Did I tell you the one about the basketball player, the neurologist and the blogger?


If you’re the greatest basketball player in the world, then you consistently score in 450 out of every 500 shots. In other words, you’ve got a 90% success rate. Not bad, huh? But when that same basketball player appears on the news, it’s all about those 450 baskets and not the 50 failed attempts. Meanwhile, said basketball player is, himself, busy fretting about his 50 missed shots and how to reduce these to 40 … 30 … 20 … 10 … 0. And realising that it’s simply not possible.


The greatest neurologist

If you’re the greatest neurologist in the world, everyone expects you to boast a 100% success rate in diagnosis and treatment. But, it’s simply not possible. And, heaven forbid you make a genuine mistake. A claim, medical disciplinary procedure or a bad reputation will undoubtedly ensue. And you’ll drag the name of your hospital down with it. Trust is hard to gain, but easy to lose. Despite the fact that your performance actually outshines than of the top basketball player who almost always scores.

The greatest student

When you’re at school – at the beginning of your career, so to speak – they expect you to score well in all subjects. But it’s simply not possible. You can count yourself lucky if you manage to rack up the same score as that basketball player in 1 or 2 subjects. And then you have to choose a further education trajectory and subsequent job. Which doesn’t always go so swimmingly either. Sometimes you yearn to be good at something that you’re simply not good at all. I opted for a fantastic degree course that guaranteed a high-ranking managerial role in healthcare. Ultimately, I rejected this career, because I couldn’t quite see myself spending all day in meetings and didn’t fancy writing policy report after policy report on policy-related things. Whilst the study was enjoyable, I soon realised that I would never achieve that coveted 90%. Neither in my exam results nor enjoyment levels. Not with that sort of job or income. It was a great choice, that study, but I had landed in the 10% zone.

The second study I pursued did score that magical 90%. Exceeded it even. Japanese studies. But that’s not what this is about. No, it concerns the 10%. The bloopers, blunders and bungles. Which even those top basketball players and high-flying neurologists can list on the flip-side of their CVs.

The ‘greatest’ blogger

As a blogger, I’m not always on the right side of that 90%. You sometimes pen a blog that nobody understands or, worse still, nobody likes. Or, upon closer inspection, you no longer find it quite so entertaining anymore. I would be a fng brilliant blogger if I were consistently able to score 90% or more. If I had a hit with 45 out of every 50 blogs. Nope, there are bloopers. They start off as some vague idea in your head. You’re not entirely sure what it is that you wish to communicate to the world and, somehow, your text doesn’t come together as it should.

My no1. indicator for whether a blog will be a hit or not, is whether I complete it within half an hour. If not, then it’s safe to assume that it won’t be a ‘slam dunk’. Sometimes I spend an hour or two tinkering with the words. But, when all is said and done, I’m just a simple basketball player: they too have to score on their first attempt. They too have to have years and years of training, an exceptional technique, superior concentration, and an unflinching desire to succeed. You’ve got to know in advance what it is you wish to achieve, just like that basketball player.

Back to the neurologist. You’d better make sure that you’ve got a good one. The type of neurologist who devotes their entire day to ‘neurological’ things. Who’s sufficiently trained and doesn’t waste time on non-neurological distractions. They’re quick to score successes as a result. Some neurologists talk-the-neurology-talk. They’re the sports commentators of the medical world, the smart alecks. But scoring 450 out of every 500 attempts in the real world is an entirely different matter. So is trying to attempt it in the first place.

I believe in consistently striving for that 90%. And cursing the 10%. You cannot erase those serious blunders from your past. But you can keep honing your skills. Until you finally achieve 90%. And no, Parkinson’s is not an excuse for failure. Because I also made mistakes before. And you, dear reader, you might not always fall within that 90% success rate, regardless of whether you have Parkinson’s or not. After all – you’re just a simple human being with perfectly human flaws. Like a neurologist. Or a basketball player. Or a blogger.

Let it be.

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