After postponing – for cost and other reasons – attending to a nagging pain and sensitivity in my teeth for almost a month, I finally visited our dentist earlier this past week. She’s a fine young lady – warm, courteous and very detailed with both her examination of and education on a condition. After review, she concluded that I needed to have my teeth scaled.
We fixed a time on Saturday evening for this process.
Even as Vaani and I arrived at the appointed time at her clinic she was already set, waiting for me. When we thanked her for her professionalism, she said she had imbibed this value from her father-in-law, a veteran doctor who always championed being on time to receive patients.
The scaling process was a simple one. My dentist further made it interesting by keeping me engaged with what she was seeing, what she was doing. When we were done, I asked her for her fee. She stated a very reasonable amount; I was actually expecting the fee to be higher. Surprised, I asked her if she was sure and if she had included her consulting fee for my visit earlier in the week (for which she had not charged then). Her reply was beautiful: “Sir, I am very sure. The reason why I left an established hospital chain, set up a clinic and started practising on my own is because here I can treat my patients the way I like to treat them – charging them reasonably for the services I offer.”
There’s an endearing, old world charm in the young doctor’s outlook to Life and in her attitude towards money.
Think about it. How often do you encounter professionals these days that value your time and who don’t keep you waiting? How likely is it that you will be charged only a fair, reasonable, fee for a professional’s advice or service? Surely, my dentist’s twin principles of patient(customer)-focus and compassion, of striving to not keep a patient waiting and to charge only a reasonable fee, are not just rare, they are perhaps likely to completely fade away from our society soon.
Besides this, there’s an invaluable, spiritual, lesson we can glean from the doctor’s philosophy and work ethic. Getting to that lesson requires that you ask yourself a simple question: What do I want to do with my Life?
Let’s understand this better. You have been given this Life – it is a gift, surely, because you never asked to be born; and you have acquired knowledge in your chosen field. So, what do you want to do with this gift and this knowledge? This is the key question. The answer to this question will lead you to the why of your creation, your Purpose. This answer will open the door to your Happiness.
Now, in my dentist’s case, she is a doctor; but you may be a gardener, a cook, a dancer, a lawyer, an entrepreneur, an accountant, an engineer, a musician, a painter – whoever you are – ask yourself, what do you want to do with the gift of your lifetime and with the knowledge, the training, the expertise you have in your chosen field? When you employ this understanding (of what you want to do with your Life) for serving others – than just yourself – you will awaken to living a Life of meaning and Happiness. You will then discover that your Life matters – because you are living it purposefully.
When you look around, you will realize that many people are feeling incomplete and unhappy with their Life. Look closely and you will find that they have perhaps chosen to serve only their interest, where their focus is only on earning a living, on making money, on profiting materially. Surely, they may be wealthy, and very successful in a worldly sense, but chances are, they may be feeling incomplete and unhappy.
Clearly, money can’t make anyone happy. Of course, you know that! Then, isn’t it common sense that we step out of the earning-a-living trap?
The way to do that is to celebrate Life – fully, every single day, and not just on Diwali or on a birthday or on an anniversary! A true, continuous, celebration of Life is the ability to always be happy and content no matter what is happening in your Life, no matter what you have or don’t have. Simply, Happiness is a decision. You are happy the moment you are content with what you have, when you accept what is. You are happy when you serve another, when you are making our world a better place. I am not saying money is not important. All I am saying is that making money is not the Purpose of your creation. Money is a human invention. In the times when money was not an object, people may have well lived simpler lives – they must have celebrated being with each other, serving each other, creating value for each other. Can’t we still live that way, while making just enough money that we need to get through Life and employing the rest of all that comes our way for universal good?
Today’s a great day to reflect on that opportunity, to go beyond the material celebrations that surround you and ask yourself what do you want do to with your limited-period offer: your priceless Life? May your answer guide you to celebrating your Life, your way – continuously, happily!