I had my 10-min tutoring session today where I brought up in passing my 2018 impossible goal. We didn’t spend much time on it because I had specific questions, but just enough to bring up some doubts in my mind about whether I have chosen an appropriate goal for myself.
I’m a medical student. My goal is to achieve a score of 100% on my exams in 2018. I should determine a goal exam, but I don’t know yet what my exams will be at the end of 2018. If required to make this goal concrete and measurable, I will register for a standardized exam that would help me get a license in another country (which I am considering anyway). So, I could have the impossible of obtaining 100% on this standardized test by Dec. 31st, 2018.
This goal is so impossible for me – I have so many reasons why it’s not possible. I even had a clear thought come up shortly after I settled on this impossible goal which made me think it was probably what I really should work on. The thought was: “but that’s not who I am.” The idea, which I understood from your intro video this month, is to become the person who would get 100% on their tests, not necessarily to get 100%. There are people in the world for whom this is possible, but it’s definitely impossible for me – the current me – and it brings up a lot of anxiety for me especially because of all the reasons why I am telling myself that this is impossible.
I am hoping to learn study skills, discipline, keep commitments to myself despite how I feel on any given day, etc. Days on clinical rotations can be long and exhausting, physically and emotionally. For the sake of my future patients, the more I learn, the better doctor I will become (I have many of the “soft” skills of a doctor, but could work on expanding my knowledge base). In fact, the more I learn, and the greater my knowledge base, there is the potential for me to become more efficient in my work. I also work around other commitments, like a young family and finishing a PhD, but I want to learn all the great things that you teach around mind-management because this area of my life (academics) is where I spend most of my time working from ingrained behaviours that do not serve me, and where I engage in the most buffering and avoidance. I feel that this impossible would help me apply concepts that you teach, like constraint, upholding commitments to myself, choosing priorities, etc.
What do you think?
Thanks so much 🙂