I was trained as a medical doctor, and I truly cherish the opportunity to save lives or make a positive difference in somebody’s health. It was a great passion, ambition and desire of mine to become a doctor and serve my country. And even though, the relentless hours and demands of reading and training life is far from easy (it is in fact drenching), the fruits have been gratifying. By fruits it doesn’t mean in monetary terms; on the contrary, early and starting doctors, hardly make any money. Compared to the cost inherent in an expensive medical education, the salary that you earn is meager. So, you shouldn’t become a doctor to earn money. It is a wrong start to what could have been a satisfying and fulfilling career. Hence, the sincere desire to heal and help the sick and needy and those of “modest means”, is what should motivate you to become a doctor.
About my personal story here:
So, even though, my passion lay in being a doctor, I was earlier also interested in many things: reading for instance. Age nine, as an introspective person and an introvert, I found myself gazing through books from multiple genres from “The Science of thought” by Khaptad Swami (a Nepali surgeon turned Yogi), to Tolstoy and Dostoevsky’s novels to children’s novels by Roald Dahl. Thanks to the ever-present influence of my father and uncles, and most importantly, to the book-shelf that harbored those amazing books, there was instilled a life-long love for the habit of reading.
Often, my mentors, my uncles and father, would direct me to a particular book for inspiration and motivation–Like “The Science of thought”, by Khaptad Swami (In Nepal it is still a best-seller decades after its first publication) by my uncles and “The seven habits of highly influential people” by Stephen R. Covey. Later I also read Osho and J. Krishnamurti–their books didn’t just enlighten me about a new way–a contemplative and peaceful way– to lead one’s life but also helped me lead a “mindful and thoughtful life”. All in all, following the works of aforesaid writers helped me become calm and focused in my career. That on my background as a reader–All before my sixteenth birthday!
By then, I hadn’t got started on my writing career. Not at all. Perhaps, I now suppose, the earlier reading life helped served as a backdrop to my future career in writing. After all, readers and writers are “two aspects of the same coin”. And, what did I learn about mentoring? We all need mentors; they could be our friends, seniors, but usually they are somebody older, our parents, uncles, who can provide us with much-needed wisdom and inspirations for life.
Then there was a period of almost a decade and a half when I delved into embarking an education. So, I was only reading text-books.Yet during that time, I sure learned from various life-experiences, from friends’, their company, their life-experiences, from the outing and trips to various cities in Nepal and India: they helped add perspectives to my future career in writing.
After graduating as a doctor in 2006, I started to find myself being lured by the “pull of literature”, by the inner prodding to either read–or if possible to write something: the urge was too strong to ignore. So, I started working as a doctor full-time and a writer part-time, meaning in my spare time I resorted to reading–and writing. Hence, I finally caught up with my favorite chore–reading–from where I left off…decades earlier.
Since “you write what you are”, and since I had read a lot on Hindu mysticism, my first book, an e-book was on similar subject. I self-published it and it did well. It became a number one book in free category Internationally. Then there was no looking back. One of my novels, an English novel, was published in India, in 2015. A rare feat for a Nepali writer, joining the ranks of few Nepali writers whose writings get print-published in India! I was elated! But what truly granted me a recognition as a writer was my writings for children, a children’s-series, that struck a chord with the masses…and are now read by the thousands and are currently a required reading at many Boarding schools in Nepal. Suffice it to say that, being an avid reader and a follower of the social media who relished being online and learning from say a site like Google for decades did help foster my ultimate success.
All said, I still consider myself a “work-in-progress”, and my motto here in sharing my life-experience lay in asserting that we need to share inspirations. That we should share our knowledge and how beautiful this world would be if we shared the things that are deeming our lives wonderful and that can enrich and touch (in a big, positive way) other lives too.
Yet the most compelling and amazing thing about my experience is not the eventual success but the “inspirations” that I discovered in the process and that I wish to share. So, what are those inspirations?
2) When things don’t happen the way you intend it to, let it go, or let go of the urge to fight. Often, if you accept the way things are, great things start to happen.. It doesn’t mean that you don’t strive or hold ambitions, but don’t beat yourself up in the process. Personally, I’m a believer in God and cosmic power, so this is what I believe: God has individual plans for you, and your “individual area of expertise” will seek you and has been seeking you. Just try and meet it at arm’s length and look at the possibilities. So, if things don’t go your way, let it go. Relax. breathe.
3) As a modern-day students, learners and leaders, we love to be online 24/7, which is great. In fact, a lot of things I learned (of writing and leadership) did come from google, from being online, from spending thousands of hours on the internet. So, nobody can undermine the power and importance of internet and social media. But, we must also, almost simultaneously, need to cut slack often. Why? Because occasional breathers breathes life into your work. So, relax. Make it a point that you take occasional vacations from net surfing. Go biking, plant trees, spend time with your friends and family instead.
Also, when you’re online try spending most of your time on educational stuffs; the online materials and sources that can add value to your life, that can enable you to make a positive and lasting difference in peoples’ lives. These days even professional or educational credential-granting courses are available online; join them. Basically, make internet and social platform, a platform to learn, grow and expand.
4) Get ahead in your professional life, but don’t neglect your inner circle of friends and families. Be respectful towards elders; seek their blessings. Love and take care of the young ones; for in them lay our compelling future. Extend your love to animals and trees too. Plant flowers and trees. Rear a pet.
5) Health is wealth. Take good care of your health. Eat healthy, drink plenty of water, eat in particular plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and get adequate sleep and rest.
6) Travel. Again, it adds perspectives.
7) Teach what you learn–be it writing or leadership lessons or life-lessons. There is no better way to learn than to teach.
8) Be a giver. Giving enriches your life in ways unknown.
9) Learn employ-ability skills. In no other time would it come more handy.
10) Communication–verbal or non-verbal–is everything.
11) As human beings, we are, in essence, bundles of energies. Such energy can be channeled to various emotions. Some people channel that energy to anger, which is a destructive emotion. But it is advisable to channel the energy to foster creativity, to help people find their voice and happiness.
By Dr. Ujjwal Bikram Khadka, a Nepali doctor, children’s-author and coach . Twitter: @ bikram_ujjwal