Who Moved My Cheese?! – Reminiscing on Unexpected Changes

A few weeks ago, I was reflecting on my med school journey (as I often do), but this time getting frustrated. Why was my journey so different than I imagined it would be 6 years ago? In a matter of seconds, two words came to mind – curve balls. Yes, Derin, life is always going to throw some curve balls your way and you’ve got to roll with the punches. Hence why I created this blog in the first place.

Who Moved My Cheese Quotes (4)

Image Source

I’ve certainly had my share of unexpected changes in the past, and reflecting on them, I’m amazed at how God works – those changes have always been for the BEST. Let me share a few examples with you:

Case 1:

Moving in the middle of my sophomore year of High school. I moved to another state in the middle of my 2nd semester. Besides the challenge of making new friends, the curriculum was different (semester classes vs my previous year-round classes), which was disruptive to my education. This change however turned out to be one of the GREATEST blessings. Prior to moving, I googled my new school and found a short article on a former student who was a recipient of the Questbridge National College Match Scholarship. I was amazed and promptly bookmarked it for future reference. A year and a half later, I applied to that same scholarship and not only became a finalist but a recipient! This was huge for me. As a rising high school senior, paying for college was something I was highly concerned about. I immigrated to the U.S. with my family just 7 years earlier, had no college savings/ any saving really, and was strongly considering the Army Reserve to finance my education (my parents and I even met with a recruiter!). The move and unexpected change, turned out to be a wonderful blessing.


Throwback to my acceptance: Source here

Case 2:

Fast forward to my college graduation. I was super excited as one can imagine, but also looking forward to a paid summer internship in Ghana. I would be working with high school kids at an innovation academy. Having tried for the past 2 years to attain an internship in Ghana, I was thrilled my dream was finally coming true. Even better, my flight was being paid for! Since I had this post-college plan, I stopped looking for jobs and decided to post-pone the search till my return to the U.S. Well, 2 weeks before I was set to leave the country, the internship was cancelled due to funding. My heart sunk. WHO MOVED MY CHEESE?! It was certainly an unexpected change and before I could let the disappointment fully sink in, I began applying for full-time jobs – literally less than 12 hours after receiving the news. Reality sunk in, I was a college graduate with no immediate plans. I was in panic mode. One of the jobs I applied to during that frenzy is the job I currently have. Funny enough, the position had been recently posted. When I saw the description, I was like what? Could it be? Research “capturing contextual and socio-cultural factors that contribute to health disparities” within a clinical setting and at one of the country’s top health systems. Whoa! This is exactly why I majored in Sociology of Health and Medicine! Well, I got the job and the rest as you all know is history. I love what I do!

All this to say, unexpected changes can TRULY be a good thing. Thinking about my med school journey, I’ve certainly had my share of unexpected changes. Sometimes it can be difficult to deal with, but one just has to keep chugging along. Just roll on out with the punches. As I wrote in an interview, a re-direction can be a good thing! See interview here.

For anyone that has difficulty dealing with change, do check out this book: “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson, M.D. I first read it when I was 14 years old and loved it. As someone who has dealt with quite a bit of change, I highly recommend it!


How do you deal with change? Drop a comment below!

Book Review: “Choosing God’s Best” By Dr. Don Raunikar

Category: Spiritual life – Musings

Hey hey!! It’s been a while and there are definitely LOTS of updates and writing to do – on coaching my first high school cross country team, my med school app process, and more. As I mentioned in a previous post, waiting for interview invites and decisions can be downright awful…but exciting at the same time. PAUSE. Okay, “awful” is too strong a word, but it really is a test of patience. So alas, I’ve been keeping busy. I just finished reading “Choosing God’s Best” by Dr. Don Rauniker, and figured hey, why not do a video review (AKA the lazy man approach haha). The book talks about dating versus courtship, what Christian singles should be doing to prepare themselves for marriage, what they should be looking for in a partner, and so on. The book was recommended to me by a friend last year, but sat on my shelf until 2 weeks ago. Check out my review and let me know your thoughts. Ciao!

Book Review: “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren

Category: Spiritual life – Musings

I recently read “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren and found it really enlightening and encouraging. Check out my video below for my thoughts and full review.

Notable quotes from the book:

  1. “God doesn’t waste abilities; he matches our calling with our capabilities.”
  2. “It is only when we become open about our lives that we experience real fellowship.”
  3. Being authentic requires both courage and humility. It means facing our fear of exposure, rejection, and being hurt again. Why would anyone take such a risk? Because it is the only way to grow spiritually and be emotionally healthy.”
  4. “Nothing shapes your life more than the commitments you choose to make. Your commitments can develop you or they can destroy you, but either way, they will define you.” –> See relevant blog post here
  5. “Every problem is a character building opportunity, and the more difficult it is, the greater the potential for building spiritual muscle and moral fiber.” –> See relevant blog post on “GRIT” here.
  6. “Your circumstances are temporary but your character will last forever.
  7. “The secret of endurance is to know that the pain will be temporary but your reward is eternal.”
  8. “There is a purpose behind every problem.”
  9. “Hiding your hurt only intensifies it. Problems grow in the dark and become bigger and bigger but when exposed to the light of truth, they shrink. You are only as sick as your secrets. So take off your mask, stop pretending you’re perfect and walk into freedom.”
  10. “Real maturity is never the result of a single experience, no matter how powerful or moving. Growth is gradual.
  11. “A delay is not a denial from God.”
  12. “God doesn’t make junk.”
  13. “For God to use your painful experiences, you must be willing to share them. You have to stop covering them up and you must honestly admit your faults, failures, and fears. Doing this will probably be your most effective ministry. People are always more encouraged when we share how God’s grace helped us in weakness than we brag about our strengths.”
  14. “Don’t waste your pain, use it to help others.
  15. “God specializes in turning weaknesses into strengths. He wants to take your greatest weakness and transform it.”
  16. “When you reveal your failures, frustrations, and fears, you risk rejection, but the benefits are worth the risk. Vulnerability is emotionally liberating. Opening up relieves stress, diffuses your fears and is the first step to freedom.”

