Hey guys, welcome back to the podcast. I'm Amanda.
And I'm Kendra.
And we are excited today because we have a special guest star, Dr. Susie Sharpe, who is an inspiration for how to not only be a doctor, but start to also add things into your life that truly cause a spark in your life. And that's what so many of us just have our heads down and are doing the day to day and I can't remember the last time that we had a spark of joy, but she's going to help us and tell us how, how she did it for herself personally.
So, Dr. Susie Sharpe is an internist and an artist who used to live in Kendra's and my town of Springfield, Missouri, but four months ago, she relocated to Sarasota. Happy for you, Susie.
She recently gave a TED Talk and I'm just going to read his introduction because as I was researching, I don't think I can beat it.
So, Dr. Susie Sharpe is a first generation immigrant from Korea who overcame language, cultural, and economic barriers and achieved her implausible dreams. She first became a Yale trained physician and then an internationally known artist while maintaining a dual career and raising a family. Today, she's sharing with us the four keys to achieving your dream.
Welcome, Dr. Sharpe. Thank you so much.
Thanks for having me. It's a pleasure.
Dr. Sharpe, tell us our audience a little bit about your amazing story, growing up, why you became a doctor, how you decided you wanted to be an artist.
So I grew up in South Korea, and art was my first love. My dream was to become an artist. But when I was 16, my family decided to immigrate to the U. S. And although my parents were professionals in Korea, without speaking English in America, they became struggling immigrants, trying to run a small grocery store, getting robbed at gunpoint on a regular basis.
I find myself in the 10th grade in New York City, completely lost and just desperate because I couldn't understand English. And with no one to rely on, I felt I needed to find a career path other than art, that offered some certainty that I could support myself and help others. So I decided to become a physician, although it felt like an impossible dream.
And after many grueling years while learning English and supporting myself, I received my MD and residency training from Yale.
I love that in your TED Talk you said chemistry was one of your favorite classes because it used less English. I was like, Oh my gosh. I didn't particularly love chemistry.
I did not like chemistry either, but it was the only way to kind of get through pre med and get A's.
I've never looked at chemistry like that before, but thank you for that perspective, Dr. Sharp. What was the event that made you pursue your real dream of becoming an artist?
So during pre med or medical school, obviously I didn't have any time for art and after training is done, I got busy with practice right away and had two kids.
So all my time went to my practice and kids. And my dream stayed buried, but I had not given up about 10 years ago, I had a wake up call when I was driving home after a long day of work, my typical 15 plus hours in the day in the clinic. I don't stop and my car just swerve across the midline in the highway.
And luckily, I didn't crash, but that moment made me realize that if I had died, then I would have never got to live my original dream as an artist. So after that wake up call, I started studying art whenever I could, painting usually after midnight, after caring for patients and kids.
And as a physician, you know, I witnessed a lot of human suffering. So my goal as a physician is to lessen patient suffering, but my mission as an artist is to bring beauty and joy and healing to the viewers. So my colors are really bright, vibrant, and I try to be uplifting with my art.
Wow, that's amazing. That is such an integration of even just what you've seen as a physician has kind of overflowed into what you're doing now, which is being an artist, what you've always dreamed. So that is incredible. Where are some of the places that you've been able to show your art or where it's been on display? Tell us a little bit about that.
So initially I started showing in Springfield, Missouri but eventually I was doing 20 plus shows a year more than a typical full time artist, and I ran out of places to show, but around that time my art was discovered online by a gallery in Spain, and so I've done shows in New York, Miami, twice in Paris, Madrid, Brussels, Luxembourg, New York, And my art is all over Facebook and Instagram, and I ship my art to across the U. S. and worldwide. And many of my patrons are female physicians who chat to me online.
That's so wonderful. I, I love what you said about wanting to provide healing through your art and using those really bright colors that. I, I definitely have that experience when I view a beautiful painting with really, really bright colors. There is something about it that definitely lifts the mood and it just, you really do feel good when you're looking at it.
So that's wonderful.
You mentioned in your TED talk, in your TEDx talk, that only 2 percent of people fulfill their life's dream. So tell us your four keys for achieving a dream. What's key number one?
So most people know what they don't want, but are unclear about what they want to achieve.
And sometimes people are hesitant to set ambitious goals because they're afraid that they will get disappointed if they don't achieve it. So clarity is the key. And I, I found that one way to get clear on your dream is to imagine the last day of your life and ask, what is one thing that if you had not done, that you would regret and, you know, have you lived your life true to yourself?
So, if not, then get busy because we never know when our time is up. And for me, my 2 goals were becoming a physician and doing art. And you never know, it's never too late to start dreaming something big but I would say, start with deciding what you want to do and commit and then figure out. And most people tend to ask, how am I going to do something big.
