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How to Stay Humble In The Face Of Great Success by Sanjay Patel

  • Posted by: Sanjay Patel
  • 30th May 2016

As a successful ophthalmologist and one of the Managing Directors for Chalak Mitra Group of Companies, I suppose I have the right to be a proud. And, I am, to a point. I have spent my entire life working to get to where I am today. It hasn’t always been an easy path, but I believe that it’s always been the right path for me. That doesn’t mean I am an arrogant man, quite the opposite. While my family and I enjoy the successes that I have accomplished, I try to remain humble. I believe that it’s important to remember where you came from and what truly matters in life.

My Early Days

When my parents first emigrated from India to Canada, I was only 4 years old. My father worked as an engineer for the city of Toronto. When he was laid off around 1976, a friend suggested we move out to California. My parents bought a run-down hotel in Los Angeles, refurbished it, and made it successful and profitable. Unfortunately, it was in a terrible part of town and after being held up at gunpoint a couple of times, my father decided it was too dangerous to stay so we sold the property and moved to Texas. Once again, my family invested in a hotel, which I helped run when I was in high school. Despite our best efforts, that hotel failed due to the economic conditions of the west Texas oil industry.

Lessons Learned

The one thing that sticks with me about my younger years is that my parents never gave up on their goals. When something didn’t work, there was always a backup plan waiting to be implemented. We never went without, and we always managed to bounce back from whatever hardships we faced. That kind of dedication to the achievement of goals had a major impact on the way that I perform today. In fact, I believe that surviving these trials and tribulations helped me to understand that I could achieve anything I truly wanted to. This knowledge, combined with my own personal drive, lead me to attend Southern Methodist University, then Southwestern Medical School, where I obtained by medical degree.

Awards and Kudos

I’ve been practicing medicine for the last 17 years now. For the past four years, I’ve been named best doctor by D Magazine. The first time I received the award, I honestly didn’t take it that seriously. If it had been up to me, the certificate would have been relegated to a file somewhere. To me, awards and kudos simply aren’t as motivating as knowing that I am helping others. My office staff, however, thought it was fantastic and they insisted I hang it in the office. What I realized is that recognition had an impact on my patients. They see the awards and, perhaps, it instills a bit more confidence in trust in me as their physician, which is the highest form of recognition for me.

Importance Of Family

I cannot express how important my family is to me. Without their love, support and undying devotion, I know I would never have gotten as far as I have in this life. I have been married for 20 years to a beautiful, understanding and wonderful woman. She put her ambition of becoming a pharmacist on hold when she moved here from India so that I could continue to pursue my career goals. I believe that our wonderful daughters have benefited greatly from having her constant care. Following with tradition, my parents also live in my home. Spending quality time with my wife, being able to talk to my parents when I need advice, watching my children grow and learn, and staying close to extended family all keep me grounded.

No matter how successful I am, with Chalak Mitra Group of Companies, or in my medical practice, I remain humble and grateful. Whether you’re an aspiring student, mid-level manager, or a high-level CEO, I believe these traits are of the utmost importance. Never forget where you came from, heed the lessons that you’ve learned and don’t get too big-headed. Above all, though, treat your immediate and extended family with love, respect and devotion. These are the ways to success.

Dr. Sanjay K. Patel, MD