It’s a year since a tiny bug has set the world on fire. There are clear indications of an imminent second wave. There is no immediate end in sight. And most things are out of our control. If you need a positivity boost in these uncertain times, to build optimism and resilience into your life against the daily despair, or to learn lifelong skills for a better tomorrow, pick up Dr.V. Mohan’s autobiography.
It is said, success happens on a journey, not at the destination. For the last five decades, Dr.V. Mohan has worked relentlessly to promote diabetes healthcare in India. It’s a fascinating journey of one of the few practicing doctors in India, who has contributed to research, education and charity in such a large measure.
It’s an inspiring journey, that has not only made him India’s premier-most diabetologist but made the world take note of India. With numerous accolades from the nation and the world, this journey has elevated Dr. Mohan to the rank of one of the top 0.4 percent of global research scientists in the field of Endocrinology and Metabolism as it has made him a prodigious business leader, with 50 clinics across 10 states in India.
What sort of a journey leads to such rich, deep and meaningful success?
It’s how a young boy with poetry in his heart and diabetes healthcare in his genes comes to be felicitated by his country and the world. It’s also about how he has learned to overcome fears and failures. A journey that traverses through anecdotes of determination, perseverance, dedication and resilience. It’s about optimism, positivity, goodness, channelizing one’s energy and education into making life meaningful for others. And, most of all, it is a journey of finding a path—through science, spirituality and social work—when all roads seem blocked.
Researchers have found out that negative emotions consume us while feeling inspired impacts our well-being directly. Well-being is a complex idea, that includes resilience, or how quickly we can recover from adversity; outlook, or how we relish positive experiences; awareness, or when we really focus on what we are doing; and generosity, or the ability to empathize, express gratitude and be compassionate towards ourselves and others. We have curated some life lessons (and there are many more) from Dr. Mohan’s book. Read on to find out why positive people are always one step ahead of us in thinking, habit and disposition.
Success looks easy, in hindsight, but as Dr. Mohan’s book shows, it’s all about a lot of hard work and learning, including learning from failure. It’s also about valuing people and respecting patients, being mentored and mentoring others, following Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000-hour rule” (Outliers: The Story of Success, 2008) yet saving enough time to nourish oneself—in quiet meditation, on breathing, and listening to one’s inner voice.
Here are some excerpts and passages that will resonate with those looking for meaningful insights and wisdom to enrich their lives.
PERSEVERANCE, PASSION AND PURPOSE
“I learned early in life that once can eat multiple hats: of a doctor, researcher, teacher, administrator, philanthropist and spiritual and motivational speaker. The important thing is to focus on the job at hand.”
“There is no use if you have all the energy in the world, but you spread yourself too thin. You need to act like a magnifying glass which collects energy from the sunlight and focuses it on a single point.”
“Most of my doctor friends complain that they do not have the time to do research. I believe that if one has the passion and puts in hard work, it is possible to combine multiple jobs and do justice to all of them.”
FAMILY, FRIENDS & LAUGHTER
“Whatever one may achieve in life, if it’s without the support of one’s family, it is simply not worth it.”
“Doctors are surrounded by misery and suffering…walking the tightrope of death and life…But one of the key life learnings is to learn to laugh. And to laugh at me—particularly when I have embarrassed myself. And during such moments, I think about how important it is to not take yourself or life too seriously.”
“When I dined with him (Wasim Akram, the famous Pakistan cricketer and former captain) I saw that he proudly displays his insulin pens on the dining table at restaurants and takes his insulin shots, when required, in full public view. He is a shining example of how, with willpower, one can overcome any obstacles.”
FAITH, A POWERFUL FORCE
“Is it true that by praying you get extraordinary belief, which adds to your physical or mental strength? Is it truly a miracle that God works through you? I have no clue whatsoever. But I do believe that faith is a powerful force.”
“When I meet my patients, I am able to divide them into those who have a sense of intuition and faith and are able to incorporate positive thinking in their lives and those who don’t. The former is labeled fortunate, but it’s not that they’re merely relying on luck—they have faith and self-confidence.”
“None of them (nonagenarian patients) is athletic or a sportsperson but all follow some discipline in their diet. Most importantly, they have the willpower and a positive approach to life. And, in the bargain, their inspirational stories have made diabetologists and scientists rewrite textbooks and journals.”
DOING BUSINESS THE RIGHT WAY
“My experiences taught me that it is through charitable work that we learn more about ourselves—our values, motivations, what drives us and of course our ethics. A charitable sensibility, ethics and the right way of doing business must seep into the fabric of any institution. Indeed, they should become its very foundation.”
TRUST AND COLLABORATE
“(I)n all my years of collaboration have learned that any fears of being upstaged or having one’s precious ideas stolen are unfounded. I have trusted people, trusted their unique strengths, and have realized how much stronger, resilient and more prepared we are together…”
“Early in life, I learned an important lesson: you could either have a very small cake all to yourself, or you could have a piece of a really huge cake. It often turns our that even a small piece of a big cake is much bigger than the whole of a small cake.”
PRICE OF SUCCESS
“There is a price for everything in life, including success; you must be prepared to pay for it. Jealousy, pain, sleepless nights, going beyond your comfort zone, sacrifices, working harder and smarter all the time, raising the bar frequently, failures, frustrations—the list is endless for those who want success.”
“There are moments in life when your integrity is tested. You are compelled to wade through the troubling waters of accusations and malice, unsure if you will be able to prove your innocence. Several times in life I have borne the brunt of standing up for a cause, and each time, I have tried to withstand the ruthless examination as best as I possibly could.”