Health: Find your inspiration

To make the most of this life, we must make the most of each day.

What inspires you to rise out of bed each morning, do what needs to be done, pursue your goals and give the extra effort that makes a difference? What gets you through the in-between times with a mountain range of challenges between you and your destination?

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From an early age, I was hooked on reading. By Grade 6, I had finished reading the World Book Encyclopedia and spent hours each week at the McGill Branch Public Library in North Burnaby. Like my mom, each week, I would borrow my limit of books.

I was inspired by Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People and James Allen’s As a Man Thinketh. I learned much more from countless books and my eyes opened to an expanding horizon of possibilities.

So enriched and moved by the writing of others, I imagined how wonderful it would be to help and inspire others with my own words someday.

For 10 days in Grade 6, I had a flare-up of rheumatoid arthritis with rashes, fevers and painful joints. On Burnaby Hospital’s pediatric ward, I was cared for by my doctors and nurses who weren’t treating a disease, but rather me as a whole person. I trusted them to do their best for me and it was then that I decided to be a physician — to give forward the care that I had been given and to care for others when they are most in need.

An inspiration can get us started on a path, but what keeps us going?

We can be most inspired by those we serve. When I became a parent, the awesome responsibility of caring for a helpless baby, loving unconditionally and nurturing each of my children to their greatest potential was the greatest of callings.

I had to rise to this responsibility and strive to be my best to give my best. My children have made me a better person.

As a physician, I developed my golden rule of medicine: treat every patient with the same degree of care and consideration I would want for a best friend or family member. For any of my patients, I refer to the same colleagues and order the same tests in the same time frame that I would want for those in my personal life.

The needs of my patients have inspired me to be a better physician. I am inspired and supported by a few of my colleagues, including my classmate, Dr. John Law, who like me, commit to continuous quality improvement in their clinical skills and looking outside of the box, learn advanced techniques to meet the needs of our patients.

The most inspiring physicians learn from one another and from their patients.

In your personal life, whom do you serve? Look both inside and out of your own home, community and workplace. If there is a need, can you rise to meet it?

Each day presents us with infinite opportunities to make a difference big or small — to lift up the hearts of a few people and to live a meaningful life.

Celebrate Inspiration Day from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6 at Century House, 620 Eighth St. in New Westminster. I’ll be there to enjoy the entertainment of the Century House singers and comedians and give the keynote presentation. Admission is $5. Call 604-519-1066 for more information.

Davidicus Wong is a family physician and his Healthwise columns appear regularly in this paper. For more on achieving your positive potential in health, see his website at davidicuswong.wordpress.com.

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