Dare to Dream Physician Travel Podcast

Ep 96: Dare to Dream Physician 2.0, Hosted by Dr. Amy Vertrees

May 29, 2023 Dare to Dream Physician Episode 96
Ep 96: Dare to Dream Physician 2.0, Hosted by Dr. Amy Vertrees
Dare to Dream Physician Travel Podcast
More Info
Dare to Dream Physician Travel Podcast
Ep 96: Dare to Dream Physician 2.0, Hosted by Dr. Amy Vertrees
May 29, 2023 Episode 96
Dare to Dream Physician

Dare to Dream Physician Resources:

DM me on FB, IG, or LinkedIn  to learn more about travel hacking with credit card points to get free flights, lodging, and more!

Get a bonus with Rakuten AND support the Dare to Dream Physician!
https://www.rakuten.com/r/NEODEN2

Dare to Dream Physician, Life Planning for Physicians
https://daretodreamphysician.com

DreamPhysician on Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/dreamphysician/

LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/weili-gray-md/

Dr. Amy Vertrees'  Resources:

Boss Business of Surgery
https://www.bosssurgery.com/

Business of Surgery Series (BOSS) Podcast
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/boss-business-of-surgery-series/id1601568503

BOSS Business of Surgery Series on Spotify Amy Vertrees, MD on Spotify
https://open.spotify.com/show/4uVQ1nxdjDNP7Koil84cyo?si=f0bbfaf61b134ad5

Dr. Amy Vertrees on LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/amy-vertrees-md-20192a8b

BOSS Business of Surgery Series on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/groups/249619353796932

amyvertreesmd on Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/amyvertreesmd/

@AVertrees on Twitter
https://twitter.com/AVertrees



*** Are you a physician who would like to discover and live your best life now through travel? ***
Join the Dare to Dream Physician Travel Facebook Community!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/878895016552178/

Show Notes Transcript

Dare to Dream Physician Resources:

DM me on FB, IG, or LinkedIn  to learn more about travel hacking with credit card points to get free flights, lodging, and more!

Get a bonus with Rakuten AND support the Dare to Dream Physician!
https://www.rakuten.com/r/NEODEN2

Dare to Dream Physician, Life Planning for Physicians
https://daretodreamphysician.com

DreamPhysician on Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/dreamphysician/

LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/weili-gray-md/

Dr. Amy Vertrees'  Resources:

Boss Business of Surgery
https://www.bosssurgery.com/

Business of Surgery Series (BOSS) Podcast
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/boss-business-of-surgery-series/id1601568503

BOSS Business of Surgery Series on Spotify Amy Vertrees, MD on Spotify
https://open.spotify.com/show/4uVQ1nxdjDNP7Koil84cyo?si=f0bbfaf61b134ad5

Dr. Amy Vertrees on LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/amy-vertrees-md-20192a8b

BOSS Business of Surgery Series on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/groups/249619353796932

amyvertreesmd on Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/amyvertreesmd/

@AVertrees on Twitter
https://twitter.com/AVertrees



*** Are you a physician who would like to discover and live your best life now through travel? ***
Join the Dare to Dream Physician Travel Facebook Community!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/878895016552178/

