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Sanjay Gupta Quotes

Sanjay Gupta

Sanjay Gupta quotes: on why he became a neurosurgeon, how he got into TV/writing, how to live better and more.

“You know what makes your heart swift, you know what makes your breath catch your throat, you know what makes your chest tight with anticipation.  Go get that!”

“While no one method works for everyone, getting a handle on the tasks you need to accomplish gets you one step closer to a more productive day.”

“I make a list every morning of the things I want to get done that day.  The list is very realistic.  I don’t put things on there that will really take two days.  Instead I write down on my list what I want to accomplish today.”

“If you give yourself endless time to accomplish a task, you will take endless time to accomplish it.  Always be really focused on how much time it’s going to take and at the end of that time, you’re done.  So give yourself deadlines.”

“It’s easy to overcome any obstacle when you have a firm date when you have to show up and perform.”

“The worst crime of all would be that a mistake happens and no one talks about it or learns from it.  So, as unsettling as it is to think about, these mistakes, complications and unexpected outcomes get discussed openly, and everyone hopefully gains something from it.”

“If you don’t want to lose your job, you become conservative, you keep your head down.  And it’s pretty unfortunate, because without the willingness to fail, the possibility for great success is eliminated.”

“Establishing meaningful groups and connections in real life—as opposed to doing it via technology or social media—is essential.”

“Find someone who loves you well.  Someone who never belittles you.  Even in the heat of an argument.  Someone who is gentle with you, but does not treat you like you are fragile.  Someone who knows what you are capable of, and celebrates those pieces of you.  Not someone who is intimidated by your strength.  Someone who doesn’t make you feel guilty for being flawed.  It is not love’s job to punish you.  And remember the person you love is just as broken as you are when they fall short.”

“No one is perfect.  Do not hold them to this standard.  Find someone who is patient, forgiving and apologetic.  Someone who practices forgiveness freely and often.  Love someone who is humble, kind and empathetic.  Not only with you, but with a beggar on the street, or a stranger in the supermarket.  Common courtesy is important.  Compassion is important.  Kindness is important.”

“When you’re grateful for what you have and give to others, science shows that your blood pressure and heart rate drops, and you’re less likely to develop blood clots.  Not to mention, your brain changes pretty quickly in response to your behavior, altering your perspective on things.  People have reported having a rosier disposition and seeing colors as brighter when making gratitude a part of their everyday lives.”

“One thing we have to realize is that everyone is different.  We say exercise and eat right, but for most people, they don’t know what that is.  Eating right for one person may be different for another person.  One of the things that I was struck by is that if you start to keep a journal of when you’re at your best and most energetic and creative self, you can figure out your ebbs and flows, gaining even more insight about yourself.”

“It’s a funny thing, but as human beings we simply eat way too much food.  We eat twice as much food as we need calorie-wise.  I really enjoy food and am not going to give certain things up, and that’s fine, I just eat less of them.  That’s how I started.  I would advise people to look at their plates at their next meal and take one third of the food away.”

“I think if we just go back to our roots a bit we’ll be a lot healthier and it will make a huge difference in our health overall.  Today we are inundated with a seemingly endless supply of sugar in our diets, and it’s up to us to moderate it.”

“Keeping informed is the best thing you can do for yourself and for your family.  As people become more knowledgeable, they’re not going to tolerate having unhealthy food that is exponentially cheaper.  They will make the choices to have healthier food.  And making healthier choices about what we eat should be passed down to future generations.  I think parents play a role, but I think there’s a role that everybody needs to play, and that ultimately the consumer is going to drive that.”

“Making time for a workout can offer mental clarity throughout the day as well.  I try to exercise early in my day, and after I feel like I’m so much more productive.  I break a sweat every single day.”

“Sleeping only six hours a night for a week in a row will make you feel on that eighth day as if you’d gotten no sleep at all.  Seven and a half to eight hours remains the sweet spot.”

Happiness itself is defined as being satisfied, content with life, and indulging in a certain amount of pleasure.  It’s the joy one gets in having accomplished something.  But in order to appreciate the satisfaction, you have to have some context in life to compare it to.”

