While it may seem nice to be the big fish in a small pond,
it is not at all the most advantageous position for rapid progress and ever-climatic serial successes.
1. Many to learn from in immediate surrounding.
While I am constantly reminded of how little I know when I surrounded by experienced and knowledgeable attending radiologists, I also enjoy the pleasure of learning from them even in casual conversations.
2. Perceived value is elevated by the collective average.
This is why I like to purchase lower end homes in a high end neighborhood, rather than the most expensive home in an average neighborhood.
After I purchased one of the cheapest home in a highly sought after neighborhood in 2014 (as MS4), I sold it to family in 2016. (I like the idea of keeping great homes in the family.) I’m now looking for our next home. When I was faced with the most expensive home in a great neighborhood versus a low end home in an even higher tier neighborhood, I’m going for the latter again.
3. Not perceived as a threat.
It’s unfortunate that envy is real and real at all levels and dimensions of human endeavors. I notice that those not perceived as a threat tend to receive more collegiate support. Nurturing instead of competition.
4. Not targeted.
The most luxurious home on the block will likely be the first to be robbed, when all other variables are held constant. Chinese saying goes, “Humans are plagued by fame, and pigs by fatness.” The fat pig is ready for slaughter, so is the famous, illustrious person, unfortunately.
5. Abundance for all.
While it is more often than not the right mindset to know there’s always someone better than me, it’s also the right and self-fulling to operate on the presumed abundance rather than scarcity. The abundance mindset encourages collaboration rather than competition.
As many of my readers know, I’m big on “living gently on this earth.” I’d love to leave a little footprint as possible behind me, kill as few trees and cows as possible. Being the big fish in a small pond means that I’d more likely to be dumping on others, which I distaste. I much rather to be surrounded by fresh water in the oceanic immensity.
6. The surprise element.
Mom always taught me to keep a little reserve, an art I have hard time of grappling with and practicing. I like to share all I know as quickly as I can and then move on to learning more.
But as I progress through my training from pre-med, to MS and PGY years, I am starting appreciate then surprise element. Instead of spending all my time on tutoring (which is superficially lucrative at $388/hour), I decided to cap the number of tutoring hours and invest the rest in being with my loved ones and advancing my own learning: as a radiology resident, as a personal finance blogger, and as a parent.
Sure I can put out more and make more money today, but I balance that with taking in and building the largest asset I have, my mind. I pace myself in sharing what I know while incessantly expanding what I know.
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