Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Healthy Tension

I believe in striving for excellence.  I sweat the big and the small stuff!  I do not apologize for this.  One of the by-products of being a perfectionist and constantly trying to improve myself are sobering feelings of low-grade anxiety and a nagging sense of inadequacy.  But this is not anxiety without a purpose.  No, this anxiety keeps me humble.  It creates a healthy tension that serves as the catalyst that drives me to fulfill my limited potential.

This has made me a better physician and scientist.  Without this tension, I wouldn't be as focused.

I have accepted that I will never know or understand as much as I want.  This is what keeps the quest for knowledge exciting!  And it is one of the reasons I would do my job even if I did not get paid to come to work every day.

-- Dr Anthony Fauci talking about his work on HIV/AIDS in the 1980s, as heard on All Things Considered, 25 July 2005, replayed on the This I Believe podcast, 25 March 2020

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