Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Light at the End of the Tunnel...#MerryNewYear

...sort of. More like the light at the end of this tunnel but I have to go into another tunnel. * Bane voice* “You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man…” * Batman voice* “I was a boy, but now, I’m a bat!” Did I have a Batman reference on my previous New Year post? Maybe I should make it a thing… Alrighty then, let’s get to the annual New Year post.

First and foremost, I am thankful for the opportunity to share another post with you guys, it is a blessing that can be forgotten amidst the pursuit for self-growth. I am also grateful to be sharing this New Year with an additional member to my family, my second nephew. For the 2017 year, there are many things that I am grateful for. I set many goals and went into the year with high expectations for myself. If I was to rate my performance, I would say that I met 65% of my expectations. Although, I did not completely meet my mark, I experienced success and achievements far greater than I have experienced in my past, and for that, I am grateful.

In my previous New Year post, I recalled my journey chasing success, my days in the tunnel. As 2017 ends, I am able to see the light at the end of my current tunnel as I have just one more clinical rotation left until I get my DPT degree. I am going into 2018 with a clear vision and an attainable path before me. 2017 placed me in new territories as I stretched myself beyond my comfort zone, personally and professionally, and tried new ventures in search of self-growth and becoming accustomed to greater stress and work demands. These are the areas I struggled with and ways I am working to improve in each:

1)    Communication: My communication skills are turrible (big ups Charles Barkley). I recently finished reading the book “the 5 love languages.” Although this book is geared towards couples, I couldn’t help but insert my personal/professional interactions into the different scenarios. In 2017, I had goals that involved collaborative efforts, which I pursued, but failed. I was frustrated, even angry, blaming people for being flaky, lacking drive and ambition. Reading the book, I got a different perspective on my approach to collaboration. Co-workers, collaborators, and the likes have their own motivational languages. Some are motivated intrinsically, others externally. I realized I was speaking in ways that made sense to me and I expected others to respond like I would. This proved to be unproductive as I could not communicate my point across or get the response I sought. Not only was I not communicating in a way that would motivate them but I was presenting a task that had no tangible benefits to them. I now know that my approach should have been one that best matched their motivational language. I haven’t had much time to practice speaking other people’s motivational languages but this is something I will be practicing in 2018 as I hope to enter territories that may put me in positions of collaboration. Like other goals, I will start with small attainable goals and progress to larger ones. 

2)    Low stamina: Low stamina refers to my inability to maintain mental focus and high level of drive for extended periods. I fatigue quickly and become discouraged and distracted, which leads me to switching to another task or abandoning the task at hand. I have many projects begging for my attention and completion to no avail. This is a problem I have been facing and frequent readers of this blog know. I set targets to keep myself on track such as posting a blog entry at least once a month. I start then stop after a week or two, falling victim to fatigue. To overcome this, I have been exercising more, specifically doing more intense bouts of exercise that take me to fatigue. Exercising has become my form of meditation, especially in this intense form. By enduring and overcoming the physical deficits that fatigue causes, I progressively allow my body to manage stressors better. More importantly, overcoming fatigue is a process that builds mental fortitude. I think it was during a lecture that my professor stated that people will quit well before reaching their physical limits as a protective mechanism e.g. the inability to bite through one’s own skin even though it is well within the physical capacity of our teeth to do so. There is a cognitive barrier that limits humans and is difficult to overcome. Placing my body through progressively increased levels of stress, theoretically, allows me to overcome my cognitive barrier. I don’t have research to back this up but the body has the tremendous capacity to adapt to many circumstances as long as the right stimulus is provided. Hence, I will be running my first marathon in 2018 and enduring the training that comes with it! I have also picked up leisure reading, a pastime I once dismissed as being an idle activity. The sustained concentration required to read books is one that could be beneficial. Put simply, I will be engaging in any activity that requires high levels of concentration.

3)    Time management: Where do I start with this? God, my time management skills are terrible! I had the goal of improving my time management skills this year but did not fully commit to it as I had other goals. If I rated my performance this year, it was probably 10% of where I want to be. The goal for this year will be 80%, meaning timeliness for appointments and engagements, deadlines for submissions, and personal deadlines for blogs and such. As you guys know, producing consistent products on this blog is a recurring goal of mine that I get off to a good start with then fall behind schedule and eventually abandon (see stamina). Each attempt at a blog series was my attempt to get myself on a schedule to work on timeliness. As I will be making this goal a priority of mine this year, I will be doing the following: at least one blog entry (total 12) to this blog this year, releasing four projects (once a quarter), and redesigning my website and implementing a routine series that will be posted to on a regular basis (weekly). * thinks to myself* “WEEKLY POSTS??? BRUH, DELETE THAT, DELETE ALL THAT” (see reference:

In 2016, I got a taste of accomplishment and in 2017 I got a taste of success. For 2018, I will be loosening my belt because appetizer time is over. I plan on making more mistakes but I plan on being better than I was this year. Like The Rock said, “big dogs eat, little dogs…something something.” Don’t leave your plate around because the old Chuks is back.