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    Overcoming Challenges

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | March 31st, 2024

    Overcoming Challenges

    Last week, I had the opportunity to listen to a beautiful presentation by Ms. Jacqui Bastian titled Overcoming Challenges to Find Your Purpose. She likened discussing the challenges to discovering and pursuing life’s purpose to navigating the obstacles you encounter when driving to a destination. I was so inspired by the talk that I immediately contacted her and asked whether I could share the information with my sisters who read my blog. She replied, “Absolutely, use my quotes to share on your website.”

    In her enlightening presentation, Ms. Bastian emphasized that each of us has a unique purpose in life, a gift that defines us. She underscored that the true meaning of life is to discover this gift and share it with the world.

    Whether or not you have figured out your purpose, she invited the audience to take a journey. However, before you start, you must think of your mission statement. If you do not have a mission statement, spend some time thinking about one. It does not have to be elaborate, and you should realize it might change as you go on this journey. The mission statement can serve as your internal compass, our global positioning system (GPS).

    I immediately thought of my six words – Keeping My Sisters Alive and Healthy.

    As we embark on our metaphorical journey, we may encounter unexpected detours – job layoffs, health issues, financial difficulties, relationship, and family problems to name a few. These are the moments that test our resilience and determination. But just like real detours, they are temporary, and we will eventually find our way back to the road leading to our purpose.

    We then continue on this road, and we experience heavy traffic. Cars are not moving. This is the time in our lives when we get overwhelmed. We may have overextended ourselves. We are frustrated.  We must learn to be patient. We will get to our destination—we know that. Take a deep breath, listen to some music, meditate. Traffic is not meant to derail us from our purpose but allows us time to think and be still. Let go of the baggage.

    Oh no, a road closure. It is a setback that makes us question our journey. Should I have started on this journey?  Did I input the details in the GPS correctly? Yet, we must remember that when one door closes, another often opens, revealing opportunities that are even better than what we initially had. It is a reminder that we all have a purpose, and no matter the setbacks, we will be okay. The GPS will get it right.

    Another road has opened, and as you drive, you notice all the construction happening. You embrace all that is new on this journey. Change is part of life.

    Life’s journey is a beautiful one. There will be detours, traffic, roadblocks, and construction, but we can overcome these obstacles. We cannot do it alone. Help is always available. Be willing to ask.

    Thank you, Ms. Jacqui Bastian, for allowing me to share parts of your presentation with my sisters.

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    With her trademark wit and straightforward communication, Dr. Osuagwu continues to dole out valuable medical advice using the letter form and addressing women’s health conditions and issues in a method that was praised for its innovative approach in her earlier award-winning book, Letters to My Sisters: Plain Truths and Straightforward Advice from a Gynecologist. In this book, each letter is paired with reference sources and statistics about the condition that is the subject of the letter.

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    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

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