Welcome back to another episode of the dare to dream physician podcast. So, this is a very special week. This week, March the second anniversary of the dare to dream physician podcast. Uh, it was an early 2021 when I had this. Crazy moment. Where I felt called to start a podcast. It was a really frightening thoughts and it really would have been easier if I did not follow through and just let the idea pass. But something compelled me to, to go for it. And now 95 episodes later. I'm so grateful that I decided to just start despite feeling like this was a crazy idea. And. The scariest thing that I could imagine doing. The dare to dream. Physician has always been about imagining. The life that we want feeling. To make sure that this is, this actually feels right. And if it does feel right going for it. I'm so grateful to be sitting here still podcasting. After two years. I looked it up. And the average podcast lifespan is about six months after the six months. Most podcasts are either abandoned or become irregular. There were definitely weeks in the last two years when I miss putting out an episode. But I keep coming back to it because I've really loved doing this. And during these two years, I've learned so much. And I think the part that I love the most is that I just learned so much. From having guests come on and being able to ask them whatever. Questions. I have. And, feeling like I made a new friend after an amazing conversation. So whenever I questioned, and there were definitely moments in the last two years when I questioned, should I really keep podcasting? Usually when, when I have those doubts in my mind, the next thing I know I will be coming out of a session interviewing someone really amazing. And just feeling totally energized. By the conversation. And so two years is a really long time, especially when you combine that with the intention to grow. And especially these times, Where the world has just changed so much in two years. And I've also changed, which is why about two months ago, I even changed the name of this podcast to the dare to dream physician travel podcasts. And the reason why I did that was I had a similar feeling that I had when, when, when I first felt called to start my podcast. But this time, that feeling was that I needed to change. I needed to revise something I needed to pivot. And again, Even though I had all these doubts and fears the week that I put out the first episode, reflecting. The dare to dream position, travel podcast. I just, it just felt right. I knew that this change was right and I'm, I'm so excited about where the podcast is going. So this week to celebrate the two year anniversary of this podcast, I'm actually going to do something a little different. If you are a regular listener of the podcast, you may recall episode 60. Where I got to interview Dr. Amy vert trees. Who is this amazing general surgeon who had opened her own surgery practice in Tennessee and in so many aspects and work and in life, she's an absolute boss. And in fact that's where her platform is called. Her platform was called boss business of surgery series. And recently I had this. Absolute privilege of being interviewed by Dr. Victories on her podcast. And wow. She is just a phenomenal host and interviewer. I was blown away by the conversation that we had. At first during the recording. And of course after the recording, I have forgotten what we talked about. Until she publish. Until she published the interview last week. So I listened to that episode and immediately. I asked her if it will be okay for me to share the same conversation on my podcast. In a minute when you start listening, you'll know why I wanted to share this. She was. Just this amazing conversationalist. Our conversation started with the roots of what inspired me to start the dare to dream physician. Then talking about throughout these two years, how life planning has impacted my own life. The other thing that was so special about this, it was that. As I was listening to this. I realized it was just so fun to be on the other side. Of the interview. By listening, I'm watching Dr. Trees and action as an interviewer. I just, I learned so much. And, I know that just, being in that conversation with her has. Helped me grow as an interviewer. She asked me so many insightful questions, Anne offered her insights and, and as a result, um, it really, this conversation really to me really summed up. The version 2.0 of the dare to dream physician. So I'm so excited to share this with you. But first I wanna give credit where credit is due after you listened to this interview. If you, didn't know Dr. Trees, you will want to know more about her. And this is great timing because she has a book coming out next month. It's coming out June 20th, 2023, and her book is called, become the boss MD. And you can subscribe to her podcast as well. Her podcast is called boss business of surgery series. And it's on all the podcast platforms. So please check out her platform. She speaks, especially to surgeons, but really to all physicians. And, I'm just so grateful to have had this opportunity. To connect with her. Okay without further ado. Let's dive in. I'm here today with Dr. Whaley Gray. She is the dare to dream physician and she has so much to offer about, you know what? What is more to life than all the things we've been telling ourself. You know, just before we started recording, we were talking about the compare and despair concepts and all of these things that we do to make our life miserable. She has created her mission in life. Is to let us get out of our own way, start daring to dream and really starting to allow ourselves the richness of life. And so I'm so excited she's here to talk about her three questions that she asked herself and, and offers us to ask ourselves so we can really understand like the true depths of life. And so I'm really excited for all that you have to offer. So Dr. Gray, tell us a little bit about yourself. Oh, thank you. Thank you so much for, for that introduction. Um, Dr. Amy and I am so excited to be here. Um, you, I've interviewed you on my podcast before and, um, you know, such an amazing conversation that we had. So I can't wait to talk to you today. And one of the things that I said when, you know, when, when