Dr Cat’s Essential Qualities Needed for Success in Life
I believe that ambition, determination, perseverance, and hard work are some of the essentials to success. I am blessed to be where I am now with my career and my life but I also think it is important for people to remember that success does not come overnight, nor does it come easy and I, like everyone else, have had to struggle and fight. It took an enormous amount of sacrifice, studying, and always doing extra to go above and beyond to get a perfect SAT score, then to get into and graduate from Harvard, then medical school at UCLA, and then two competitive surgery residencies (16 years total). Just like anyone else, I had moments along the way where I felt tired, discouraged, frustrated, or that the finish line felt too far. Maybe it was during that all-nighter trying to finish a paper, maybe it was that organic chemistry exam that was extra challenging, maybe it was spending Saturday night in the anatomy lab dissecting a cadaver, maybe it was the 5th page in the middle of the night covering facial and hand trauma in the ER having not slept for 2 days in my surgery residency. Whatever that moment is that is bringing you down, we all have them.
I often get emails and messages from students or young people asking for advice on life or how to become a surgeon. The best advice I can give is to always stay strong and never give up. In those moments when you feel the most tired, the most frustrated, or the most disappointed – dig deep and find the strength to keep pushing ahead. Know that those moments are the ones that define you and your future success. The biggest steps are the hardest to climb but once you do, you have climbed so much higher. If the path towards your dreams were easy, then anyone could achieve them. What will set you apart is your ability to overcome the most challenging moments, and embrace them. Know that you have the strength within you. Ambition, determination, perseverance, and hard work.