“Stress still remains one of those terms people throw around and maybe not everyone is meaning the same thing when they use the word stress.  I think the idea of being busy is not fairly equated with stress—the idea of not having control, not having predictability of sense, not feeling that you have some autonomy in your life is a much bigger stressor.”

“I’m making more time for myself and allowing myself periods of time where I can take a reprieve from the stress.  We’re living with an enormous amount of stress in the U.S.  But I do want to point out that stress is not a bad thing.  Contrary to popular belief, stress is necessary to survive and thrive.  What you really have to do is make sure that the stress is not constant.  Stress in and of itself is not the issue.  It’s the constant nature of stress that’s the problem.”

“I’ve learned to take total responsibility for me, to not feel any guilt when I can’t do for others because I have to do for me.  I’ve learned to manage and budget time.  I now strive to always be better.  It’s like I have a purpose to each day now.  And I have a far deeper appreciation for anyone who challenges themselves to be better every day mentally or physically.”

“When you’re unplugged, you’re more in control of your own time and life.”

“If I say to you, how long do you want to live, the answer usually comes back to some version of, ‘It depends.  What would my body be like?  What would my mind be like?’  Not to sound too simplistic, but it’s not how many years of life, it’s the life in your years.  That’s what I found so inspiring around the world.  We expect near the end of our lives that we’re going to spend time in hospitals, that we may spend time in extended care facilities, that we may have difficulty getting around, require multiple medications, maybe even operations, whatever it may be.  In Japan, they talk about the fact that you want to live your life like an incandescent light bulb: ‘Burn brightly your whole life, and then one day just go out.’  You don’t want to live like a fluorescent light bulb, with a bunch of flickering near the end of your life.”

“Having a real sense of purpose in life is one of the things that many of these cultures attribute to their longevity.”

“I encountered prejudice and bullying in our small community.  It was tough being a kid who looked different and had a different-sounding name.  Wanting to fit in, I proposed changing my name to Steve (inspired by Steve Austin of TV’s The Six Million Dollar Man).  My mother talked me out of it and told me to be proud of my name, that one day everyone would know it because of the wonderful things I was going to do.”

“I was a bookish kid.  I spent long hours in the library reading everything I could find: histories, biographies, science fiction, fantasy, mysteries.  I was curious about the world and there’s no better way to find things out than through the pages of a book.  Even today if some kid asks me what’s the first step to take to become a doctor, I answer, ‘Read, read, read.'”

“I was in my teens when our family faced a medical crisis.  My grandfather, with whom I was very close, had a stroke and landed in the hospital.  Sitting anxiously at his bedside, I watched nurses come and go, checking his vitals and looking at the monitors attached to his body.  I remember sitting there wondering what could I do to make him feel better—to bring back the warm, thoughtful man I knew.“

“It was the neurosurgeons who fascinated me.  When they explained what they could do surgically to help, I thought, ‘I want to be like them.  I want to know what they know and have the ability to heal like they do.’  Eventually my grandfather got better, and my path in life was started.”

“It was curiosity and the desire to help that got me started on my path and continues to guide me—that moment when I stood beside my grandfather’s bed and wondered what I could do.”

“One of the things my mom liked to say (something I still apply to my life today): ‘A change of activity is a form of rest.’  When you need a break, try doing something different.  I’d always loved writing.  So I started doing articles for small magazines and newspapers.”

“The more I wrote, the bigger the magazines and newspapers became.  I even did a stint for the White House, planning events and writing speeches.  I added to my knowledge, and started thinking in a different direction.  If I could help a patient one-on-one in a doctor’s office, think how many more I could reach with a story about a promising new cancer treatment or information on preventive medicine.  I could save people like my grandfather.  I didn’t know how it would fit into the overall picture.  I wanted to become a neurosurgeon.  I also just happened to like writing.”

“Amazing things can happen when you start seeking solutions to the big problems of the world.”

Related: Dr. Oz quotes.

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