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The Go First Rule

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal

Hey friends,

Happy New Year :) I’m writing this email from a small town in Sudan where some other doctors and I are helping out with a medical mission running pop-up clinics in local villages (PS: follow me on Instagram to keep up-to-date with the story).

When I’m in new situations like this, my default state is to stay in my own head and feel hesitant to talk to people. But there’s a little quote that I like to tell myself that goes along the lines of:

People are friendly, but you have to go first.

We had a 90-minute coach journey to one of the villages earlier today. I was initially sitting towards the back with some of the #lads who I got on with quite well. Then around halfway through the journey I reminded myself of the ‘go first’ rule and plucked up the courage to wander down the bus and speak to other groups of students, introducing myself and trying to learn some Arabic pickup lines.

I ended up making some new friends, and the rest of the day running the clinic in the village was much more enjoyable because I had built some rapport with the students on the journey there.

I’ve found that this ‘go first’ rule works wonders for my self-confidence in lots of domains, from meeting new people on a Sudanese bus ride to initiating banter with senior doctors at work. So if you, like me, sometimes find yourself in situations where you’re a bit hesitant to put yourself out there, you might find the quote helpful to remember.

Have a great week!

Ali


Stuff I've

Stuff I've enjoyed this week

I've spent most of this week tied up with family stuff in Pakistan and now with this medical mission in Sudan so I haven't made the time to read new articles or books etc.

I guess the only thing to shout out in this segment is the board game Avalon. This was a defining element of my final year of medical school, and I introduced my cousins to it in Karachi resulting in many hours of enjoyment. Definitely one to check out if you’re even vaguely into board games.

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Ali Abdaal

Junior doctor, YouTuber, web designer, aspiring musician. Trying out this blogging thing.