My reasons to pursue psychiatry and psychology have not been highly influenced by the brilliance of M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Travelled. I’d say the book’s actually given me a new perspective.
Before, I’ve been trying to think of a profession to field in, but – ever since secondary school – I’ve barely had any luck. Only until recently have I actually figured out with rigid reinforcements and passion what I want to profess in. Being a psychiatrist was actually an idea before, but I never felt strongly for it due to certain reasons. Next up was teaching, and I thought I’d try to teach because through this profession I could envelop and make use of spirituality, creativity, wisdom, intelligence, passion, love and thinking – all on a daily basis, concurrently. And while I may be limited to teaching only certain things, and be grounded by certain rules and regulations, teaching offered much more freedom and space as compared to practising psychiatry.
What M. Scott Peck has done – through his books – discredited my ideology of psychiatry. I’ve always taken psychiatry and psycotherapy to be governed by stringent ‘main’ rules, criterias and limitations – one of such being the inability to discuss religion or sexuality or any highly sensitive topics. Never have I imagined the depth of freedom and possibility of being able to use anything that could help in psychotherapy. M. Scott Peck has roleplayed my single, most ideal dream. He is a psychiatrist, as well as a writer, with wisdom and depth of spirituality and mentality far beyond anyone I have ever read about/met. While his work may not be uncommon at all – that other psychiatrists just don’t write and make themselves known -his work, words and books have convinced me that the ability (or inability) to practice freedom lies not in your profession or the work you choose to do, but yourself. Psychiatrists today choose to draw lines simply because crossing the line would result in a conflict between personal life and work, but M. Scott integrates these two.
And I think, to dedicate a life to a pursuit of human spiritual development would be ideal.
While at it, I thought I might just add a bit about my life and my decisions (just generally).
So what is a life with no concrete direction? What is it like to live not knowing what you want to do, or not knowing how or what you’ll end up as? I think, most of us know the answer to that.
There are fortunate people who have found passion to pursue what they want at the right time. As such they hoist their sail towards the direction (diploma, degree or A levels – stepping stones towards their dreams) and they excel and do really well, while we – those with interest but not passion – study the things we study in school, which for most people end up being the decisive force that decides what they should end up being.
I lived through primary school, secondary school, and polytechnic life with no passion at all for the things I learn. The only things I’ve ever truly really enjoyed studying are history, critical thinking and reasoning, and english – some of the subjects I’ve truly excelled in because of a degree of passion and pure interest.
My diploma was a choice I made from my fascination with the brilliance of Prison Break (not kidding), and from time to time for the past 4 years I’ve been asking myself – what am I doing? What am I going to be? However, the extent or intensity of those questions were mostly always devitalized by the fact that I was young and I had time to figure things out, so I procrastinate because I can.
Now, at the age of 20, while serving National Service I’ve figured out what I’ve truly wanted to do, something others have been able to do at the age of 12-15. I have lost critical years of my youth, but it does not matter. 20 I think is quite late an age to figure things out, but I think – better late than never right?
So to those who have yet to realize what you want to dedicate your life to, I hope that you be patient about it – it’ll come. And when it comes, I hope everyone (including myself) be courageous enough to pursue it, no matter how late.