In everyone’s life, there appear few milestones that we feel would be insurmountable. And, once you cross them, you do not know what to do on the other side. You never thought you’d get that far in the first place.
It happens to all of us.
Can you think of when it happened with you last?
It happened with me a few months ago. This post tells the story behind it.
As a dentist, my big goal in life had been to start a practice of my own. Having graduated nearly 3 years ago, it was a natural thought to have popped into my head. Here are some big reasons why I wanted to start a practice:
- Financial stability
- Being able to take more paid time off, on my own terms
- Fulfilling a dream I had as a child- to have my own business
- Solving an existing problem in the world of healthcare
- Being busy in a good way
- Feeling ‘needed’ by my team, colleagues, mentees and patients
While all of these are valid reasons to have a practice of my own, between my move from one state to the other, I was able to find jobs that were able to fulfill many of these goals. Yet, I did not anticipate that happening so quickly!
Sure, I juggle 3 jobs now and work a full 5-day workweek, something I have not done since graduation. I have lesser time to devote to my other side hustles, like speaking opportunities, teaching at the NDBC, and writing my second book, but I feel truly and unequivocally fulfilled professionally.
This post is about having big, overarching dreams that may sometimes be fulfilled earlier than you anticipate, and how to trust your instinct and go with the flow when that happens.
So, is it okay for your dream to change?
A lot of us millennials, especially of minority origin, grow up with a lofty sense of ideals- ideals that make us strive for a goal that may not necessarily speak to us, but speak more to our upbringing. We all went to good schools and became doctors, engineers and lawyers. And even though we have well-paying jobs, many of us are asking ourselves the same questions.
‘Why am I even doing this? Is this making me happy?’
We expect all of our dreams to be fulfilled by our primary career- the thing we went to school for. Here is an important lesson from my dad- ‘look outside your primary work environment, the world is huge, the opportunities are big!’
The last time I looked ‘outside’, I was compelled to put a pause on my dream of owning a practice and join a team of engineers to build technology for vaccine and PCR test administration in developing countries. I never thought I’d be speaking to non-profits and governments in different parts of the world, extolling the benefits of our technology to their immunization programs.
Yet, here I am and I couldn’t be happier and more grateful.
Here is a lesson for you
No matter which phase of life you are in right now: challenge yourself and say yes to opportunities that you had previously never thought of. It might just turn out to be the greatest adventure of your life!