Passion and Purpose
When we began school just over one month ago, one teacher said that she loves working with new students because “we haven’t gunked up your brain with minute details yet.” So when a guest speaker this week presented us with the challenge of defining our purpose, I think that the results that each of my classmates produced embody chiropractic philosophy in its most unadulterated form.
This guest speaker was Dr. Irum Tahir, a Syracuse chiropractor who has spoken at the White House after being named one of the top 100 American entrepreneurs under the age of 30. A graduate of New York Chiropractic College, she expressed a passion for entrepreneurship that inspired her to undertake a second workload- a business consulting service for fellow chiropractors- and her presentation style revealed that she quite obviously possesses all of the energy necessary for these dual endeavors.
Midway through her presentation, Dr. Tahir stopped and her office assistant brought around a half-sheet of paper to each of us in the audience, even insisting that our professor take one. Along the top, the paper read, “What is my purpose?” As simple as this question may have seemed at first, Dr. Tahir alotted a full 10 minutes for us to write our answer, and the classroom remained quiet throughout the full time as everyone put pen to paper, trying to encapsulate the mission that drives them.
Finally, our thoughts were interrupted as we were instructed to turn to our neighbors and discuss what we had written. We each seemed hesitant to share our thoughts, thinking that what we had written was too generic, undeveloped, or inarticulate, and that every one would sound the same. Indeed, many of us (including myself) expressed something to the effect of “improving the daily life of as many people as possible.” However, I contend that our common goal only makes us stronger practitioners; at its core, is this not the purpose that should drive healthcare providers everywhere?
I should note that this purpose was actually not the same for everyone. I talked with one student who said that his overarching purpose is to provide opportunities for his future family that were never available to him; we heard about another student who wanted to travel around the world with chiropractic.
Whatever the purpose that we wrote down, my hope is that in four years, when we have begun practicing, it still rings true. With many classes’ worth of information to process, and the philosophies of different segments of society struggling to have an influence on our decisions, it will doubtlessly be easy to lose track of our own values. But as Dr. Tahir advised, “When you are connected to your purpose, that is your passion.” And whatever purpose drove us to enroll in 10 trimesters of intense schooling is sure to serve us well in our careers.
So take a moment right now to reflect on YOUR purpose. Now, enjoy the relative anonymity of the internet and share it in the comment section below! Writing it down will help fully define it for yourself and may even inspire others. If you are stuck, consider this rule of test-taking at NYCC: your first impulse is often correct.