we were interviewing on my podcast, as I said, I have a special place in my heart for surgeons. Um, they're, they're just such amazing people. I love. Their craft. I, I just have such an appreciation for it. Um, so I'm a practicing, um, sleep medicine physician in rural Vermont. I'm a hospital employed physician. Um, and, but, um, my previous life I, my primary specialty was actually anesthesia. Um, so I, you know, worked a lot with surgeons in, in my, um, in, in my residency. And, um, but not only that, when I was in medical school, I actually. You know, loved surgery. Like I was so enamored with that rotation, um, and seriously considered going to surgery in, but I was one of those people when they said, if you can think of doing anything else in your life that's not surgery, then go do that. So I did take that advice to heart, but as a result, I just, you know, I, I, I love the, or I love the craft of surgery and I have such a high regard and appreciation for surgeons. Um, so couldn't do without you. I'm so. So, I mean, he had to choose to be the anesthesiologist cuz he can't all be surgeons. Good grief. You do the hard stuff. We do the easy stuff. You keep'em alive when we do stuff. So, so, um, so yeah, so that's my background and I am, um, married with, um, three kids, um, ages six, nine, and 13 at the time of this recording. Um, and actually, uh, I'll just, you know, very quickly tell you my. Story, you know, I was, um, even though I thought that I was, my life was gonna be okay cuz I didn't pick surgery. Um, my burnout started actually, um, shortly after I graduated medical school because, um, uh, my husband and I, um, we got married in my fourth year of medical school. And as I was matching, um, as I was. You know, selecting places to put on my match list. Um, I started feeling really nauseous and I was like, what's going on? Um, well it turned out I was pregnant and we were expecting in, um, October of my intern year and. That was like the first earth shattering thing because I was always more of a like, let's follow the path kind of person, you know? And, and the path was really not, you know, getting pregnant for your intern year. So, um, isn't that funny how life has its own plans? Yeah. But it was an adventure We survived and I think that was a lot of survival mode that we did, you know, my husband and I starting, um, as an intern. Um, and, and so, you know, as part of survival, doctors are really good at surviving. But, you know, eventually burnout can catch up to us. We get overwhelmed. We sort of, you know, I was really good at doing the things. I'm like, I show up to work. I can pass these tests, I can study. Um, but I really put my life on the back burner, even, you know, with, with a, a baby as an intern and throughout residency. And so, um, so I did make it out on the other side of burnout, um, several times. Um, you know, I had another burnout in what I call the midlife crisis, um, about. Five years into my, um, attending, you know, my, my attending hood. Um, and, and actually that's when I discover life planning. Um, and I, um, was kind of questioning like, should I even go into medicine? And, but the reality is, and when I learn after this whole. Sort of painful inquiry is that I absolutely love being a doctor and yes, you know, I should go into, I should have gone into medicine that was the right choice for me. Um, but there are things about medicine that's a challenge for all of us, right? You know, the, the pr um, the sort of the practice management side, the, the feeling, loss of autonomy, loss of respect, you know, all of those things. And I have to say, you know, um, now I'm. Seven and a half years into being an attending. Um, and a couple years after I had that, you know, sort of crisis in, in my early attending, um, career and, um, and I'm at the same job. I'm actually happier than ever. I'm, I love going to work every day and I, you know, I, I just feel like, um, I am living the dream. Um, and, and I didn't get there, you know, without, without a bit of, um, work. Um, and both, you know, internally and externally. Um, and so that's, so it all started actually with these three questions that I love to, you know, share with your audience. And I think it's especially relevant for surgeons, um, because. You guys have dedicated so much of your life to, to the craft of surgery. Um, you, you've, you just spent so much energy and time and, um, probably at different points of this training in your career, you have put your life on the back burner. And, and so, you know, if, if that's been the case, you know, today is the day, you know, for you to really start thinking about. What is it that you really want out of your life? And surgery could be a very important part of it, but I, I guarantee that there are other parts, um, that, that we all want to discover and cultivate. And so let's go into the three questions, if that's okay. Yes. I was just thinking too, you know, when we have these episodes of like burnout or big things happening in life too, I mean there's this, this whole generic concept of never waste a crisis. You know, we could get, we could get stuck in a crisis, but really what these happen. Why these happen is that it allows us to pause for a minute and really reflect and see. So I know a lot of people are feeling, you know, medicine itself feels like it's in crisis, and I think these questions have a lot of clarity to offer us, um, or that we can, the questions allow us to offer clarity to ourselves. About really what we want out of life too. So in that respect, you know, I think that this pause and, you know, the great resignation and the staffing shortages, I think what it is, is everyone is in kind of an existential crisis and we have to figure out what we're gonna do next. Um, so I'm really excited to offer some clarity for this. So take us through, so there's three questions. Let's talk about the first one. Yes. Um, and I wanna just say one, um, response to what you just said. One of the, and I didn't make up this quote, but I, I love this quote. Um, I heard a doctor recently share their sort of burnout story and, um, they, they said this sentence, which I loved, which is I made my worst day into my best day. Yes. And that's exactly it. You know, like something horrible