Procrastinating and The Feeling of Failure

Someone Else’s Island

“If you believe you can accomplish everything by “cramming” at the eleventh hour, by all means, don’t lift a finger now. But you may think twice about beginning to build your ark once it has already started raining” –Max Brooks


Last week was my last week of pre-clinical phase, that means next semester I’m going to work as “intern” in hospital. It has been three and a half years since I got in medical school, countless hills and valleys, happiness and sadness. But this is not the end yet, there are many terms and condition we (medical students) have to agree on to graduate from the clinical phase, two of them are passing on every cycle (respiratory, cardiovascular, urogenital, etc.) and finish our research. Most of medical students are smart people, they could easily understand human body physiology and memorize important information about many diseases, but not all of us are diligent. At least, not diligent enough to finish our research which usually takes over six months.

This semester, almost all of my friends are working hard finishing their research (I’ve finished mine last year), they sacrifice many weekend and playing hours to find journals, testing their hypothesis, and writing the thesis itself. A close friend of mine didn’t however, he play games and wasting time more than the previous semester simply because this semester we’ve easier cycle. Despite our suggestion (and help) to him to work on his research, he said that he could finish it in two weeks if he wanted to. He is a stubborn man, so most of the time we would retreat and avoid any confrontation, it’s his research anyway (which doesn’t have any correlation with us). Last week is the last time we could submit and have an exam of our research, helplessly he said that he wouldn’t make it and hope he will make it to the second term (so instead of being intern next February, he will join the other graduates next April). It is only two months difference, but that also means he will be apart from us and have to struggle with new friends.

I respect him for his choice, not everybody want to graduate as fast as possible anyway (although we have to pay $1800 for every semester). But an unexpected things happened last Wednesday when we were briefed for our sign up to the hospital. When the administration staff were telling us what to do to sign up as interns, he was irritated by the length and repetition the staff made although we were there for only ten minutes or so. He talks about how unnecessary the briefing is, the repetitive question asked (there are few question repeated), and why he attended (he could go though). Usually he plays with his iPad whenever he bored, but this time he complained a lot of unnecessary things. As a human observer, I know what happens. He felt his failure, it strikes him just then, the feeling when your friends area graduating and you don’t.

He could have graduate together with us if he is serious about the research, we would help him as my friends and I help each other, but he choose the other path. Well, I don’t intend to bad mouth him, he is my friend after all but I want to share a lesson, a real case to study from life. Procrastinating is easy, it felt good at the time you do it, but in the end it’s you who will suffer. Remember this story whenever you start feeling lazy to complete a project.

“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.” –Michael Landon Jr.


About Journeyman

A global macro analyst with over four years experience in the financial market, the author began his career as an equity analyst before transitioning to macro research focusing on Emerging Markets at a well-known independent research firm. He read voraciously, spending most of his free time following The Economist magazine and reading topics on finance and self-improvement. When off duty, he works part-time for Getty Images, taking pictures from all over the globe. To date, he has over 1200 pictures over 35 countries being sold through the company.
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