It’s Not Luck, It’s A Choice

“It’s 3 pm and you’re sitting poolside with your kids.  You’re so lucky.”

Nope, not lucky.  This was a very calculated and planned out choice.

Unseen in this picture is the 8 hours of work I completed beforehand to make this poolside outing happen.

Or the fact that my office was texting me about patients for a good bit of time while we were at the pool.

Or that I am sacrificing income to be able to spend time with my kids.

It’s a choice.

There’s always a choice.  Maybe not in training.  But before and after, you decide how you want to spend your time.

I make small daily decisions in alignment with my core values.  For me, those values are Family, Achievement, Freedom. We will eat together as a family as we do every night because my husband will be home by 5:30 pm.

This is a choice.

It is an option.

Early on in our marriage and practice building, my husband and I made the decision that our family will come first.  It was central to our core values.  We have accepted not being the top rising stars in our field, publishing tons of research and seeing thousands of patients.

We don’t have beach houses and vacation rentals or any of that. I drive a minivan or a Nissan Leaf. This choice is not right for everyone, but it was important for us as a family, so we made it happen.

Your core values might be different.  You have to find what’s right for you.  Central to that is determining your core values and translating that into the vision you have for your life. Perhaps, recognition, ambition and advocacy.  And, thus your life at 3 pm on a Tuesday ( this pic was taken yesterday),  would look different than mine.  Perhaps, you want to be involved in clinical research trials, speak at your academy meetings and be heavily involved in industry.  Just unique to you and your priorities.

Not better or worse.  Just different.

My choices have not come without sacrifice.  I know I’ll never be regarded as top in my field in the nation, on esteemed panels or the expert guest speaker for  industry.

But, you know how I know I’ve made a decision in alignment with my core values? When I’m sitting poolside with my kiddos, I never feel one ounce of regret or unease.  The values of family and freedom guide my decision making and help me feel rooted, comfortable and content in my decisions. Or when I’m home eating dinner with them, I don’t think “I could be making more money if I extended my clinic hours.”

That’s how I know. When I make decisions not in alignment with my core values – I feel unsettled and sometimes even uninspired. And, I’ve done that. I’ve made decisions based on things I’m SUPPOSED to want, goals that are not truly my own. Spend some time to really consider your core values. It will most definitely help you have a life that leaves you feeling fulfilled and satisfied.

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Dr. Rupa Wong


Hi! I'm Dr. Rupa Wong. Physician. Private Practice Owner. Mama to 3 kids. Managing Partner. Educator. Textbook Author. Conference Co-Founder. Mentor. I am more than just one thing, even as a doctor and I bet you are too. I would love to help you envision the life you want, and then get after it. What are you waiting for?

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