“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams,” said the former First Lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt. We’ve often bombarded ourselves with questions doubting our ability to succeed in multiple fields of interests. School of Meaningful Experiences’ Masterclass on MultiPotentialities was held to discuss how to channelise our ever-growing interests into a coherent whole. The session conducted on May 26, 2020, was hosted by Dr Rakesh Godhwani and featured Dr Jagdish Chaturvedi, a renowned ENT surgeon at Fortis Hospitals. Dr Chaturvedi is also a celebrated stand-up comedian, inventor, author and entrepreneur. In this talk, he used the example of his diverse range of interests to elucidate how one can have multiple talents and successfully pursue all of them simultaneously.
As a school student, Dr Chaturvedi was never among the meritorious lot. He was an average student, with interests in various extracurricular activities such as sports and theatre. He has been a professional theatre artist since the age of seven and has nearly three decades of theatrical expertise. Over the years, I got accustomed to being a part of various activities and excelling in each of them, he says. He also played drums and guitar and was a part of a band. Many kids indulge in a similar range of myriad hobbies during school time, but unlike Dr Chaturvedi, they quit after class 12. Although for a brief period this affinity towards multiple activities mentally unsettled Dr Chaturvedi, it proved beneficial in the long run.
Possessing the inherent quality of asking questions and seeking answers led Dr Chaturvedi to invent a medical device, which is now widely used in various villages, towns and cities. He was part of the team that developed ‘ENTraview’, an affordable ENT viewing and diagnostic telemedicine-enabled otoscope. It is easy to use, smartphone-enabled with network-based field screening solution that facilitates the front-line field staff to screen and provisionally diagnose the community for any ear-related infections.
Not having studied at renowned institutions, and securing average marks in my board exams did not affect my career in the least, says Dr Chaturvedi. It is imperative, however, to have a vision and the conviction to achieve that dream, he adds.
In his daily life, Dr Chaturvedi effortlessly manages to connect his medical profession with innovation and stand-up comedy, forming a way to improve upon each of them. He creates a well-structured plan much ahead of time and follows schedule diligently.
Dr Chaturvedi also acknowledges the vital role his parents played in the development of his multipotentiality. They never compared him to others and didn’t set unscalable expectations on his abilities. They were fair and flexible in allowing him to pursue his multiple interests. Having multitudinous setbacks in the initial stages of venturing and experimenting made Dr Chaturvedi comfortable dealing with subsequent failures that came his way. “Our body and mind can deal with something only when it is exposed to it,” he adds.
How does one pursue their interests when occupied with a full-time job?
A person needs to focus on his primary or core skills; delegation of work is essential if one wants to become a multi-potentialite. We should be willing to take risks or maybe even a sabbatical to get clarity on what must be pursued. “Once you do something that you are passionate about, then you will grow in it,” says Dr Chaturvedi. “Also, please learn to sacrifice some of your dreams. One of the more significant problems faced by people today is that they are unwilling to sacrifice some of their many dreams,” adds Rakesh.
Watch the entire webinar here.
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