could happen. Like you could have, you know, like a complication or. Um, get fired from your job, but you know, you, you have the power to make your worst day of your life into the best day of your life by just what you decide to do. And I heard that something similar too, where, um, you know, you think your life is pretty good and, you know, just simply asking yourself, what if this is only a two out of 10 on the scale? This is Brooke Castillo. She's like, you know, you think you're having a great day. What if this is like the lowest end you're gonna have? Because then we start expanding, you know, Our mind of thinking that maybe there's actually, maybe life could even be better than that too. So we start really seeking out the possibility that life could be great, and we want to be even better than we ever thought. That is so true, and that's, that's really using our imagination. And, and as doctors and especially as surgeons, you know, we're, we're, we're often using the left side of our brain. And so let's, so, so for this episode, let's, let's imagine and use the right side of our brain. So question number one is a fun one. So the, the three questions in life planning, um, question number one is I want you to imagine that you are financially secure. That you have enough money to take care of your needs. And if you're, you know, feeling like you're, you're, you have to, um, you're responsible for others in your family, you know, for them too. Now, in, in the future, the question is how would you live your life? Would you change anything? Let yourself go. Don't hold back on your dreams. Describe a life that is complete, that is richly yours. I love this because, I mean, I, and I know that you know this too, but you know what always gets in our way is that we worry like, I won't have enough money. I don't know what to do. You know, all these thoughts that come up in our mind that block us from really imagining the possibility of what our life could be like. And so when you pose this question to people, what are some of the responses that you get? Yeah. Yeah. This is, and, and by the way, this also happens to people. This, you know, this is the next important exercise even for people who are financially secure. Cuz the reality is even it's like, when is enough? Enough, you know, is a million, 2 million, 3 million, 5 million, 7 million, like it. So you could get into this space where it's like it's never enough and you never. Get to even imagine this question because you're so, you're spending so much energy on thinking, well, will I have enough? Um, so that's why that, because like everyone implies that there's a certain number in the bank that we would feel reassured, and there is no question in my mind that there is no magic number. That will make someone reassured that they have enough. It is a, it's an evolutionary concept that we always must, you know, protect and have extra, and so we're always gonna have the urge to have more. So recognizing that's normal and then being able to put it aside and assuming that what I have now is enough, then that allows us to get past that. Cause otherwise we just can't get past it because we'll never allow ourself the possibility for still thinking that. Yeah. Yeah. And I, I, I think for most people, you know, they, they, when, when they can let that fear go, and just even imagine what that life would be like, oftentimes, you know, there's, there's gonna be more time that they wanna spend with their loved ones, you know, to cultivate the relationships that al you know, that they already value, but maybe have put on the back burner because they're. They have this, you know, been having a money scarcity. Um, and um, and then, you know, so, so along with that, you know, working less or working more on their terms, um, working, spending, um, spending time on, on the tasks at work that they actually really enjoy. Um, and maybe less of, you know, the charting and the, the other things that they may not enjoy as much. Um, and I think, you know, being. Bolder. Just, you know, being like speaking up or, um, you know, like there, there's sometimes as physicians, there are things that are happening, especially if you're working in corporate medicine. There are things that are happening at work where you feel like you have an opinion and, and you, you have a vision of, you know, what it should be like, but you're afraid to speak up because you're like, well, my job is on the line. You know, if I speak up and I get fired, then, you know, there goes my salary, um, and my benefits. And so yeah. So that, um, so, so yes, all of, all of those things. Okay, now, so what about the second question? Okay, so the second question, um, this time, so just a warning gets a little bit more serious. So this time you visit your doctor who tells you that you only have five to 10 years left to live. The good news is that you won't ever feel sick. Um, the bad news is that you will have no notice of the moment of your death. What will you do in the time that you have remaining to live? Will you change your life and how will you do it? And just, um, as a clarification, this doesn't assume question number one is still true. Question number two is just, you know, your current financial situation, but now you have this additional piece of information knowing that there is limited time. Yes, it asks ourself a better question because, you know, as long as we're still asking ourself, you know, do we have enough? Cuz I think that going from question one to question two is basically we're still thinking that there's limitations and it's kind of the insistence like, no, no, no, seriously, you do not have limitations. Start thinking about what you really are gonna do. Um, I saw this great riddle the other day that said, um, what is the difference between time and money? Hmm. Yeah. We know how much money we have. Yeah. We don't know how much time. Yeah, true. Right? And at the end of someone's life, you know, I, I, my, my father recently died, um, and I was, you know, there to, to be with him at the last six weeks of his life. I was like, you know, by his side. And, um, and, and that, that, that just, I mean, I knew that to be true, like even before seeing one of my loved ones die, but, I mean, you know, on, on your