A very special guest post

A doctor's story on finding the motivation to achieve his dream


What’s up everyone? I’m Sonny’s brother, Parvin, and jumping in for a guest post while my brother is out this weekend. First and foremost, I’m not a sales guy nor do I run my own newsletter. I’m an anesthesiologist in California and hope you’ll find some value in my thoughts.

Although it’s my job, I hope this read doesn’t put you to sleep, but instead makes you sprint into your week.

Let’s do this.

My version of closing deals

What am I doin’? Drake voice

I’m sitting here in a 24 Hour Fitness looking at 95lb dumbbells to press. The intrusive thoughts flow. Why do I do this to myself every week? Shouldn’t I feel like I made it?

I grind every day in the gym, meal prep, and take multiple 24 hour calls a month at the hospital. I thought crossing the finish line of residency was the end game, but I’ve kept my head down years later. Why?

Now, the gym is an endless pursuit towards the next max lift and in building the perfect physique. It’s a metaphor for life. You’re never really done. The enjoyment is in falling in love with the discipline to keep pushing your limits and in doing the work every single day.

But it got me thinking as to what has really motivated me. What’s pushed me through the ups and downs?

I do the same pose in 24 hr. fitness

The truth is that one of my motivations is that people want to watch me fail.

Now, I’m not trying to go full DJ Khaled on ya’ll. For the majority of us, the only people that genuinely want you to succeed are typically your parents, siblings, significant other, and a few friends if you’re lucky.

Some people may be happy for you, but the nature of humanity puts us up against each other. We’re born to compete. Oftentimes, people want you to be successful, but once you surpass them, the feelings start to change.

As you keep moving up in life, you can usually look back and find people who were rooting against you. Maybe it was a small comment, a jab, or an expressed doubt.

Now, just because you may have found success, don’t forget those people. Use them as fuel for your fire and also recognize that others will take their place.

I think about all the people that doubted me, discouraged me, and wanted to pull me down. I had a 2.9 GPA after my first year in high school. I had no goals or aspirations to become a stellar student. No one had any expectations of my success-not even my parents.

One day, something clicked to give me the drive to better myself. Probably my mom’s prayers after she saw my report card😂

When I did start to succeed, my classmates in high school looked at me like I didn’t belong. Like I would never be as smart or as successful as them. The way they made me feel turned into the wonderful gift of motivation.

In “Choose Your Enemies Wisely” by Patrick-Bet David, PBD covers the importance of having enemies for success. Tom Brady was interviewed by PBD and talked about how he was fired up by the doubt of being picked 199th. Then, at 37 years old, Brady had to fight off a young Jimmy Garoppolo. Brady’s final enemy was Max Kellerman telling him that he was too old. The bonus enemy was Bill Belichick and proving to Bill that Brady could do it without his former coach’s help.

Have you ever been doubted? Have you ever been discouraged? Use that as fuel for your fire to push yourself even when you might not be feeling it.

When I was three years deep into pharmacy school, I took the risk to apply to medical school instead. Honestly, I thought it would be impossible to get in. But luckily, I had a friend, Dan, who helped me in my mission.

The legend, Dan

Truth is, friends can only help so much. They can’t wake up early to study for you or fill out essays for applications. I was far into the pharmacy program and had a lot of ground to make up to make myself an attractive candidate for medical schools.

I could feel the doubters again. The people that thought I was reaching too high by leaving pharmacy school. They wanted to pull me back to their reality and where they thought I belonged…which was right alongside them.

I turned that doubt into fuel for my tank and pushed myself to see my dream through. I grinded through volunteering, shadowing doctors, studying like a madman for the MCAT, and sending out more applications than you can imagine.

I ended up getting into medical school off a waitlist a month before school started. It was real. It was happening. But it was only the beginning.

Medical school is where you learn to really prioritize what’s important. There’s school, social life, personal time. You can only pick two.

It’s a test for a successful life. Can you sacrifice pleasure? Can you delay gratification for 7-8 years? Can you take on the short term (8 years) of pain for long term success?

There are times I felt like it would never end. Luckily, camaraderie with classmates reminded me during hard times that I wasn’t alone. It was what I always wanted. I was around people who recognized we were on the same level and same mission. We weren’t competing with each other, but helping push each other along to a common dream.

Some of my old crew didn’t understand what it took to really be successful. They’d hit me with the guilt trips. I’d see their instagram stories and get messages around what I was missing out on. I felt them trying to pull me back to my old life. I had to leave my old friends and old life behind me. I said no to parties, no to hanging out, and no to anything outside of the gym and medicine.

Yes, it sucked to say no at first. But then I realized that there’s great mental strength and satisfaction in being able to push those temptations aside and strive towards your dream.

Eventually, it worked out. I got into the residency program of my choice and successfully became a practicing anesthesiologist in California.

We made it, fam.

This week, remind yourself that you have two options :

  1. Become the version of yourself YOU want to be

  2. Become the version of yourself that others want you to be

Choose wisely.

I wrote this to motivate myself and remind myself of one of my “whys”. I hope it motivated you as well ✊🏽

Don’t let anyone distract you from your dream. Don’t be afraid to take the path less traveled for fear of failure. Let the doubters fuel you. Always drive to strive.

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