In 2015, I found myself in a really difficult place as I was emotionally lost. After spending over 20 years working hard to achieve my goal of becoming a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at one of the top orthopaedic hospitals in the world, which I thought would be a job for life, things did not work out that well. The job had both clinical and academic components, and there were several roles that I was expected to fulfil. This meant that I was stretched between research, teaching and clinical commitments. The intradepartmental politics in both the clinical and the academic institutions were intense.
My twin daughters were born during this time and the stress I was experiencing at trying to do the best I could at work was affecting my family life. It just was not fair on my daughters to have a mum who was tired, irritable and absent even when I was in the room with them.
Something had to give.
After several months of tossing it backwards and forwards in my mind I...
When I went to medical school I was excited but I was also anxious about many things such as
– Would I like it?
- Would I make any friends?
- Would I find it to difficult?
- Is this the right course for me?
Sometimes those feelings were overwhelming. I found studying anatomy particularly hard as there were hundreds of new words and structures to learn and remember. And this was during the ‘good times’ when I could meet other students and go into class for lectures for support.
I can only imagine how much harder it must be to study during COVID, where in some countries, social distancing and lock down restrictions are still in place. A lot of universities have had to restrict their teaching facilities due to COVID and for a lot of students this means distance learning. That can be lonely and demoralising. Keeping a check of your mental health is so important and over the next year I will be writing a lot more about that.
But in this blog and accompanying video, I...
Did you know that sometimes you sabotage your chances of success in developing a new habit before you have even started it?
But did you also realise that you can accelerate your chances of reaching your goals by making some simple small changes?
The environment you create for yourself can make all the difference between success and failure.
Let me give you an example. If you are trying to lose weight, but every day you have a habit of buying a cake or doughnut on your way home, this will not help you lose weight. You know that you need to stop buying that doughnut because you are not stupid. But if you keep passing that same shop on the way home, your brain will automatically send you signals as you near the shop that you need to go in the shop and you need to buy a snack because it will taste sooo good and make you feel sooo much better – which to be fair it does… for a minute or two, but then you spend the next hour beating yourself up about giving in to...
Start a Habit
A habit is a behaviour that you have repeated so many times that it becomes automatic.
Habits can be actions such as brushing your teeth. There are several complex steps involved in this activity that you probably have not thought about in several years. In order to brush your teeth, you need a toothbrush and you need toothpaste. You then apply the toothpaste to the toothbrush and then you need to put the brush on your teeth and move your hand up and down so that the toothbrush actually cleans your teeth. This is an action that you have repeated so many times that you do not even need to think about each individual step, your brain knows what to do and it just happens automatically. (which is probably a good thing because if you are anything like me, you will still be half asleep when you brush your teeth )
But habits can also be thoughts. For example the decision to brush your teeth in the first place is not one you think about – you just do it...
Your success at university will be determined by the mental attitude that you bring with you. Staying positive, focussed and self-motivated will be essential skills you need to learn. Making this a conscious process will put you in far better position towards being successful. There are some very easy and clear steps that you can take now to help you on your way.
When you change from school to University there is a massive shift in so many aspects of your life. You are on the road to becoming independent and will have so many choices ahead of you in all aspects of your life.
At home you have to live by other people’s rules; the rules of your parents, the rules of your family, the rules of your school, the rules of your culture or place of worship. These rules have shaped who you are today so far, but now you are starting a phase in your life when you decide what you want to do and when you want to do it.
In every aspect of your new life you will have choices. You can now...