deathbed, like people do not wish for more money. They, they wish for more time. Yes. Now, so in this question, it defines how much time and why do you think it's important for defining the amount of time, you know, just as, as a guideline. I think there's this, we go on most, most people go on sort of in our day-to-day life with this assumption. Um, it's like an operating assumption that we have unlimited time. It, it, I mean it's, it's probably more true like when we're teenagers, but even like when you hit your twenties, thirties, forties, I. Honestly, even seventies. Okay. Because I, you know, I, I've seen the reaction of, you know, my, my loved ones, you know, when they get like a cancer diagnosis. Um, and so I, most of us just have this operating assumption that we have unlimited time. Like we don't go to bed. I mean, and, and in some ways it's, it's protective, right? Like it helps us function because you might get so, um, en engulfed and like, oh my gosh, when am I gonna die? That you can't function in a day. But, but there is also something to be said about an appreciation of. We all have limited time. You know, if we go to bed one night like that is one less day because life is limited. We are finite beings. And so I, I think, you know, putting a number on it, that's something we can imagine because even like if we say 20 years, it's quite hard for us to really fathom. I mean, now that, you know, we're old enough so I can remember easily stuff from 20 years ago. But the, the older we get, the more we, you know, kind of appreciate, you know, like, Hey, my hair is turning gray. Like there's, life is, is limited, but. It is still a very hard concept for human beings to sort of like, understand it. It really is. And um, so what are the, some of the things that come up when people, like when you pose this question to them, what are some of the things that people, um, decide to do? Yeah. Um, you know, it's very similar to question number one, except they, you know, but then they'll say like, they'll focus less on the money and it depends on, you know, where that person is. Cuz some people are still at kind of at the wealth building stage where, you know, they may be in a lot of debt. They may even have like a negative net worth. But even, you know, but even then they'll say, okay, I'm gonna, you know, Um, put less away or like stop putting away for retirement. It's not to say that we should just, you know, after we answer this question, we should all stop our investment and savings rate. But there, there is something to be said about the balance, right? Because there we all know of people who died in their forties and fifties and they sort of, you know, were waiting to live their best life when they retire and. And they never got to retire. Um, so it's, it's a balance, um, that I, you know, we all have to sort of figure out for ourselves and answer for ourselves, but that thought experiment is so important of, and not just a thought experiment, but really a heart experiment. You know, we're, we're, this is really a heart center exercise because it, you kind of have to really feel that to, to start, um, to, to start feeling the, to be able to answer these questions. Yes. And you have to overcome a lot of your thoughts about, especially like money and things like that, is, you know, we think money as the accumulation of something and therefore something to compare to. Um, but at the same time, like money, we want money for what it has to offer us, whether that's security or travel or all the things. And there's a great book that I just read recently, um, I think it's Bill Perkins of Die With Zero. Um, which yes, I love that book. Great concept because, you know, I. When we're younger, we're basically accumulating this because it gen, you know, money to us means safety and security and you know, once you reach midlife, you know, you can be relatively secure. Especially with us as physicians, we've already, like all the things that we've invested in have, you know, allowed these transferrable skills so we can, you know, we have generated our own security. We are our own safety net, but as long as we're sort of wrapped around this concept of money and holding onto it. We're not using it for what we could be using for, and his, his book, and it sounds like you've, uh, familiar with it, which is basically like you have money so you can have the life that you want, so you might as well start doing it now. Your kids need that money now. The charity needs that money now. You know, you don't need to die with it. Like you should have your money assign it, you know, and you need a budget also says like every dollar has a job. So when you get money, Each of those dollars has a job. This is for charity, this is for kids. This is for my enjoyment. Like we're actually allowed to enjoy it. And I imagine this speaks to you because of all the travel that you do. So I, I love that book. That book so resonated with me. And, and I do, I mean, and it goes very well with life planning. Um, and so I, I think I read it. Maybe six months ago. And, um, and I'm like, oh, I'm already living this. Of course, you know, reading it sort of gave me a better idea. And the really interesting thing is, you know, when, when we talk about money and we talk about life, everyone is somewhere on this spectrum, right? So there's like the people who, uh, and you know, maybe there are less physicians in this category, but there are physicians who are in this category where they're. They're sort of like living on debt and, and it's sort of like they, they've, you know, totally understand that, you know, um, what is it you only live once, right? So like, putting every, and, and so that's true. If you're dying tomorrow, um, and you have like a million dollars in debt, if someone were able to loan you that much, like, and you enjoyed that money, like yeah, you, you did, that was like a success, right? But the problem is we don't know when we're gonna die. And so most physicians probably lie more on the other end of the spectrum, which is. Oh, well, let me save. Like, I wanna make sure that I, you know, I wanna make sure everything is secure in the future. Like, you know, we we're so good at delay gratification through our training and, um, and so it's just like