Making efforts without seeing results is difficult. Un-requited love has a certain pleasure in the pain of the inability to connect, but struggling for our goals, making efforts, working and not seeing it go closer is more denervating. There is no heart lacerating endorphin surge with that effort.
I have been contemplating the thousands of students and doctors I have been meeting in my travels around the outer geography of this American Civilization. America, you must remember, is an idea, more than it is a place. Because of the nature of my position, an enormous amount of anxiety flows my way from people. It lacerates me like a cold wind on a loveless day. People want reality to be different than reality. Some other answer than work hard, score high, apply wide, get your work double checked.
Last night a woman comes to me apopleptic with paralytic fear “Should I take Step 3 now?” her fear comes across to me in an instant like a fragrance or perfume, I smell the fear and feel my own muscles tense.
Turns out she has a 99 on BOTH step 1 and step 2.
Everyone has fear. Our futures, mine too, are uncertain. Yours with USMLE and residency and mine with my book ‘Routine Miracles”. I am in the same boat as you, so I encourage you to have faith. If my number one goal is a mere external like book sales, then I will be anxious. If my goal is the beautification of this Civilization through the ideas of my book, then I am free.
Faith: Making efforts in the direction of your dream in the absence of tangible results in front of you.
When you are on your mission to find your residency, if your highest goal is simply a match, you will have more fear, less satisfaction. If you have faith, that an effort is NOT wasted if it is to make the world better, to heal the sick to relieve suffering and to cleave to HOPE and HEROISM then you will relax.
I am in the same circumstances as you. Making efforts, not always seeing results. Let us renew our faith, originating in the beauty of the impulse that we started this voyage with, and know that we will come to a destination, even if we can’t see it at the moment.