Tips

  • Talk about it.
  • Be aware that the advice you receive is always a projection; more than anything else, it says something about the person giving it. Make certain whether the advice is being provided based on fear or uncertainty, or whether it is based on true wisdom and maximally attuned to you, the asker.
  • You can always change your mind!
  • You can make choices in stages. For example, you could take a gap year after you get your diploma in general practice (basisarts) to explore and experience several different specializations.
  • Making lists of advantages and disadvantages does not work. There are better ways to compare advantages and disadvantages.
  • The Dalai Lama said:“If a problem can be solved there is no use worrying about it. If it can't be solved, worrying will do no good.” The challenge for you, if you are worried about something, is not to dwell on the problem, but to translate it into research questions in order to determine whether it is solvable. Which information is functional in your situation? Who could you talk to in order to test your assumptions? Who can help you to break down your problem into manageable portions and provide you with advice?
  • ‘Parking your brains.’ If you sprain or bruise your arm, you bandage it. If you keep fretting and worrying about a problem, you could say that your prefrontal cortex is bruised. It needs a bandage. You can do this by ‘parking your brains’. Buy a notebook or pad. Every time you think about your problem, whatever your thoughts, you write this down. Then you close the notebook and say the following to these thoughts: I can see you and I can hear you and I will get back to you on [choose a day in the near or far future] at [choose a time]. And make sure you do! When the time arrives, grab your notebook and read what you wrote down. You can give it some more thought, or you could take action on it. Give the problem you wrote down the time and the kind of attention that feels right to you.
  • The following video clip has tips for learning to focus on solutions rather than problems.