continually putting off like things that we really want in our life, um, so that we feel more secure, um, through saving and, you know, investing and all of those things. And so, what I think, you know, this, what, what the thesis of how, what I want to sort of educate physicians on is, To really understand yourself to, to, to really know what you want and then figure out where on the spectrum you are. Like, cuz you might be doing some of these things based on like your family origin habits, right? So like, hey, if your parents were receivers, like you do that, if your parents, you know, tend to go into credit card debt, like that was normal for you. So maybe you had a tendency to do that. And, and, and some of it may just be sort of our personalities, but. To really be intentional about where we wanna be on this spectrum. Um, and, and by the way, I mean, the author of Die With Zero was like a billionaire, so, um, it, it's, it's, you know, so he of course, like, but it, it, this, what, what he talks about is, is applicable to every single human being, no matter what their net worth is. Um, but the name is so provocative in that book. Um, like Dye was zero. I. I think for me, the thesis of that book is more figure out what is it that you want out of life and use money as a tool to do it and, and don't delay. Don't wait until you die. Like, don't think that if you die and you have this huge pot of money, that it will go towards the intentions that you have. Um, and so that's, you know, exactly why I, you know, try to, Help physicians, you know, figure out what is it that they want in this life, because we only live once. Um, and this is, you know, and that doesn't mean to just, you know, like splurge and spend money, but to spend money intentionally in a way that brings you fulfillment and satisfaction and joy. And I know this, um, you know, with the second question, having five to 10 years, it's a little bit longer than this, but you know, a lot of us are midlife and I'm gonna read this quote from Brene Brown, which I think was great. Talking about midlife where she, cuz money is not the only thing that holds us back. You know, this is her quote. I'm not screwing around all of this. Pretending and performing these coping mechanisms that you've developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt has to go. Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you need these protections when you are small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all the things you needed to feel worthy and lovable, but you're still searching and you're more lost than ever. Time is growing short, there are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can't live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You are born worthy of love and belonging, courage and daring or coursing through your veins. You were made to live in love with your whole heart. It's time to show up and be seen. I think that's what that second question speaks to me. Yeah, no, that, that's, that's, you know, such a great quote. And, and Brene Brown is so eloquent, you know, and sort of capturing everything, especially sort of from like a therapist point of view. Yes. Yeah. That, that's, that's it though. I mean, that, that sort of hits all the different points. And, and I will say that after doing these exercises and after going through the sort of the process of, of life planning, which really was sitting down, reflecting, you know, I, I did. You know, have a sort of a life planner do it with me. But it's not that, it's not, these exercises we can do on our own as well. Um, I, I did become, More true to myself. Like I actually forgot who I was. And I think a lot of doctors, especially surgeons, can really relate to this. You know, we're in training for so long and, um, we've been sort of going after like, you know, this test and that test and, and this, this application and that application. And then finally, you know, at the end of the 10, 15 year tunnel, we forgot who we really were. Like we've just kind of become a product of. The achievements that we've done, but we have, like, we forgot who that person was, who was underneath, and, and doing these reflective exercises and going through life planning really helped me discover, remember who I was. I actually went back and looked at my medical school essay, like the essay that I wrote to apply for medical school, and I'm like, Oh yeah, I forgot who sh like, I really forgot that person. I'm like, I would like to, I would like to meet her again. And um, and that's actually what I've spent a lot of, you know, this year doing. Um, which is, well, you know, I, I, um, you mentioned like travel, like that was something that I. It was travel, um, in college that helped me decide that I wanted to go into medical school. It was like meeting people on my travels. I, I traveled to different continents, um, a lot of times on my own in college, and it was, I, I wasn't, um, I was not pre-med. Um, but you know, it was like meeting different people throughout my travels and realizing, I really love, you know, connecting with humans. And I was an astrophysics major, so I liked the sciences. And then it was like sort of marrying the two medicine was marrying sort of that, that science, um, uh, mindset along with sort of this humanistic, um, way of, you know, just interacting with the world. And it so appealed to me and that's why I decided to go into medical school. But I totally forgot that through throughout my, you know, long training and, um, And, and I, I, I think that, you know, this year I'm sort of re discovering that part of myself and it's, it's quite countercultural. Like, I actually, you know, for 2023, I'm, you know, I'm, I'm still employed in my job. Like I said, I haven't changed anything in my job. Um, aside from, you know, some of the maybe work conditions that I advocated for, like getting as scribe. But, um, you know, aside from that, I. I am, um, I, so I'm working at the same job, but I have six and I do have some p t o from, from all the years that I didn't, um, saved up like extra that's carried over. But I have six trips planned outside of the Continental us, you know, for the year 2023. And I'm sort of halfway into that and, you know, having like this amazing experience with my