You’d probably never have thought it, but before Deepak Chopra became a well loved mind-body-spirit expert and inspirational philosopher, he was a stressed out, chain smoking and discontented chief of medicine (yes, Western medicine) at a hospital in Boston, America. His work was having a negative impact on his life and he was consistently turning to alcohol.
‘Very unhappy people, physicians,’ he has said. ‘The relatives of patients with whom they deal are demanding, litigious, intimidating. That’s the environment of medicine. Most of my fellow colleagues were very stressed; a lot of them were addicts. I used to experience the most extraordinary frustration and tightness. My great fear was getting into trouble. Malpractice suits are a big deal in the United States.’
Walking the long road
Imagine how disheartened Deepak must have felt. He’d stopped following his father’s footsteps as a journalist to pursue this calling. He was so passionate about a career in Western medicine that, right after graduating from medical school, he’d left for America at just 23 years old and with only $25 in his pocket. But despite his hard earned success he had fallen out of love with his career. How familiar are you with that feeling of being derailed despite following a strong intuition? It is so natural to want to give up at that point and call it all a mistake. Except it wasn’t a mistake for Deepak – he was on his way to an enlightened marriage between mind, body and spirit and every choice he made was fortifying the talents he possessed that would one day allow him to pass on the lessons he’d learned, to help others who found themselves at dis-ease the world over. None of it was a waste of time, even the hardest of moments would contribute towards the 75 books he has gone on to publish so far – including 21 New York Times best sellers – and the immeasurable lives that he has helped to change for the better.
All the small things“Deepak Chopra has successfully blended ancient Vedanta Philosophy with his unique perspective on modern medicine to provide a vast audience with solutions that meet many needs for our modern age. He is among the influential scholars, authors, and thinkers like Arthur Schopenhauer, Carl Jung, and Aldous Huxley who have found truth in the Perennial Philosophy and developed ways to help people apply that truth to their daily lives.” – Huston Smith (religious studies scholar and bestselling author)
Making the ‘right decisions’
So you see, this unexpected stuff that comes along and shakes us to the core … those desperate moments when it feels like everything is going against us … it’s all part of the journey. Every decision, every turn on the road, takes us on to new talents and experience that will all form a valuable part of our creation and purpose. So no, it’s not the destination that’s our destiny and our calling and there are no right or wrong decisions. It’s all in the journey – from the most painful, uncertain and embarrassing moments to the most feel-good, rewarding and proudest ones – the whole journey is the great ‘meant to be’. As Deepak Chopra himself puts it:
“If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another.
The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience.
If this sounds too mystical, refer again to the body. Every significant vital sign- body temperature, heart rate, oxygen consumption, hormone level, brain activity, and so on- alters the moment you decide to do anything… decisions are signals telling your body, mind, and environment to move in a certain direction.” – Deepak Chopra, The Book of Secrets
Learning to live with a balanced mind, body and spirit increases our overall well-being on this journey, enhancing the experience, supporting us through times of anguish and helping us maintain stillness through the chaos of the unexpected. Deepak Chopra’s books are a profoundly effective resource for this and to celebrate his birthday next Wednesday 22nd October, Cygnus Books are running a special offer on their complete Deepak Chopra range. Just remember to quote the code ‘HappyBirthday’ when you get to the coupon field on the last page of the checkout.
Writing this email, and considering Deepak Chopra’s background, has helped me to see the opportunity in this moment and the way that every experience is helping me to discover the best of myself and to find new ways to share that with others. I hope that reading these words has helped you too, to see the the wonderful transformation taking place within you every step of the way.