Advice from Grandpa

July 9, 2012 § 2 Comments

My Grandpa left a a valuable piece of advice on one of my earlier blog posts. For those that missed it, I have reposted it here. (Hope you don’t mind, Grandpa 🙂 .)

Don’t worry – be happy! Do not invent future problems – handle the ones that are there. Your conscious mind is not the only one working for you. A greater chunk of your intelligence works for you silently – and more efficiently when you do not stress too much or try to handle too much at the awareness level.

Grandpa Antonio

I read his comment several times, letting it marinate and really sink in. In the past several weeks, I have really come to appreciate the decisive degree to which our conscious mental state affects our unconscious selves, something which can eventually manifest itself physically. It’s only natural that our minds conjure up the alarming amount of thoughts that they do. It’s like that arcade game we used to play as children: the one where rats, moles, or some other kind of rodent would pop up out of the machine and you would have to bop it on the head with a cushioned hammer. Thoughts pop up from our pre-conscious and we bop the heads of the ones that we don’t want there, whether they are silly, negative, violent, hurtful, etc. A problem occurs when we allow some of these more negative thoughts to exist there, to set up camp and develop into something greater and more damaging. These are the “I’m not going to make it” or “I’m not good enough” type of thoughts. It’s dangerous to allow these thoughts a long stay because you could end up believing them to be true.

My Grandpa pointed out something I hadn’t considered. Not only do these negative thoughts or stresses weigh on your conscious, and possibly your physical being, but they cloud your mind and prevent it from processing other, more important things. If I’m stressing about my exams, summer internship, or anything else in the far future, I am doing myself an immense disservice. It fits a little with advice my mom gave me: that I should focus on the issues at hand because there will be new ones an hour from now, tomorrow, the next day and the day after that. It cuts down my efficacy and ability to reflect on the present when I entertain the stresses of the future.

I’m sure all pre-first year medical students are battling with the same fears. It definitely can’t be said that we are going at this alone or that I am experiencing anything different. I think the key at this point it to prepare, mentally, for the challenges heading our way. To learn whatever techniques we can and to spend this time before school starts learning how to better control our conscious.

Thank you again for your advice, Grandpa 🙂 It came at the perfect time.

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