Monday, November 23, 2015

Passion is the Midi-clorian particle for HealthIT Jedi

What does it take to become a Health IT Jedi?  Do you have to have some special skill?  Is there some genetically contributed factor, some Health IT midi-chlorian particle that you need large quantities of to really succeed?

I think not.  The critical factors are, I think, in this order:

  1. Passion
  2. Opportunity
  3. Persistence


If you have a passion for your craft, you will have an appetite, a curiosity, perhaps even a voraciousness to learn more about it. The more you learn, the more you can do.  The more you can do, the more others will recognize you for your ability. At some point, you too will recognize it (often a long time after others have).


Passion unspent leads to frustration.  It needs an outlet, a doorway, an escape, in order to be realized fully.  Opportunity is that means of egress.  Opportunities come in thousands of ways.  A new software component needs to be developed, will you invent it fully yourself, or learn from the work of others and spend your creative energy adding new value? A group of people need help, will you pitch in and make some time to help them, and at the same time learn more, or will you sit by the wayside and wait for them to do the heavy lifting?  When you don't understand, will you ask the question that may lead to better understanding?  Or will you be silent and hope that someday you will get it?  

What if you have no opportunities?  Then you aren't looking hard enough.  Be creative.  Let that frustration inspire you.  Take a chance.  I guarantee that if you do look closely, you will find a way, which leads to the final attribute.


Practice makes perfect.  Doing leads to learning.  I often tell my students that the best thing that they can do for themselves after taking a class is to DO something with it, and the best time to take a class is just before you need to use the material it teaches, or perhaps just a little bit later than that (so that you learn what you need to learn).  Your first opportunity will lead to learning, but probably not stellar success. Along the way you WILL fail.  If you don't or haven't, you aren't trying hard enough.  
Passion helps here, because it gives you the drive to try again ... and again and again and again.

I have failed.  I have found opportunities -- sometimes even the slimmest of chances.  I care deeply about what I do.  As a result, I have one of the most rewarding of careers I could have ever imagined. 

You could too.  It starts with passion -- the midi-clorian particle for a Health IT Jedi.

   -- Keith

P.S. Thanks to Rene Spronk, and the Furore FHIR DevDays team for the great photo above.


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