When I was in grade 7, my math teacher suggested to my father that I should do the IAS (Indian Administrative services – a very coveted job in those days, in India) examination when I grew up. My father immediately started a subscription to the Competition Succe ss Review, a great magazine that prepared you for general knowledge and personality tests. I loved reading the articles on self development a lot.
When I was a teenager, I came across Dale Carnegie’s ‘How to Stop Worrying and Start Living,’ and was totally hooked. In my early twenties, I developed an interest in spirituality and self realisation, which I still value.
With all my altruism, and passion, I joined a small women’s lib organization when I stated med school. I soon came to realize the fact that although such organizations are started with the best intentions, human nature, particularly the ego, soon takes over. I was disillusioned, to say the least. I said to myself, “You cannot change the whole world, but you can change the world for one person, one person at a time.”
Once I became a surgeon, I got the opportunity to help people in many ways than one. I set about helping them, doing my best for them, and my patients appreciated it. However, I found that outside the hospitals, life was different. I still had to deal with discontented, disgruntled, unhappy people all the time. I myself became quite an angry person because of some of my own experiences.
With my constant work on self development, with all the effort I make on my own, I still feel I have a long way to go. It is very difficult to receive the right kind of support and the right kind of encouragement, in all that one wants to accomplish, all of the time. This is where a coach would come in handy. I see a lot of people around me who would do really great with a little bit of encouragement and acknowledgement.
I always say that the best time to stop a person from smoking is BEFORE they start. Similarly, I realise that the best time to help a person develop a great peronality is Before they get set in their ways and form bad habits of thinking and acting, that are then difficult to change. This means getting them when they are young. I want to make sure that I can help young people shape their characters, and discover their own potential at an early age, so they dont have to gothrugh the un-learning and re-learning process that I am having to do constantly. I therefore spent a few years searching for a good coaching course, and trying to decide which one to take. Finally, everything came together in the fall of 2009 and I started with the ICA.
How are you using coaching to make a difference?:
I have just announced a 3 hour workshop for teenagers called the ‘Teen Advantage’ in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. I am doing this free of charge, in collaboration with the Cornwall Public Library, in a couple of weeks. I will be offering continued free coaching to 3 teens who attend the workshop. I am also a coach for the e-portfolio program for the first year medical students at the Ottawa University. I am amazed at how much I am able to help the students.
What was the most valuable thing you learned at ICA?:
I checked out various courses, and sent out feelers. At the time, I was not yet ready to start. I needed a course that was flexible in every way. My job as a general surgeon in small community made my time very precious, and my schedule very unpredictable. I could not submit to a fixed time commitment. I needed more time than the average student to get through the course, given my job, my family and other commitments. The best and most professional response, I received from ICA. Up until the time I finally made my decision, I was treated with respect, all my questions were patiently answered, and I was pleased. ICA gave me the option to take the classes from the convenience of my home, in any order I wanted, and in my own time. Once I joined, I was impressed with the way everything was handled. I have now been attending the classes for 3 months, and have found a huge shift in my own thinking, in many ways. I have found it much easier to put to practice things that I know work. It has made me take my commitments and look at them for the underlying values, and my needs. I have met some incredibly wonderful people, who have enriched my life. Each class I take is a new blessing. Sometimes, I am not even sure why I should be surprised any more! I am indeed grateful.