Skip to main content

I Need a Nemesis

Jun 09, 2022 1:14 pm

Your nemesis needn't be the enemy or a demon. But it cand 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 hardstuff, 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


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

Rheumatologists’ Comments

“We chose to go to the moon and do the other things not because they are easy but because they are hard”. JFK

Love that Quote (see below)! Thanks. I also used this as the leading thought for my blog series "War on RA" - Part 1: Walk on the Moon

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy said:

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”


| Jun 26, 2022 10:10 am

I am the Japanese who asked you about motivation at EULAR.
I have been very impressed and motivated since then. I will do my best to push the limits I have set for myself, along with my Rheumnow badge that you gave me.


If you are a health practitioner, you may to comment.

Due to the nature of these comment forums, only health practitioners are allowed to comment at this time.