To take things slower, or to take a slightly different path doesn’t mean you’ve settled for less. It only means you are brave enough to be non-conventional. And its those who choose to be different that make a mark.
But to stand out you have to be the best you could be and it is through learning that you become a better version of yourself. It’s one thing to hear it from others but it’s another to experience it for yourself. After all, experience is the world’s most acclaimed teacher. Here are 7 lessons to be discovered from moonlighting. But who knows, when you give it a try prolly you get more intimate and interesting discoveries.
1. Beauty of rest – you will find the value of rest and margins. Given the usual busy schedule in medical training, to finally have time on your hands, you might become an impulsive spender of it. You don’t have to fill every blank space in your calendar. You’re not slacking. Not because you are busy you are efficient. Say yes only to the best, don’t settle for the good. Know how to prioritize commitments without sacrificing your personal quiet time and rest.
2. Live – learn not to live only for your sick patients. Live also for other beautiful things, nature, music, art, culture, language, faith and salvation. The color outside the hospital is more vibrant. Go see the mountains. Marvel at the sunset over the horizon. Travel solo. Listen to vintage music. Plant a vegetable. Raise a goat. Watch a cultural show.
3. Self-discovery – discover other passions other than doing a complete history taking or 1-try IV insertion. You must be stronger than you think you are. More capable than taking in the insults hurled to you by your seniors. Maybe you didn’t know that you could stand up for a cause. Or finish a 8/9 difficulty hike. Medicine will always be a noble profession. But there are other noble pursuits you could give a try and maybe you are meant to do both.
4. Unconditional love for people – learn to love in all forms. Serve because you love. Love genuinely and selflessly. Do not sacrifice because you have no choice. But sacrifice because you love. Don’t grow indifferent because you’re used to all the disappointments. Do not deprive yourself a breather. Do not hold back the tears. Rest if you must.
5. Adventure – do something that makes your heart pound faster. Wether that be getting lost in a foreign city, driving a pick-up truck or getting a job you haven’t tried before. Never limit yourself because people around you have stereotypical expectations. Be extra. Surprise them.
6. Reflection – moonlighting will allow you time to look back before looking ahead. Prioritize spending solitary quietness every once in a while. Reflect on what has been, strengthen your strengths. And let go of the things that hinder you and so easily entangles.
7. Courage – you will find the courage to go against the flow. The courage to stand up for your decisions. You will see that you are brave enough to not live for the applause of the world.
As doctors, whenever we are under-appreciated and weary we run to the comfort of the fact that we are a self-giving lot. But maybe, we’ve given too much that we have nothing left for ourselves. Again and again, we cannot give what we do not have. So allow your soul to breathe. And your spirit to come alive again. Stop looking at the timeline of others. Let your own story be uniquely authored. Give non-conventional a try, maybe its for you. Probably you’d rediscover something you didn’t know you lost in the first place.