Follow your Why or you may die

2 years ago   -   Posted by Rafal Muchowicz in Development


Real life stories not for faint-hearted with explicit conclusions for parents kids and dream chasers.

The stories below show a real-life impact of following and not following your life purpose, dream, call and its impact on career, life, health and ultimately your body. It shows the power of “Why”.

Andrew [age 42]. He was a family friend for many many years. Andrew was an acclaimed ophthalmologist, great doctor loved by patients and appreciated by hospital management. He was running his ophthalmology department for the past 12 years and he earned a great reputation in southern districts of my country. After his NHS shifts, he was practicing privately helping patients from all over the country. He loved what he was doing. Being doctor was his passion and his call. I think it was around 1997 when became a victim of his success. For what for many would be a dream job for him was his nightmare. He was offered a job at the Health Ministry to run its southern Polish departments. Great responsibility, great power, great money. He didn’t want any of that. On top of it, he had been told that probably his ophthalmology department would be closed. The closer it was coming to the date of the transfer the more depressed he was. Suddenly he collapsed, had to be taken to the hospital, he was in a coma for 6 months and his life had to be sustained by all known to human equipment. Wife and two kids in a state of horror, every day next to his bedside praying for a miracle. He woke up and gradually throughout next few years was getting better. He refused the job in NHS and took over ophthalmology department in a different hospital running it very successfully. This episode left marks on his mind, soul and also on the body which details I will not describe. When asked later about the cause, reason responsible for this extremely severe depression he responded: “Because I wanted to keep working with patients”.

Conclusion: when you know you are doing something you love, don’t be tempted by money as you will regret that at some point.  When you try to manage your career don’t hop on and off random buses that will take you to different directions and but instead always follow your passion, stick to what you love. Detour can have severe consequences. Follow your passion and you will succeed.

 Lucas [age 18]. Lucas was my best friend in high school, very intelligent, bright with reasonably good grades always knew what he wanted to do after school and uni. As far as I remember he always wanted to be a doctor, the cardiologist in fact, as himself he was suffering from a heart condition. There were no other alternatives until the second term of junior year when he told me that he will go and study economics as his parents wanted him to. He changed the profile and started to attend math clubs to prepare better for university entry exams. Even though he was pursuing this goal there was no passion in his eyes anymore. He got in, graduated with good results but the day he graduated his heart was sinking as he knew that this is not what he wanted to do and decided to study it only to please his parents who thought being a doctor is a low paid, demanding job with no future. He regretted his decision ever since so much that the same year he decided to enroll to and finish postgraduate diploma in pharmacy. He now works as a pharmacist but even now 20 years later still regrets his decision deeply and cannot forgive his parent fully for persuading him to give up his dream. When I asked him why he wanted to study pharmacy he responded: “so that I can wear white overall and feel more like a doctor, I want to be close to patients”. He told me recently that if he could he would turn back time and never listened to his parents.

Conclusion: Kids if you know what you want to do, follow your dreams don’t let anyone dictate you what to do. All in all, it is your life and you should live it the way you want. Do not listen to your parents.

Michael [age 17]. He was always a good student, always with reasonably good grades, he always knew what he wanted to do, how he wanted to live and where. Already during the first year in high school, he has decided he wanted to study Psychology at Jagiellonian University which is the second oldest University in Central Easter Europe equal to Harvard in the US or Oxford in the UK. On top of it, Psychology was always attracting around 27 candidates for 1 place so indeed it was extremely challenging to get in. Not many people believed he would do it starting from our head teacher who said in front of the whole class that he “should take a hammer and knock this out of his head” through to his family and their friends. Yet he was ambitious and he knows his capabilities, he knew he could do it. It was Saturday, October 1998 and his parents came back from family and friends gathering during which to his surprise main subject was what to do with his life. They came and announced that he will not be going to psychology as this filed has no future and they discussed with their friends and decided he should go to Technology University and study Ceramics. He was left speechless especially that he had absolutely no interest in pursuing this filed and he was rubbish in science so would have almost none chances of getting in. Yet they were stubborn so was he and for the next 6 months, they were fighting unnecessary battles. He won and to everyone’s surprise, he did get into Jagiellonian University and did study psychology and for everyone who didn’t believe in him then he can only say LOOK at ME NOW. Currently, he is working in his field in a corporate international company living successful, fulfilled, happy life.

Conclusions: Parents for God’s sake BACK OFF. You may not agree with your kid’s choices but whether you like it or not you have to support it. It brings back a lot of memories when I hear other parents who want to impose their vision on their kids. Ultimately what you cause your kids is nothing more than harm and misery. Don’t be surprised if at some point in time they develop resentment toward you for destroying their life even though done in good faith.

As an ultimate conclusion for everyone if you already know you dream, purpose, goal - pursue it.

If you would like to talk about your goals, purpose, dilemmas, If you lack clarity in your career and would like to find it- I am here to help.

Raf.

 

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