Most typical MBA programs require classes related to finance, accounting, economics, marketing, and management. These courses have a significant quantitative component to which most of the students, especially those with engineering and scientific backgrounds, can relate. My program also required a course on organizational behavior, which was focused on human resource issues and how to work with people. Many of my classmates did not like it because there were no definitive answers. They complained vehemently about this class, to the point where the dean started attending to see what everyone was complaining about.
Explore This IssueFebruary 2018
This was the right class at the right time for me, and the professor was inspiring. She assigned us a major project that was relevant given my mindset.
The assignment included taking 20 personality tests and writing about how you felt about the results, composing a personal mission statement, listing 10 short-term and 10 long-term goals to help you accomplish your mission statement, and writing an essay about what you would do for the rest of your life if you had unlimited resources.
This proved to be a very difficult assignment and required a lot of thought about what was important to me. Instead of leaving medicine, I realized the true value of my otolaryngology training and the enjoyment that I receive from taking care of patients and interacting with colleagues in our specialty. I also recognized that I needed to set my own expectations and path.
“The real joy in life comes from finding your true purpose and aligning it with what you do every day.” —Tony Robbins
I made several major changes to my life as a direct result of this exercise, including becoming more focused on my daily activities, moving back to Texas to join a single-specialty private practice group, and making it a priority to spend more time with my family.
I frequently refer back to this assignment and, remarkably, after 16 years, it still helps me to review it. I have successfully completed most of the short-term goals I listed and am still working on many of the long-term goals (although I don’t think I will ever play ice hockey).
All of us have complicated and busy lives. It is essential to sit down and figure out what you are trying to accomplish and prioritize your daily activities based on what is important to you. We are all fortunate to have many opportunities in our careers, which makes prioritizing our time even more critical.