Dear Colleagues
Lets start this Blog with a Poem I love 
Little Boxes
by Malvina Reynolds
Little boxes on the hillsideLittle boxes made of ticky tackyLittle boxes on the hillsideLittle boxes all the same
There's a pink one and a green oneAnd a blue one and a yellow oneAnd they're all made out of ticky tackyAnd they all look just the same
And the people in the housesAll went to the universityWhere they were put in boxesAnd they came out all the same
And there's doctors and lawyersAnd business executivesAnd they're all made out of ticky tackyAnd they all look just the same
And they all play on the golf courseAnd drink their martinis dryAnd they all have pretty childrenAnd the children go to school
And the children go to summer campAnd then to the universityWhere they are put in boxesAnd they come out all the same
And the boys go into businessAnd marry and raise a familyIn boxes made of ticky tackyAnd they all look just the same
There's a pink one and a green oneAnd a blue one and a yellow oneAnd they're all made out of ticky tackyAnd they all look just the same

The Song by Malvina Reynolds, is very interesting, and it explains the way we live our life in boxes, and do not wish to move out of our Boxes, Doctors Interact and network only with Doctors, Ophthalmologists only with Ophthalmologists and so on. On the other hand we see that most successful people are those who were fluid - who broke boundaries and myths of the world.

Can One person be a Military Engineer , Architect , Anatomist, Sculptor, Painter and create the world best painting. Yes- this person was Leonardo Da Vinci.

Do you know the person who dropped out of college, went to calligraphy classes, learnt literature, spent time in Himalayan Ashrams and Temples of Kyoto and died as the world best entrepreneur- Yes- Steve Jobs

Even the Songwriter Malvina Reynolds was one of the first women PHD scientist, she then ran a tailoring shop, did social work, even worked in a bomb factory and then studied literature and started writing poems and conducted musical shows till the age of 70.

What is the thing that is common among all these people, when we become specialists we start to live in our own Island surrounded by people of similiar thinking and we reach a state of anti-fluidness, what these people have in common is that they are fluid.

How being fluid and Having exposure to unrelated various fields helps?

Da Vinci was able to create the wonderful Paintings, since he could have perfect symmetry from his architecture exposure, he could draw humans precisely from his experience in human anatomy and being able to see the various body parts , His military warfare exposure helped him create great instruments, He innovated to even imagine the first airplane, the first contact lens, the first bridge without pillars in between and so on.

Similarly Steve Jobs understood the concept of simplicity from his time in Kyoto and Ashrams in India. He also used his calligraphy skills to create those wonderful fonts used in Apple Computers. 

What are the disadvantages of Specialization?

Lets say as Ophthalmologists we start reading only Ophthalmology Books, Attend Ophthalmology Conferences spend time mostly with Ophthalmologist friends, travel with Ophthalmologists and so on. This leads to a problem on not able to come out of the box and work out solutions when faced with a problem. Say for example there is a issue of pilferage in our Hospital, we may not be able to come out with a good solution for this. On the other hand our generalist back bencher friend may have faced similar situations many times and can get a solution easily. Our growth, thought process and life becomes controlled by similar thinking Ophthalmologists who may not have exposure in other fields .

Can we develop Fluidity?

  • Yes of course, we can start by selecting the five most important people whom we interact with everyday and spend time apart from family and try to make these five people from different fields, ( Example a Architect, Painter, Cinema Director, and so on) Interaction with these people will give us different perspectives and approaches to problem solving.
  • Read Books of varied topics, For example Literature, Art, Philosophy, Gardening etc.
  • Become part of Organizations which are having varied types of people - Example TIE ( The Indus Entrepreneurs) CII, Literature society, Dance Societies and so on which may interest you.
  • Travel - Travel and Travel More- Travel is like meditation, and travelling opens up your mind to different opportunities.
  • Learn a New skill Every Year ( For example - Cycling, Learning a Musical Instrument, Archery, cooking , Gardening )
  • Learn from your Surroundings and Nature- They teach you lot of things.

By becoming Fluid - You can definitely be more than an Ophthalmologist alone.

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Dr T.Senthil

Acknowledgements- Books
Fluid- By Ashish Jaiswal
Range- by David Epsteim