Another Struggle With Purpose

There was some chatter over the weekend, some of it instigated by me, about this thing called Medicine X. Here’s a bit from their website, it’s intense:

Medicine X is a catalyst for new ideas about the future of medicine and health care. The Medicine X initiative is designed to explore the potential of social media and information technology to advance the practice of medicine, improve health, and empower patients to be active participants in their own care. The “X” is meant to evoke a move beyond numbers and trends—it represents the infinite possibilities for current and future information technologies to improve health.

…I know.

It was suggested to me that I consider applying for one of the scholarships related to engagement. It took some internal back-and-forth but I finally put my name in the hat. I’m sure it’s taboo to talk about something like this before the final selections are made but I’ve been struggling with the whole process ever since that initial message came my way alerting me to the opportunity.

Quite frankly: I doubt I’m truly worthy of something like this.

Now please don’t take this post as a plea for attention. I’m not looking for pity or blind support or any of that. I appreciate the fact that my stuff gets read by a few people here and there and my podcast entertains what audience I’ve built up, but hear me out on this one.

I see a conference like this as an opportunity for the “game changers” to rub shoulders. People that have taken existing mediums, technologies, and applications and used them as the foundation of something monumental. Starting a blog is as simple as picking a URL but turning it in to a platform that connects thousands of readers around the world takes something special. Posting on Twitter can be done from a great number of devices and connection points, but rallying a community around a single hour of conversation, of sharing, of learning, of bonding takes biblical amounts of perseverance. Nearly anyone can record a video on their phone or from a web cam, but few people can turn the act of talking into a camera into a movement that inspires, gives hope and shines a light on the greatness in all of us.

These are the types of people that belong at this thing. Not me. Not yet. I haven’t reached that next level of online engagement. I know I’m “closer” than I was when I started all of this, but I don’t think I’m there yet. Wherever there actually is.

Maybe I’m spreading my creativity out too much. Maybe there’s a lack of focus. I’m almost certain there is a lack of purpose with all of this. I don’t think wanting to have a conversation is enough to say that I’m “advancing the practice of medicine, improving health, or empowering patients to be active participants in their own care.” I think I have a unique opportunity to add personality to something like diabetes, but diabetes was never the sole purpose of my podcast. I write about…well, whatever I want on this blog, but I don’t think I can say I’m advancing anything when the only common point in all of the posts is just me. If I want places like Medicine X to take me seriously, I think I have to take all of this more seriously.

But I’m not sure if that’s supposed to be my role in all of this. I don’t think that’s the part I was meant to play. With so many people contributing in so many unique and meaningful ways, it’s probably unreasonable to complain (or whatever this post is doing) about my contributions to the diabetes community. I feel like I’m coming off as a selfish, woe-is-me, jealous-head. I’m not. I’m proud of what I see. I’m proud to be part of it. It’s just that sometimes I wish I was able to do more, but I lack the direction and gumption to really figure out what that more is.

Thoughts?

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