This is perhaps a very crude post, unlike other posts on the blog. But this is one issue I wanted to approach. And hence I have. Happy Reading!
The white boxes with red signs that I received every year for my birthday interested me, but never interested me enough. I never dressed up in white coats and jackets and ran from room to room tending to imaginary people. I was no Florence Nightingale. No, never as a kid, unlike many other kids, did I want to be a doctor.
At nearly the end of my school life now, when I need to figure out what I want to be when I “grow up”, I see these faces in school every day that don’t have a direction. Yet, without a break, they wake up early every Sunday and make their way to Coaching Centres, spending almost 9-10 hours staring at heaps of questions, questions not to feed their brains, but to crack a mere examination. And all of it saddens me.
From the twinkling eyes that said “I want to be…an Astronaut!” to the shrug saying, “I don’t know, Med school, maybe?” something happened. What does “Chase your dreams” even mean anymore?
Don’t get me wrong, some of these students are indeed aspiring doctors. They will give every bit of what it takes to get there. But it’s not the same for everyone. Some, are doing it as an obligation. And I believe that’s where we’re going wrong.
Choosing what you want to become and through what you want to stay happy for the rest of your life isn’t an obligation, should never be. We go to school for thirteen years and meet umpteen new people and face myriad situations so that we discover who we really are and find our true calling.
It takes time to figure what you really want but you’ll get to it. Just because you can’t get to it on time doesn’t mean you never will. If your heart and head says I want to become a doctor, nothing can stop you. But don’t do it because it’s what everyone else is doing. Their head and heart isn’t your head and heart. If it takes 90% hard work, it also takes 10% passion and love. Your hard work will fetch you marks, and if you put on a little more, a little success. But passion propels you. Passion is what will whisper in your ear at 2 A.M. in the morning that you want to be better, because you want to achieve more. The want, the desire for achievement (and I don’t mean monetary achievement) comes only when one is passionate about what they want. You’ve got to do what you love and love what you do. It is near impossible to love your work if you believe it is an obligation. It has to, at the end of the day, come from your heart.
If you’re in your career because you were asked to be there, eventually, your energy will run dry and you’ll be tired. Tired of everything. And then your hair will fall and there’ll be wrinkles on your face at 35. And you’ll be unhappy. We have this one life where we got to enjoy and die a happy man (and woman)!
Becoming a doctor is certainly glamorous. To be able to become the country’s best neurosurgeon or a cardiologist representing the country at the World Health Organisation is no mean feat. But it isn’t easy to get there; it definitely doesn’t happen overnight. It requires all of one’s dedication and a little more, and loads of determination and passion. And I figured that I don’t have that amount of dedication. At least not to become a doctor.
But if you think about it, there are SO many other professions and if you dig a little deeper like I did, you’ll see they’re all equally interesting. For example, there exist people who decide what political figures are going say at diplomatic meetings. They prepare scripts of some sort. That’s very entertaining if you ask me.
So to conclude this…this piece of advice (?), I want to say I’m happy. I’m running after something I want to run after. Something I know is going to keep me chirpy 20 years from now. I entirely respect what everyone else is doing, and all those great doctors we’re going to have. But to you, reader, if what you want to become is more like what you have to become, I suggest you to stop, do some research and find out what you reallllly want to do *insert Disney Song about following your heart* and then do a happy jig. It’s never too late to follow a new dream.