or is it priced right?
I became a full-time entrepreneur almost exactly one year ago. Yay.
Or should I celebrate?
Before I took the dive, I was a student at Washington and Lee University and an analyst at a successful medium-sized company operating in the insurance industry. I learned a lot at each of these stops. I paid and was paid handsomely to do so, respectively. Yet, I strongly believe that I have learned more as an entrepreneur than I did as a college student and as an analyst…combined.
In other words, I am saying that it took me just over 365 days to learn more valuable skills “on my own” than it took me to learn under the tutelage of well-regarded professors and business executives over the course of thousands of days.
Mom and Dad, my primary financial and emotional backers during my tenure at W&L, probably won’t be thrilled to read that aforementioned bold statement. However, I have a sneaky suspicion that this occurrence is not all that rare. In fact, I suspect that many folks who have dived head-first into the start-up life could either personally identify with my conclusion or at the very least consider it a realistic possibility.
The Two Factors That Set Learning on Fire
In my opinion, there are two primary ingredients required to literally make your brain’s appetite for learning fanatical; they are:
When you have to learn to survive
When you want to learn because you love the subject matter and/or what it empowers you to solve
That’s it. If just one of these factors is fulfilled, an unbelievable amount of learning can take place. If both are satisfied, watch out – that is when the need and hunger for learning will remain ravenous until the student has survived and the problem has been solved.
Now, take a moment to think of an entrepreneur bootstrapping a business operating in an industry they love and solving a problem that has personally caused them pain. This unique situation fully encompasses the two aforementioned factors: 1) it forces the entrepreneur (student) to learn in order to survive and put food on the table and 2) it makes her crave knowledge in order to build and propel her product or service out into the marketplace to solve a problem that has personally afflicted her.
This unique and awesome experience exactly describes my life in the past year, which is why I can testify to the validity of these factors, or at least provide them as believable rationalizations for my conclusions (after all, how do you measure the value of certain things you learn?).
I wonder how many people crave learning and if, perhaps, those who unfortunately have a distaste for it merely do because they feel too comfortable, are not working on something they enjoy and/or that solves a problem?
Becoming an entrepreneur has taught me a number of things, but among the most important discoveries it has taught me thus far is that a sound indicator of a life well lived is one that entices an insatiable appetite for learning. And to correct a life devoid of that need and desire to learn, try integrating one or two of the factors I’ve found to successfully set it afire.