Take Control of Your Life by Figuring out WTF You Want (Blog #4 in series)


I work and coach with physicians colleagues who do great, amazing feats. They help babies, children, teens, adults, pregnant women, trauma victims, critically ill,  mentally ill, and those who have cancer or are dying. They give medicines, perform procedures or surgeries, identity pathology, develop plans that if they didn’t, patients would lose life or limb. They do all these amazing works BUT they are MISERABLE, extremely unhappy, empty. Then they experience shame and guilt about not finding fulfillment in their work.

They have trained for years, refined their art of medicine through continued practice, interacted with countless people and during all of this, forgotten or misplaced WHAT THEY REALLY WANT IN THEIR LIFE.

Quotes from my people…

“I really want to work from home.” “I married a beautiful woman. I want to be with her more.”

“I want to make an impact that doesn’t kill my sleep.”

“I want to be free.”

“I want a job that brings me joy and I don’t have to continually plan a vacation to get away from.”

“I want to raise my children. Me. Not the grandparents, the nanny, the babysitter. Me.”

“I want to be able to be myself. Not living in different boxes that fit the situation. I want to truly be there person I am in my job.” 

So please, write it down your answers to these questions

  • What I want in my life is…
  • What I need in my life is…
  • What I must have in my life…
  • Then tell me why. 

The next part of this journey is then identifying what your life would feel and look like if these were in it.

Lastly, how do you move closer to this? (That’s where having a great life coach comes in ? Helping dreams become actions so actions can produce the life and work you love)

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Errin Weisman DO

Errin Weisman, DO is the self-proclaimed wellness guru on Authentic Medicine. She is a life coach, podcaster and fierce advocate for wellness in medicine. She faced professional burnout early in her career and speaks openly about her story in order to help others, particularly female physicians and working moms, know they are not alone. Dr. Weisman wholeheartedly believes to be a healer, you must first fill your own cup. She lives and practices life coaching and medicine in rural Southwestern Indiana, loves her roles as farmer’s wife, athlete and mother of three.You can find out more about Dr. Weisman on her podcast Doctor Me First, her website truthrxs.com or hang out with her on social media @truthrxs. Her podcast is “Doctor Me First”. 

  5 comments for “Take Control of Your Life by Figuring out WTF You Want (Blog #4 in series)

  1. Pat
    September 4, 2019 at 12:14 am

    I dunno Steve. You never specified in what shape that returning cattle car of Siberian reeducatees actually found themselves. I think Lance is forthrightly challenging the hopeful metaphysics of the topic with hard reality. I think a great many physicians with loans, children, mortgages, alimony, office overhead, or the early signs of advancing age find joy only apart and away from work. Well-meant suggestions of awareness might read a little blithe when they cannot overcome those cold numbers. Does the trapped doc default on his loans, ditch the staff and leave town, ignore the child support payments and summons, heroically give the finger to the board of medicine when they investigate a complaint of being “disruptive”? Many of us entered into a game unaware that the rules had been changed prior to kickoff. Some of us, I pray, manage to like ourselves not because of what we do, but in spite of it.

    • Sir Lance-a-lot
      September 4, 2019 at 7:26 am

      As you imply, Pat, pretty much the only choice many of us have (and we know darn well what we want and how hard it i to get anywhere near it) when we want to retire is to wait ’till the kids are out of college and the parents are gone, pull the plug completely, sell the house, use some scheme to ship the funds overseas, depart for a pleasant island country where the cost of living is low, default on everything, and spend our remaining years on the beach.

      Any attempt to remain engaged with US society is likely to leave us pauperized, with no support of any kind.

  2. Sir Lance-a-lot
    September 2, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    Dr. Weisman, I’m sure you mean well, and are sincere, but… Really?


    Is this a trick question?

    I want peace and quiet, and to be able to spend time with my friends and family, keep up my house, and play with my toys.

    This isn’t a question of not knowing what I want, and I don’t think I’ve ever worked with a doctor who didn’t know what s/he wanted.

    The problem is knowing exactly what you want, but seeing exactly how you will never be able to attain it, short of winning the lottery, or receiving an unexpected inheritance.

    When I decided to give medicine a try, I thought that doctors made plenty of money, could make their own hours, and that I’d be able to pay off my loans and lead a successful life. I thought that at the least I’d be able to de better than my parents, considering that I had achieved a higher education level than they had. I also never considered that I might be entering a field that I could never quit, a sort of “deal with the Devil,” because once you’ve taken the loans and made the obligations, you can never go back.
    Wrong on all counts. As Steven Podnos pointed out in his post last week, I would need five million dollars in the bank in order to retire, and I don’t even have a small fraction of that. Also, if my own calculations are correct, I will be paying half of the average American’s rent every month to my student loan company through my seventies, if I should live that long.

    So I know what I want, and know that I want nothing more than to be out of medicine forever, but I know also that my odds of achieving those goals are 1 in 292,201,338 [5 of 69 white balls and 1 of 26 PowerBalls] and that otherwise, I must remain employed for the rest of my life with no chance of retirement or ever attaining the life that I thought working as a doctor would get me.

    Tell me, how does your crackerjack philosophy help me out of this jam?

    • Steve O'
      September 3, 2019 at 12:59 pm

      Perhaps just by realizing that feeling like you’re fked, used as wet meat by a heartless system that uses you up like soldiers in Vietnam, is the first step out of the swamp that REALLY HAS ALLIGATORS. Becoming enlightened is usually a bitch. Whatever works.
      The zeks in The Gulag all started out with the same assumption “why, this is some mistake!? They’ll have it sorted out promptly.” Every four cattle cars full that went to Siberia, one full one came back. Happiness requires you stop at Truth, but that ain’t happiness at that station, Lance.

  3. Steve O'
    September 2, 2019 at 7:31 pm

    Perhaps what you are doing, Errin, is trying to allow my colleagues the experiencing of pure and genuine interest, perhaps for the first time, in who they really are and what they really want. For some reason, the path to medical practice requires a specific, homogenized set of ungenuine responses, assertions, putative beliefs and values, that have somehow been chosen as the answers an ideal physician would give at the various stages of life; college, medical school, residency and such.
    Years ago, Jay Martin wrote a terrific book, Who Am I This Time? Uncovering the Fictive Personality (Jay Martin, ref. e.g. here and here.) So many live and die living fictive roles, often with the vague disquiet that we might not be exactly who the nameplate says on our doors.
    There are very few paths in the modern world which tolerate, let alone cherish, the development of the genuine self. I believe that training in the practice of medicine should be one in which growth of the genuine self should be mandatory.
    Sadly, it has become a path into which persons who are most facile in demonstrating indistinguishability are favored. It selects for the empty suit, for those who are timid about transgressing the limits of mediocrity; or rather, those who are the best at appearing empty and timid.
    There are real, live souls in the depths of most physicians; and often an element of despair and loneliness, feeling that their true selves cannot be revealed in the path which they have chosen. You offer the suggestion that that conclusion is incomplete. So bring it on, Errin. Do your stuff.

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