Find Your ‘Why’

Why do you do this? Why do you get up in the morning?


A professor told us in lecture that he remembers his ‘why’ everyday.


No, that’s bullshit. There will be days, weeks, god forbid even months, when you forget. When you can’t remember why you do what you do, why you’re awake at 3 in the morning nursing a sick foal whose owner can’t possibly pay you back in full. But you keep going – because you remember that you had a why, at one point in time. I don’t care if you forget your why – I just want to search for it, when you have lost it. And once you find it – if it no longer drives you, don’t keep chasing it. It’s ok to change your mind, it’s ok to change direction. You are not a failure if you no longer want to practice surgery, or small animal medicine. Go to a different practice – leaving a place that is bad for you for whatever reason is not a sign of weakness. Going into industry halfway through your career, going back to school for your PhD and pursue research are not the ‘dark side’ – they are important, and valid ways to change your career path and the direction of your life.

My ‘why’? I want to make the world a better place. I like my ‘why’ – it keeps my options open, lets me pursue different ways to make it happen. I also don’t like it – because there are days when I screw up, and there will be many more. There will be days when I fail. That doesn’t make my ‘why’ invalid, and it doesn’t make me a failure. It just makes having a ‘why’ more important – without it, I have no reason to keep pursuing a DVM.

Finals are coming up, my class has starting signing up for clinics and finding externships and preceptorships; first years are enduring their first vet school finals week, third years are buckling down in clinics. Stress and sleep deprivation often make us forget our ‘why’s. Over break, maybe we should take some time to remember them.


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