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Best of 2022: I Need a Nemesis

Editor's note: this blog originally appeared on June 9, 2022, and is being shared as a Best of 2022. Enjoy!

Your nemesis needn't be the enemy or a demon. But it can be the dragon(s) you slay and what drives you daily in becoming a better you.

Michael Jordan's path to NBA success was driven in part by positioning himself as the underdog (despite obviously being the best basketball player of all time), wherein he was David in each of his "David and Goliath" challenges.  

The same can be said of Steve Jobs.  His revolutionary TV ad for the new Apple Macintosh computer focused on the product’s nemesis/enemy - IBM and big business computers.

Defining your nemesis declares what you’re against; and helps you clarify what you want. Your nemesis defines what matters most to you and what you will overcome. Seth Godin once said, “Pick your enemies, pick your future”.

At some point, we are all told "you can't... you won't... you shouldn’t ... or that’s just not possible".  These become the impetus to lean into the hard stuff, get you over the hump, force you to eat the frog or quiet the naysayers.  

Such was my fuel for starting and growing Everyone said social media is idiotic, and that blogs and podcasts are self aggrandizing ego platforms. Many good, smart people told me there was already "too much noise" directed at rheumatologists.  These defined a new nemesis for me back in 2013.

Don't you already have a nemesis? A rivalry, a peeve, a deadline, a difficult choice that you can avoid or lean into? These can be personal, professional or both.  

Aren’t you driven? Fortunately, this means you’re going somewhere. 

The challenge becomes your compass, the wind in your sails and the ideal destination.

"The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind."  -Maya Angelou



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The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject
Dr. Cush is the Executive Editor of and also Co-Edits the online textbook 
Dr. Cush's interests include medical education, novel drug development, rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis, drug safety, and Still's disease/autoinflammatory syndromes. He has published over 140 articles and 2 books in rheumatology.
He can be followed on twitter: @RheumNow