family going on all these travels and, um, it's just, you know, who I am like in, in. I'm, I'm sure that some other colleagues at work could say, oh, what is she doing? Like, is she even being a doctor? Like, people could have all sorts of thoughts, right? About like what I chose to do. Um, and it really doesn't matter because I, you know, I'm living life through the fullest in the way that I feel resonates with me at this moment. And, um, And, you know, so, and it, it's not taking away from my work as a doctor. Like, in fact, you know, it enriches what I do in medicine because when I come back from a trip, like I feel more energized to, to, to connect with patients, to be able to give them the best care. Um, and so I may not do this for the rest of my life, you know, cool to have six trips out, um, every year. But it's, it's, it's an experiment too, you know, it's like, I'm like, Is this gonna, is this, is this a good thing? Like do I love this or am I so tired of traveling that I wanna stop? So far, I'm loving it, but it's, but we can all sort of experiment on our own. Like, it's figuring out what is that you want and being like, Hmm, I wonder like, how would that be? Like, um, and then, and then go try it. Cuz that's, that's, you know, that's why we're alive. I mean, cuz if you, um, if you're, if, if this is your last day of being on this earth, like you can't. Try those things. You know, you may not have time. There's gonna be a time in your life when there may not be time to do the things that you really wanna do. And that's why I see this second question when you have five to 10 years, is I think the solution or the reason why that that works is that you're dropping a lot of the. Opinions of other people, you know, so they're, you're listening to less opinions of other people and, but you still have time to do something to try and experiment and, and do different things because you really are like, oh, okay, I see the end in mind. And so I really need to just, you know, do this right now and drop all this things that are holding me back. Now. So let's go to question number three, cuz this is when it gets real. Yeah, yeah. Question number three. So this time your doctor shocks you with the news that you only have one day left to live. Notice what feelings arise as you confront your very real mortality. Ask yourself, what did I miss? Who did I not get to be? What did I not get to do? I love that you, who did I not get to be? Uh, and that to me says like, all the things that we've been trying to do, we're trying to create this persona, you know? And are we really happy with the persona that we have created now? I mean, we, when we have the opportunity look back and say like, am I who I was supposed to be? And you know, if the answer is yes, that's great, but I think a lot of times, you know, what comes up for us is what we could be doing, which of course gives us direction to where to go next. Yeah. And the reason why we take people here in these reflective exercises is, and, and you know, it, it says it in the, in, in the prompt right there. Like, notice what feelings arise. Cause I think most of us, um, we just push our feelings aside. Cause we're like, well, I wanna be functional. I need to get through the day. You know, so we're like, there's no room for feelings. But when it really comes to what, what is it that you want out of your life? It's the feelings that are actually telling the truth. Mm-hmm. So you might go through the day and you might be like, yep, I'm doing, you know, like, I got this achievement, I got this, and you know, like I'm, um, I got everything I want. But when, when we are on our death beds, You know, there, there may be a different truth that comes out, which I think is why, you know, they, they've actually, you know, done, um, like surveys of this, you know, they're like, been people who work in pallets of care and hospice. Um, where, you know, one of the most common regrets that people have when they're on their deathbed is that, you know, I, I was not bold enough to, you know, do the things that I really wanna do. Um, and, and so that speaks to exactly the quote that you've have from Brene Brown. And what we've been talking about here is tap into your feelings now, because when, you know, at the end of our life, you know, those feelings may come up, you know, almost inevitably cuz it, we're like, yeah, time is up. But you know, if you, you can, so I, you know, it's interesting because I always had a little bit of anxiety about dying and I actually, I used to just sort of push it aside, like, that's not helpful. Um, like even like, you know, when, when I'm driving on, like there's a lot of narrow roads in Vermont, you know, when sometimes there's like a huge tractor trailer that comes on the other side and you're, you're not very far away from them. Um, and you know, like sometimes like they come a little close to me and I just have a little bit of like, um, almost feel like the fear in my hands as I'm like holding onto my steering wheel And, um, And some of us may have had, you know, even come into like accidents or like near death experiences, right? Where we maybe didn't get hurt, but like, we're like, oh my gosh, you know, my life flash in front of my eyes. But that, like, I, I think it's good for us to embrace a little bit of that fear of death, um, because that will help us. And as long as we use it to help us figure out. You know, how do we wanna live life today? And that's question number three, really. You know, because it's not about making a list, by the way, I think even when I first read it, I was like, oh yeah, I have to, you know, update my will. I have to, you know, I, I made it more like a checklist, you know, and that's a very, it's, it's practical and it's practical to do that. But this is more of a heart center reflective exercise where you're like, wait, you know, who did, did I not get? To be like, what, what did I miss That was really important to me. Um, and, and so a lot of it is about forgetting. Like tap into your own feelings, tap into your own mortality, um, and the gravity of that. And then the other stuff like the, the fear of, um, you know, ridicule and the fear of, you know, other people's disapproval. Like, none of that becomes as important when