In his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey calls Habit 2, “Begin with the End in Mind.” By this he means that you must keep your goal in sight as you move toward it. He says that all things are created twice: once mentally (in your mind) and then physically (in reality). The mind creation is the effort of keeping the end in mind.
So, how do you keep the end in mind when you are overwhelmed in your first term in chiropractic school? Even if you have been successful in your undergraduate work, you may feel a bit overwhelmed as you start on this new educational process. But there is no time like the present to begin thinking about your goal: successful practice startup. Here are some ways to be more goal-directed as you start out:
* Keep an open mind. There will be lots of people telling you what to do, how to practice, when to start, where to start. Many doctors and advisors will tell you they have the secret. You will be making new friends, and they may also want to tell you what to do. But remember that the only person who knows what will work for you is you! Having an open mind means listening to everyone and taking note of their opinions, but not jumping to conclusions.
* Look around. See what clubs and organizations are available on your campus. Visit some that look interesting. Be selective about what you join right now; remember your first priority is getting through school.
* Keep a journal. Record your daily thoughts about practice. Yes, daily. If you don’t write daily, you’ll forget what you were thinking. You might want to consider carrying a small notebook in your book bag or purse, or using a PDA to record your thoughts (in notes or audio). Then every month or so, put your most important thoughts into a more formal notebook. Look at the notebook at the end of every term and see where your thoughts are at that point. You’d be surprised how much your thinking has evolved over this time.
* Create a vision board. One of the most powerful things you can do to make your dreams a reality is to make them tangible and visible. Find photos of your ideal life, your ideal location, your ideal practice, cut them out and assemble them on a bulletin board or poster board. Keep them in front of you. Some people put these pictures on a bathroom mirror, where they can see them every day. Change your pictures every term, to keep your vision fresh.
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