A few years ago, it became evident to me that not only did I find what was important in my life, but also what purpose my life holds. I believe everyone has a purpose in life and finding out is one of the greatest achievements because only then you can truly start living. I also believe that remaining motivated and focused is two of the most powerful assets to a person, especially one in school such as myself. It would be unheard of to say that dental school is a complete breeze and that every step along the way proposes no difficulty. Therefore, I would like to share what I feel keeps me most focused, determined, and motivated throughout my dental school career.
April 28, 1994 was perhaps the day that my purpose was born, yet it was not until years later that I discovered truly why. My sister, Sarah, was born extremely premature, and has some developmental disabilities that prohibit her from taking part in all of what we in society would claim to be normal activities. Although she is not labeled as autistic or another syndrome, she does need some extra help throughout the day. Most doctors agreed that she would never be “normal” and would in fact be considered “mentally disabled” when she was born. This was unacceptable to my mother and father and through hard work, hours of learning, teaching, even struggling, she has surprised all of the doctors that thought she could never amount to anything. She has turned into one of the most vivacious, charming, and strong-willed young girl that I have ever come across.
It may be hard to understand why my sister and her situation is the reason I am able to stay focused and motivated throughout dental school. What could the two possibly have in relation? I am a firm believer that if you have something to live for, such as purpose, desire, or a dream, your motivation and determination suddenly will skyrocket. I know that my success is so crucial for my sister to be able to have a normal “life” because I will be responsible for her one day. And although this may be a scary concept or huge amount of pressure, I have never felt more focused and determined to succeed in order to bring her happiness and support in the future. My success shapes her future and her world and because of that, I could not and will not ever jeopardize my dental school career.
So if there is one thing I could share with you all today, it would be to find your purpose, your desire, your dream and move forward. Don’t look back. Don’t lose focus or determination. You can and will achieve it no matter what obstacles are standing before you. Believe that there are no limits. Stand firmly for what you believe in. And remember—“There are two great days in a person’s life—the day we are born and the day we discover why.” ~William Barclay
~Sheila Othman, Arizona ’15