Monday, November 30, 2009

Remembering the big picture

I got a great energy boost tonight that reminded me why I love science so much. Few things are as motivating as listening to a Nobel laureate speak- unless it's shaking his hand and speaking to him personally afterward. Wow, I feel energized.

I'm still not sure how we got this opportunity, but my stake had a combined FHE meeting tonight where we listened to Mario Capecchi, Nobel laureate for medicine and physiology for 2007 speak about his life and his science and his experience receiving his award. I highly suggest reading a little bit about his life if you want an inspirational story. I enjoyed hearing that, but I so enjoyed listening to him talk about his science, his passion. To him, science is an elegant, exciting, creative thing and it involves lots of creative thinking and reaching outside one's comfort zone and interacting with other people and doing everything you can to prevent yourself from getting so narrow in your focus that you can't see outside your own blinders. And maybe it's just that I'm also a scientist, but listening to him speak, I felt energized to plow back in to the daily grind with more enthusiasm and dedication.

Moments like these are so critical for anyone in any field- seeing the big picture and remembering why we do the small daily things that we do. As a scientist, hearing such an excellent scientist speak, or reading about great achievements, or brainstorming with colleagues or exchanging banter with friends helps me achieve that. Even more importantly, I remember the point of the entire daily grind and everything I do by going to the temple and taking the sacrament and engaging in good, deep, spiritual conversation with friends. It's amazing what you can do when you can both focus on the big picture with its excitement and thrill but at the same time keep your mind firmly on the day-to-day details that make these vistas and dreams a reality. That is a worthy life goal right there- being both farsighted and nearsighted, I suppose.

Speaking of which, I should stop philosophizing and go finish something for work that I ran out of time to complete today. The daily grind is unrelenting- but I think I'll enjoy it more with this fresh burst of energy. Hooray!

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