Sunday, March 21, 2010


I heard that line from Simon Cowell in various elimination rounds of American Idol. Oprah calls it our Ahah! days. Whatever term you coin for it, it's what it is - a stupendously thrilling event that makes our day.

Each time we step up to a task, we have our moments. I recently gave a lecture at the Renal Transplant Convention held at the Crowne Plaza and I received an excellent review. Some of my previous professors and colleagues were in the audience. To have them come up to me after the talk and provide positive feedback was a moment that impressed on me. Mind you, this was not a large a crowd as in my previous lectures. There were just about 60 or so subspecialists in the audience. My largest crowds have been bigger plenaries and conventions and my last performance prior to this talk was the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians where I gave a short lecture to 1,800 doctors at the World Trade Center.

Which goes to the point of this short blog.

"Moments" do not come to us on a silver platter. We make those moments and those Ahah scenarios. Every time we step up to the plate in anything we do - big or small, menial or gargantuan - we need to give our best.

In anything we do, there is that "moment" that we can showcase our best. It's why it is called our shining moment. It must not only be when we need to show off to a larger crowd what we can do. It is when we give our all, our best, even in the smallest group or task we do that makes that moment glitter and is well remembered.

Then there are those forgetful or forgotten events - either intentionally or because of the aging process. We call it our "senior moments". I, however, believe that there are no senior moments.

I am what you would call someone who multitasks. I am spread so thin with all my social, business and family commitments that I require a balancing act with them. In all my years, I have learned that part of making those moments meaningful is making sure that these commitments are kept.

It is a process called maturity which refines the very core of every individual.

And defines us as a person who earns respect from our colleagues.

Several years back, I was invited by Dr. Tony Dans to give a plenary talk on the relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and physicians. Having to deliver a lecture on this controversial topic to captains of the industry and foreign delegates was one of the most nerve-wracking moment in my life.

At the end of the talk, I received a standing ovation and I was so moved that I could never forget this defining moment in my life.

What struck me was that it was not only a life-turning event for me, but for the many more in the audience whose views I changed, whose paradigm has shifted, because of my shining moment.

It's moments like these that make me proud that in spite of all the temptations to gain more ground and popularity and financial remuneration, there is no tag price at maintaining my dignity in exchange for being "politically correct".

And it's not only lecture circuits that amps my moments. Even in the kids that I see in my clinic or the day-to-day relations with friends and colleagues, or the difficult referrals that I need to co-manage with colleagues and how to deal with their families, these are moments in my life that I will always treasure. The satisfaction you get out of these is the ultimate high.

Each day, each action, each decision - should be a decisive yet memorable moment for everyone. It is, after all, our final performance each time we step up to these opportune times.

At the end of my life, I would have said to myself that I ran the race and reached the finished line. And I will be remembered for all these moments I have shared with all who mattered most to me.

Have you had your defining Ahah moments too?

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