These are just a few of the words that resonated with me. There are many more, so I definitely recommend reading the book. If you do, let me know what you think!


When You’re Hoping for A Miracle

Category: Spiritual life – Musings

So I’ll be honest, I’m trusting God and hoping for a miracle during this application process. Considering the acceptance statistics – you can imagine why. Back in July, I came across Rick Warren’s “When you’re hoping for a miracle” devotion plan on YouVersion (the bible app) and thought to myself Perfect! Exactly what I need. The reading plan is a 17 day devotion that notes that though we can live for weeks without food, days without water, and seconds without air, we can’t live without hope! And yes God is still able to do a miracle in our lives. I completed the plan in August and felt really encouraged. So of course, I figured I’ld share it with you all. Here are some key take aways on each day:

Day 1: The path to miracle is through uncomfortable territory

“Miracles don’t happen when things are comfortable. Miracles happen when things are uncomfortable. Are you at a place right now in your life where things are a little uncomfortable — financially, emotionally, relationally, or physically? You’re a little nervous, a little on the edge, a little insecure. Congratulations. You’re on the path to a miracle!”

Day 2: Miracles always come from unexpected sources

“The source of a miracle will not be where you think it’s going to come from. It’s always unexpected. So what do you do when you’re on this road? You don’t fret. You don’t fear. You don’t try to figure it out. You just have faith. You trust God, and say, ‘I don’t know how God is going to do it, but He will do it.'”

Day 3: God provides on the way to the miracle

“Where God guides, God provides. The Bible says, ‘My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:19 NIV).”

Day 4: Beware of pride and arrogance

“When you’re filled with pride, when you have the yeast of the Pharisees, guess what? You can’t see life clearly. When you are prideful, you can’t see what God is doing in your life.”

Day 5: Short term thinking keeps you from seeing clearly

“Whenever you’re thinking short-term, you can’t see what God is doing in your life. You can’t see his long-range plans for your character when you’re just thinking about your own comfort.”

Day 6: See others the way Jesus does

“Every person matters to God. It doesn’t matter who they are or what they’ve done or even what they believe. Christ died for them, Jesus loves them, God has a plan for their lives, and he wants them to have a relationship with him.”

Day 7: God will wait on you before the miracle

“God sees the problem, and he recognizes it. But he waits on you to get concerned and accept responsibility for it before he does anything about it. Worrying is the opposite of faith. It never solves anything. It only makes problems worse. God wants you to show him that you accept responsibility and want him to provide the miracle you need.”

Day 8: You’ve got to get Jesus in your boat

“Whatever you want God to bless, put him first. You want God to bless your time? You give him the first part of every day. You want God to bless your money? You give him the first 10 percent of your income, no matter how small it is. You want God to bless your job? You give him control, no matter how successful you are.”

Day 9: It’s often times hard for us to admit our way isn’t working because of pride, stubbornness, and fear

“Sometimes our best is not good enough, and sometimes there are situations that are out of our control. You can’t control the economy. You can’t control the weather. You can’t control a lot of things in life that will affect your life. You may have tried so hard but it just doesn’t seem to make any difference and you don’t have much to show for it.

What do you need to do? First, you need to get Jesus in your boat. In other words, let him be the center of your job. Second, you admit that your way isn’t working. The Bible calls it confession, and it can be tough.”

Day 10: God sympathizes with your struggle

“Jesus sees where you’re struggling, and he knows the storm you’re going through. God knows when you’re going through a storm. He notices, and he cares.

Day 11: Jesus Comes to You in Your Storm 

“Have you ever had a storm blow you off course? You had no intention of being where you are today in your job, your marriage, your finances. You’ve been blown off course by situations you couldn’t control.

You may feel abandoned right now, but you’re not. The Bible says in John 14:18, ‘I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm — I will come to you‘ (LB). You can count on it!”

Day 12: Jesus is praying for you 

“The Bible says no matter what you go through today, next week, or next year, Jesus is praying for you. He’s on your side.”

Day 13: You don’t need a plan, you need ‘I Am’ 

“When you’re going through a storm, remember that God is not distant, apathetic, or uninvolved. He is ‘I Am.’ And He will get you through the storm.”

Day 14: Five things to do in the middle of the storm

  1. Have courage, because Jesus is with you.
  2. Take a risk in faith.
  3. Stay focused on Jesus.
  4. Don’t doubt.
  5. Praise God.

Day 15: Put God first in your finances through tithing 

“Whatever you put God first in, that’s what he blesses.”

Day 16: Budget and know where you stand financially

“The Bible says, ‘By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established’ (Proverbs 24:3 NIV). You’re wise with your money when you know where it is, where it’s going, and where it’s coming from.”

Day 17: Don’t just get rid of your stuff. Sell It! 

“If you’re in debt and you can’t save and you can’t tithe and you can’t pay your taxes and you’re living on credit, you need to go through your things and ask, ‘What can we get rid of?’ But don’t just get rid of it. Sell it! It is one of the most practical steps you can take to getting out of debt and changing your financial mindset.”

***Excerpts from “When You’re Hoping For A Miracle” by Rick Warren