“I wanted to run away”, with the office full of patients, he understood that his career as a doctor needed a change
It was exactly one month before finishing high school that he decided what his professional future was going to be. After completing the six years of training in a technical school from which he would obtain the knowledge base necessary to follow his father’s path as a civil engineer, he made a change of direction. On the eve of departure he chose to study something that was “difficult” and enrolled in medicine at the National University of Cuyo. Seven years later he was received and ready to begin his residency, which he successfully completed for the next seven years at the Private Community Hospital in the city of Mar del Plata. There he also specialized in clinical medicine and then in intensive care.
Raised in the province of San Juan, Pablo del Cid (51) had a happy childhood, surrounded by love. “The first time I remember realizing that I was happy was when I was 13, driving early with my mom to the first day of high school. I noticed at that moment, while looking at the trees on the road, that happiness emerged from within me and it was simply wonderful. Later, in adolescence, i suffered from severe anxiety and that led me, i know now, towards medicine and health care”.
Consolidated as a doctor in Mar del Plata, after a while he understood that, except in the big places, of reference, where he worked as a team and under strict and updated protocols, the life of the therapist in those years was quite cruel. They lived from guard to guard and not in the best institutional conditions. He then devoted himself to office medicine and entered a local clinic. It went very well. He worked a lot. He came to see more than 40 patients a day, from Monday to Saturday, 100% committed to the profession and juggling so that all of this would get along with his wife’s family with two small children..
At that time I had set very clear goals, objectives that I wanted to achieve on a family, personal and professional level. “My wife, also a doctor, understood perfectly and fully supported me. Without that unconditional support it would have been very difficult. The guilt for not being more present in the lives of my children ate at me sometimes, but I justified it by saying that what I was doing was for the family. However, a long time later I understood that this was not true, he had done it for me, only for me.
However, in his best professional and economic moment, he noticed that something was not right. One morning, when he arrived at his office, he felt like running away. “Crowded with patients, with the secretary struggling with the lock, I realized that I was not happy. It didn’t matter what I had family, professional, financial or anything else. I couldn’t keep hiding the fact that I felt unhappy and the reason was in front of my eyes all the time: I lived a life full of things and empty of essence, empty of me”.
When he realized that he wasn’t happy, his first thought was that it was because of what he was doing. With very little thought about it, he sold all his shares in the clinic and in other companies he had, believing that doing so would free him and that it would make him happy. Error. “The day after signing the sale, while I was walking alone through the streets of the neighborhood where I live, I said to myself What did I do?!. He did not yet know that this jump without a net would be followed by a long road full of twists and turns, hits and misses, joys and sorrows. Mindfulness meditation was key for me to get on my feet and begin to find the new direction. I faced, and still have to face, my worst ghosts and by doing so I made peace with myself and my story. In other words, I was able to forgive and forgive myself and begin the path of well-understood self-love.”
On a personal level, he understood that it was necessary to repair his family history. The relationship with his brothers did not exist. Although he was six on his father’s side, as he had grown up as an only child and his parents were not together, the reality was that he had never been interested in meeting or dealing with them. “My father was a civil engineer, an incredible person, very capable. Also very conservative, with rigid mandates and a strong family history. My mother was a teacher and pure emotion (for better and for worse). He wrote poetry although he never dared to publish anything”.
Then began a long road to meet again. It was an extensive search that led him to meet unexpected people and places and, fundamentally, brought him back home, that is, towards his being. He began in the world of mindfulness, took courses, was trained, then participated as a speaker and gave meetings and workshops on the subject. In 2017 he traveled to the University of Miami, to the World Happiness Summit and since then he has been dedicated to his research and communication.
The transformation was gradual, with advances and setbacks, with moments of enormous certainty and others of regret. “If I could say what was the reason why I did not give up changing, I think it was the need to live in peace with myself and the conviction to fulfill my purpose in life.”.
In 2021, before the second wave of the pandemic began, Pablo definitively left clinical clinical medicine and business life to dedicate himself fully to helping people find their best version, that is, a happier version, reissuing some concepts and mistaken beliefs about what this really means.
“Happiness is chosen every day and you decide all the time what kind of life you want to have. Not because external circumstances can always be changed, but because You can choose how we are going to deal with them. The mandate of the time tries to impose a model of happiness that I call cardboard, hollow, that does not resist the vicissitudes of daily life, tied to external factors such as money, beauty, power, etc. True happiness is built from within, connecting to our essence and standing in the present moment, which is the only space-time coordinate in which we can really exercise a transforming action and unfold our potential. Contrary to what is believed, happiness is not found running away from sadness, even in the worst circumstances we can grow, strengthen ourselves and improve ourselves if we learn to accept life as it comes, without resisting what it is, just as it is”.
In August of last year he published train yourself to be happy, a book that brings together everything learned, with an appendix full of exercises and techniques designed to stimulate the brain in the synthesis of genuine well-being. He currently hosts the radio program Inspired, stories that inspire, which is broadcast by Radio Miter and CNN radio in Mar del Plata. In addition, he is working on his second book, be happy on purpose, where the proposal is to stop desperately pursuing happiness and use all that energy to find what gives meaning to life. “Because as Henry David Thoreau says: happiness is like a butterfly, the more you chase it, the more it flees. But if you turn your attention to something else, it will come and gently land on your shoulder.”
He has been in a relationship for 22 years, he was able to rebuild the relationship with his brothers and watch his children grow up -who are already teenagers and are deciding their professional future-. “I believe that we can all live better, without exception, and that to do so we need to learn to use the resources we have available, physical, mental and social. It is a critical moment for humanity and it is necessary that we leave the competitive mode and evolve towards the collaborative mode. It makes me happy to realize that I can connect with people, enjoy simple things like a sunrise, a coffee with a friend, a motorcycle ride or surfing a wave. I try to see each day as an opportunity to be the best version of myself that I can be and treat myself with compassion and consideration.”.
If you had an experience that improved your well-being and quality of life (it can be medical, food, sports, a trip, sentimental, professional or of another nature), and you want to share it in this column, write to [email protected]