Are You on the Verge of a “Noah Moment”?

by Francine Gaillour, MD

in Aligning With Values & Purpose,Career Resilience & Fulfillment,Podcasts

The movie preview for “Evan Almighty” had been rolling around in my head for a couple of days, and then one of my clients said something interesting during a strategy meeting.

She said “I had a Noah moment” — in reference to a current feeling she was experiencing. It was the feeling of being compelled to make a significant move in her career. She had a sense she was about to take a step that seemed almost absurd in it’s scope. The step was huge, and yet her confidence was there to match it: a supernatural moment of calling, clarity and certainty.

Her first Noah moment was 20 years ago, and the big step then was going to Medical School. If you knew her atypical background, you would understand why the step was indeed on the scale of building Noah’s Arc! And here she was about to take another big step in her career that promised to be “the sequel.”

The Pull of a Noah Momemt

Think about your own career journey. Was yours a straight path from college to medical school, to practice, maybe to leadership or business? Or did you get where you are now because of some major diversions along the way?

Another one of my clients started his medical career “the usual way”: biology major, then medical school, then residency, 10 years of surgical practice, then leadership—-and THEN a strong compelling feeling that he needed to shift.

Not downsize or retire, or transition, but SHIFT, almost spiritually. After getting his “practical” MBA he felt compelled to delve into the art of healing, to fully understand and then teach the art of unconditional love (ethos, pathos) that resides at the core of non-technology based medical practice. A Noah moment indeed.

It’s Typical to Resist Our Noah Notions

For both of the clients I mentioned, having the “Noah moment” was an important personal insight they gained through the process of introspection. But for a long time they each resisted the gravity of their calling, wanting to rationalize a way to be “more practical” or “lower my sights” or “not be so grandiose.”

The beauty of a Noah notion is that it doesn’t let up; rather it just hangs around and waits for you.

Another physician client had a Noah moment about being a force for ethical medical practice. He was called to be an ethical beacon in his specialty, which has been colored murky by pharma influence and doctors on the take.

After resisting his Noah idea for over over a year because “What do I know about ethics” and “Who am to do this”, he started on the path, and over the next 2 years he got trained, earned advanced credentials, started speaking, made connections, and has created an ethics curriculum for medical schools.

Heed Your Noah Neon Sign

One thing to keep in mind: having a Noah notion does NOT mean you have to know all the details to build out your arc! The Noah moment is the green blinking Neon sign that says: “Build this Now”

Just because you don’t know how exactly how to build it, does NOT mean the sign was meant for someone else. Or that you should close your eyes to the blinking Neon. The three clients I mention all saw their personal flashing neon sign; and like Noah they didn’t yet know the “how to.” They went with their inner Noah and learned how.

Here’s a hot tip: It is much more important for you acknowledge that you see the blinking sign! The “how” can be pretty straightforward, once you know the what.

Is there a Noah idea that is tapping you on the shoulder right now? Are you obsessed by a “big dream” whose scope seems so ridiculously big that you are dismissing it as impossible, or trying to shrink away with a “Why me?” excuse?

If not you, than who? And if not now, then when?

Email me and tell me what you think your “Noah Neon” sign is telling you. I’m always curious to hear from my Daring Doctors subscribers.

Francine R. Gaillour, MD, MBA, FACPE, is an Executive and Career Coach for Physicians. Dr. Gaillour specializes in helping physicians who are venturing into new territory as leaders, entrepreneurs, and career adventurers. She can be reached at (206) 686-4205, or use the Contact Form


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