Note #59: Why definitions matter

Success is a double edged blade (and how you hold it makes all the difference)

What’s up?

Publishing this on Saturday for the second week in a row. It’s a crazy time for me recently, and while I’m committed to publishing weekly, I am having to shift a lot of things around. I’m prepping for the second of my three exams and that’s entailed discussions (three hours every night except Saturday) with a group of friends I’m prepping with making time to write regularly is quite the challenge.

In the city centre where I live, there’s a little street fountain. I took this photo of it this week: I use the burst mode, because it allows super short exposures that allow you to capture moments like this.

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Defining success (essay)

This week, I wrote about how I’ve learned to redefine success in the course of my work, and why I think that’s been helpful in general.

Here’s an excerpt:

How successful you feel is often more about how you define success than it's about what you've achieved.

I learned that early on in my medical career. Like most medical students, I saw medicine in terms of the ability to work out a cure for whatever ailed people. I still see that in the medical students I get to teach on their psychiatry posting, both back in Nigeria and here in the UK. In fact, those among them who are less keen on psychiatry as a possible specialty often give their reason as the perception that people with mental illness don’t get better.

It’s a deeply mistaken perception, of course…

You can read the rest of the essay here:

This week’s essay

Strong women (quote)

I had this resurfaced by my Readwise this week—and if it ain’t the truth.

Holding knives (Yoruba proverb)

Speaking of how we define success, I leave you with a related proverb about how we handle knives:

Whether a knife injures you depends very much on how you hold it.

Success, too, is double-edged.

Talk soon,

Doc Ayomide

PS. The Being Human website and the weekly Notes on Being Human are both completely free, but I’m not averse to you buying me a coffee with the button below. :)

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