Recognition vs. Recollection

There was a time when physical therapists didn’t get the level of respect that they do nowadays. For quite a while there was a disconnect between being an ordinary worker in healthcare and being recognized as a highly skilled clinician. I recall the lack of respect that PT’s received, but now I recognize we have made impressive strides in the medical field. Though progress has been made I still think there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Eradicating this problem can help free us from the mental chains that bind us so tightly. You see, the issue is that we don’t respect the process. We hear all the time how we should trust the process, but I think it is important that we respect it to begin with. At some point, everyone must own up to their shortcomings and do a thorough self-assessment on why they yield unwanted results.

It is within these confined walls of honesty that we are revealed to our true selves and what we must overcome. One person struggles with procrastination while another battles with their own self to find motivation. You say you want greatness, you say you want success, but your actions tell me differently. You think that you can just casually browse over your notes when you study and expect to pass your exam. You make associations with certain things, but you don’t really focus on making sure you retain it. Recollection is what will help you pass the N.P.T.E. yet your energy is locked in on recognition. You recognize the material and think you’re all set. Truth is, you’re nowhere near ready to pass this exam with that mindset. Recollection entails being able to engrain what you have learned into your memory. This makes all the difference, and this is what separates the novice from the expert. The expert pays attention to detail and ensures that they put themselves in the best position to accomplish their goal. Whereas the novice, believes the shortcuts will get them to the promised land all the same.

You don’t want this as bad as you say you do. Your being prone to taking the easy route shows me that. Stop trusting the process and respect it. One of the most respected sports in the United States is football. What is it about the game that captivates and entertains us? Is it the athleticism and power that is put on display? Is it the grit and grind of the game? No, I think it’s much more than that. Football, in all its violence, gives an accurate depiction of what it looks like studying for the N.P.T.E. and preparing for the game of life. You find out that life is this game of inches. So is football. Because in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small. At the end of the contest, the difference between a win and a loss could be the inches or yards that were missed. This is the same thing with preparing for the N.P.T.E. The difference between you being recognized as a doctor could be your failure to pay attention to detail as well as concentrating on recollection. If you truly respected the process, you would realize there is no corner you can cut on the way to success. This extends beyond just your board examination.

There are many times in life we never see the results we think we should see. We swear up and down we have devoted the necessary time and effort to reap the rewards. Truth is, it doesn’t matter how much time you put in if the time isn’t being used efficiently. You can be in the gym for two hours and achieve nothing, while someone else comes in for thirty minutes and accomplishes way more. Time is of the utmost importance, but we don’t treat it that way. So, I’m issuing a challenge to you. I challenge you to start paying attention to detail in your study habits and in your life. Don’t just recognize something in your material, make sure you master it for recollection into your memory. You are on your way to being in the big leagues and there is no more time for playing small. The experts understand that, meanwhile the novice doesn’t. There was a great Chinese general and philosopher named Sun Tzu who understood the importance of paying attention to detail. In fact, he said, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” Know what you are up against and what you must do to win the battle. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Know your material, but most importantly know thyself. Don’t just trust the process, but also respect it so that you can achieve your wildest dreams.

-Karl Bourne, Lead Blog Writer

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