Preparation is Luck

One of my best plastic surgery mentors of the past, Dr. Naum, told me one of the most important facts of my training:  "Preparation is the only luck you'll ever need."  Mental preparation is the compound interest of success.  With mental readiness comes improved performance, more confidence, opportunity for big wins and losses, and impactful learning.  Mental prep is hard labor: quietly imagining your future task, deconstructing your show or procedure to its integral parts, examining possible opportunities of failure at each step.  

Preparation is one habit of an accountable person.  Accountability can be hard to foster.  It may come with upbringing, age, or experience.  Or it may never develop.  Increasing student accountability is a dance of expectations and consequences.  A great article on the topic can be found here:  https://hbr.org/2016/01/the-right-way-to-hold-people-accountable.

Specifically, I perform mental run-throughs.  I started doing this as a marching band/drum corps member.  I do it now as a surgeon and visual tech.  Nothing has been more important to my performance quality.  I compel my students to do the same.  Make your mistakes in your mind.  Build confidence without performance failure.  Show up on game day ready to win.

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