And then set the goal accordingly. And if you do that, I think we tend to set smaller goals and never live to our fullest potential. So start with just deciding and committing first and then figure out how to get there.
That is awesome. I love that. I use that a lot myself. Thinking about the end of my life, it's one of those seven habits that Stephen Covey taught was begin with the end in mind. And I, I do think that really helps provide so much clarity when we're at the end of our life and looking back, what is it that we're going to wish that we had done that we haven't.
And how can we do it? So I love that. So what is key number 2?
Number 2 is visualizing your dream. Visualization gives you clarity and focus. And there are many studies that backs up that this is very powerful tool. Making dream come true. And also remember that we're never too old to start dreaming something new and big.
On my wall is a picture of a woman named Julia Hawkins. She was 105 years old when she set the world record as a runner. And this year at age 107, she gave a TV interview, and it was just very, very inspiring. And the most remarkable thing is that this woman did not stop running until she was a hundred years old.
So she is one of my inspiration.
Yes, that, that is amazing. Yeah. So I love that too. We think that we have to, and I think probably it comes from our stepwise approach to our medical training. We think that everything, we have to have everything worked out ahead of time before we can even allow ourself to believe that something that we want to do can happen, but really, ironically, just thinking about that theme without trying to think about how it's going to happen is going to pull us more towards it. So that is. I think visualizing is so, so important. So what is key number three?
Key number three is overcoming our enemies.
And I would say our biggest obstacles in achieving dream is our mindset rather than some external factors. So I list four things. One is self doubt. And because oftentimes we ask ourself, can I do it? A better question maybe, if I don't do this, can I live with myself at the end where I have regret at the end?
So I tend to ask that. And then if the answer is yes, then then decide and commit. Even if you have no idea how to get there. And then the other thing is excuses. There are a thousand excuses we could give ourselves, but there are always people who make things happen, despite all the obstacles. And we could be one of them.
Next obstacle is fear, which is I call it false evidence appearing real and most of our fear is based on some imagined event that hasn't occurred.
So courage is not lack of fear, but taking action despite fear. And I feel like the difference between living an ordinary life and an extraordinary life is all in the actions we take. So if we wait until we're comfortable and ready, we will take very few actions and live a very ordinary life.
And the last thing I talk about that I really of feeling unworthiness that a lot of people have as a barrier, and I feel like we're given this precious life. It's a gift. And what are we going to do with it?
That's huge because I think a lot of people are like, well, who am I to be ungrateful and go for something bigger? Well, that is the essence of you. Go for it. I love you're getting me fired up. Dr. Sharpe. I love that. That your acronym for fear was false evidence appearing real. That I love so much. I'm gonna Yeah.Writing that down right now.
Okay, and then take us home. What is key? So, so key number one was get clear on your dream. Key number two, visualize that dream. Key number three is know your enemies, especially self doubt, excuses, fear and unworthiness. So what is key number four?
Key number four is a showing up.
Just think about how often that we may not feel like it. We may not we may be tired. We may be sleep deprived. There could be a lot of reasons. But I found that even showing up at 20 percent of your best still counts towards your achieving your dream. So showing up every day, that small step is critical.
That's perfect. Cause I think, at least for me personally, there's a whole all or nothing mentality and that doesn't get you there if you just stay at zero, if you stay at nothing. So giving yourself credit for the 20%, I love you. You are so wise. Yes. Thank you. Yes, so where can people, I have seen your beautiful art and it's unbelievable.
I think everybody listening to this is going to want to, you know, we'll put it in the show notes where you can just scroll down right now and click on it. Where would a person go to see your art and maybe even buy? So my website is my first name Susie, the last name. net.
And, and then I am all over the Facebook and Instagrams under my name. So anybody could find me pretty easily.
Okay. Awesome. Well, are there any closing thoughts before we wrap up?
I want to just remind everybody that life is a precious one time gift and we know it as a physician is better than most people that it is one time gift.
And the older I get, it feels like the time seems to pass faster and faster and we could always make up for money, but we can never make up for time. And so I would say, do something meaningful, something beautiful, something special every day for yourself and for someone else. Because extraordinary life is made of thousands of small, extraordinary days.
I love that. What a great perspective. Thank you, Dr. Sharp, so much for joining us today. So much wisdom, so much experience wrapped up in a life well lived. So thank you very much for... Gracing us with your time and we honor you for doing what you are doing to live your best life and enjoy every moment. So thank you.
Thank you. Thank you. And we love our listeners. We love our listeners. We love you out there. Hopefully you were inspired today by Dr. Sharpe's story. And if you want to go check out her TED talk, it is well worth the time. So until next time you are whole, you are a gift to medicine and the work you do matters.