you really, you know, focus on this. Right. And cuz like if you're on your last day, unless you check Facebook or Instagram, you're not even gonna know any comparison. Like, you're not gonna hear anyone's message. You really do have to just hear what's internally going on with you. Um, and that, I mean, so much of this is just recognizing that we have all of this within us and really the only person's opinion that matters is who we truly are. And asking yourself, you know, who am I truly, and am I. You know, working and becoming the person that I really want to be at the end of my life. So powerful of a question. Um, and it really drops a lot of the things that we don't even realize that are going on with us. I know we talked a little bit about another book that I read recently. I. Um, written by author Brooks called From Strength to Strength, where he talked about the, our natural tendency. You know, there's the compare and despair, which we talked about before, but you know, this is like, where do we get our satisfaction in life? And, you know, if we are not careful, our satisfaction comes from, you know, always trying to get what we want. But it doesn't last. If you've ever, you know, achieved something and you know, won an award like that, what's felt so important in the moment fades very quickly. And so to continue that feeling of satisfaction, we have to continually get what we want, uh, which is exhausting. And then success is usually comparing ourself to other people. And you know, us coming out ahead, of course that doesn't last either. So therefore we have to continually do better than everybody else, which of course is exhausting. And even when we do the same things, we don't have the same result. It has to be escalated each time. Um, and the idea if we lose something, then, you know, that is failure. Uh, like whether we don't do a case we did before, things like that. We have a loss aversion. These are all well studied concepts, and his suggestion is, is that when we look at satisfaction and what makes us satisfied is, you know, a formula of what we have divided by what we want. So if you want to increase your satisfaction, then you either, you know, Like more of what you have or you decrease what you may want. And that is a formula that is sustainable, whereas the other ones that we usually determine for satisfaction and success are not sustainable. And that's I think where a lot of our discomfort is, is we're still trying to chase that, uh, that ever speeding up treadmill. And, and that is, you know, that, that's a great point, which is, you know, know what is it that you really want, right? Like, that's the whole dare to dream because y a lot of times we think we know what we want, like we think we, you know, wanna get into that residency, get into that fellowship, get into that job, you know, get a certain net worth. But is that really what we want? Like that's maybe what the external world has sort of conditioned us to, to, um, tell us like, this is what you want. But that's why like, you know, you're chasing like one thing after another and you're continually chasing after these things. But that's not really the essence of what you want. So if you figure out what the essence of what you want by. Doing the reflective exercises and then it, you know, then you can actually chase after the right things. And it turns out that most of the times those things are simpler. Right? Yeah. I mean, for me, when I did my life planning, I, it was so simple. Like, um, I, I just, I just wanted to be able to spend time with my kids without feeling like I have a hundred to-do lists in my head and just really enjoying that time. And when that was sort of presented back to me, Like as a, like a, as a, um, a moment in time, like six months from now. And the life planner was like just, you know, describing this moment where I was ha able to be present with my kids and seeing them laugh and sort of, you know, being there with them. Like, I started crying, which I don't usually do. So it was, I was like, I don't cry in front of strangers and, you know, but it was so touching cuz that was what I wanted. That that was, and, and it was simple. Like, it was not like something that I could take a test for or, you know, like work extra hard for. I just had to let go of, you know, all these other things that I kept holding onto that maybe it was my version of, or that I thought it was success, but that that wasn't really what I wanted. Yeah. I love this so much and I mean, I really appreciate you coming on and sharing with us how we can dare to dream ourself. Now, I know that anyone who has listened to this is going to want more, so where do they find you? Yeah. So, um, I, so I was sharing that, you know, I'm, I'm traveling a lot in my current life. That's sort of what, like the result of my own life planning and, and how I'm living life through the fullest, through traveling. Um, so I would love to, um, have you join me on that journey. Um, so if you're a physician, I started a Facebook community for physicians called Dare to Dream Physician Travel. Um, I think the, the group is still searchable, um, but if you can't find it, you can also just DM me. I'm on, I'm on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Um, I also have a podcast, um, and, uh, it's called The Dare to Dream Physician Travel Podcast. Um, it was just, The Dare to Dream Physician Podcast when I interview Dr. Verre, but, um, it sort of pivoted a little bit. Um, so feel free to subscribe to that and follow along. Um, and um, lastly, you know, any of the social media channels, but I'm probably the most active on Instagram, so I'm dream physician at Instagram. That's fantastic. Well, I know everyone is gonna be wanting to dare to dream a little bit more, and I can't wait to hear about all of your travels and all the things that now that you've kind of dropped a lot of the resistance that we typically have, and now you're living your best life too. And you know, it's great that you're showing us, you know, the way to do that and sharing on your travels too. So Dr. Gray, thank you so much for coming on today. Thank you so much for having me. This has been an amazing conversation and I can't wait to share it with, um, everyone I know. Uh, me too. We more later.