Dream Come True

So much has happened since my last post 6 months ago!

I remember feeling so hopeless and doubtful about the future. Unsure, uncertain about how things were going to turn out. My dream of becoming a doctor seemed so bleak and futile after countless rejection letters from various universities.

But things have all changed and turned around for the better!

I have finally gained acceptance and been offered a place in the Doctor of Medicine Programme in the University of Sydney Medical School! Is this insane or what! I would never have guessed that i’d be moving to Sydney after moving the New Zealand back in 2012.

The course starts in end January next year 2020, and it will be a 4 year course, with my final year in 2023.

Will I eventually end up working in Australia, New Zealand or Singapore? Or maybe somewhere else? Who knows! The future is so uncertain, yet so exciting, and I honestly can’t wait for the new year to come.

Previously, I did not allow myself to dream and think about what kind of doctor I wanted to become. What to specialise in, or practice. How could I do that when I was not even accepted into Medical School? But right now, everything has changed. Now, I have been allowing myself to dream. Dreaming about what I wanted to become, researching and learning as much as I can about them. Should I go into General Practice and become a family doctor? Surgery? Anaesthesiology? Oncology etc? So many to choose from!

I still have so much to learn and experience, and now is still way too early to decide on one. But I sincerely think that it would be a good idea to start thinking and considering what to choose in the future when I am able to choose. If you have read my previous posts, or know the reasons why I wanted to become a doctor, you’d know that my interest has always been toward cancer and how we as healthcare providers would be able to treat and help patients get rid of this terminal and often life-threatening disease. Recently, I have been toying with the idea of going into General Surgery, with the aim to specialise in Surgical Oncology. Of course, this is not for certain. I find many other aspects of medicine such as Emergency Medicine, Anaesthesiology, Plastic Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery all really interesting as well! I guess i’ll have to wait till my rotations till I get a better idea. But how exciting is this?? Being finally able to think and choose about all these, I feel so incredibly privileged to have been given this chance and opportunity to study and become a doctor. I know that it will not be easy at all, with long hours, inadequate sleep, fatigue, etc. But I sincerely believe that I have been called into this profession, and that nothing else will be as fulfilling and satisfying.

Also, I have been watching so many videos on Youtube about Medical School and ‘A day in the life of a junior doctor/medical student/surgeon etc’, and have been contemplating whether I should start something to document my journey through this so that other people who are thinking about joining this profession will be able to have a clearer picture and better idea about what all these entails. I would really like to be able to start some kind of side hustle whilst in Medical School. If you guys have any thoughts, do let me know in the comments sections below!

In Health,

Paul Chong

I can’t wait till school starts!!

Completing the Bible in 90 days DONE!

Finally.. another one thing off my bucket list checked and done ✔️

Of course, looking back, I can’t remember everything i’ve read or learnt. In fact, i’ve probably missed out SO MANY things and skimmed over way too much during the days when it just felt so dry and overwhelming with so much content and reading to do everyday. I would love to do this again, but probably more in-depth, with the intention to delve into scripture a little deeper, and with a partner who would be able to journey alongside together. Company always helps make things better. It’s not been easy, and there have been so many days when I didn’t stick to schedule, yet it has indeed been incredibly rewarding, teaching me so much about myself whilst coming across and reading parts of the bible I haven’t read in a while/since childhood in Sunday School/verses I had memorised when young, or things I haven’t even come across or read throughout my entire life. I have to admit, this has been one of the tougher challenges i’ve undertaken so far. But no regrets! And for all my friends out there who’d appreciate some challenge and push factor in their lives once again, I strongly encourage you to pick something. It can be anything, something simple, start of small. Stick to it for 40 days. Be it just making your bed every morning for 40 days. Or 40 days waking up at 7am. Or 40 days of exercise. It can be anything. Challenge yourself, and when you complete and look back, i’m sure you won’t be thinking that this is something you regret doing, but rather, i’m glad I did this. Maybe after a short break, I wouldn’t mind trying something like this again.

This is why I started writing. Started doing so many things. To push myself above and beyond what I thought was personally possible and find my why.

What is your Driving Factor?

If you’d like to find out more, I explain more on why I do all these on my website (40daysoffitnesse.com) under the post “Why 40 days?”

And if you do take me up on this challenge, don’t forget to #40daysoffitnesse so I can push and celebrate alongside your achievements ❤️

Love,

Paul

There isn’t a day when I don’t question what I do.

There isn’t a day when I don’t question what I do. Wondering to myself, should I really be doing what i’m doing? Is this really for me? Will I regret this in the future? Why am I subjecting myself to all these stresses and pushing myself to do what I do? Why not stay contented and happy with getting a normal 9-5 job? Something that pays the bills, is consistent and able to provide financial stability?

I’m a strong believer in being focused and consistent. In putting my utmost best and 100% into what I believe in. It’s either 100% or 0% from me. No lukewarmness, no half-halfheartedness.

Or as Revelation 3:15-16 says,

15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.

16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

Somehow, I am not contented with just being. There is this drive within me, a strong desire to push my limits. To do something that the average wouldn’t do. To prove that the sky indeed is the limit, and that anything is possible with heart and of course, God.

I like writing down my plans so that I can stay focused. Currently, there are 3 main things that I have decided to focus on.

  1. Medical School (Duke-Nus) in Singapore.
  2. My business “Fitizen”
  3. My book “The Driving Factor”

Let me delve into each a little deeper.

Medical School.

This will probably be my final push for med school. It’s been a really long and tiring journey, applying for entry everywhere possible since high school. The doors have stayed closed so far, but I am still praying for guidance and for God to show me his path and plans for me. Currently preparing for GAMSAT this year. GAMSAT is a graduate exam that is similar to the MCAT’s done in the States. It is a 5.5 hour exam (not including breaks) that tests a whole range of stuff from your comprehension and language skills, argumentative and personal essay writing skills, and of course, your 3 basic Sciences (Physics, Chemistry and Biology). It’s honestly not easy (I mean if it was, everyone would take it and score right??), and right now, i’m just telling myself to do what I can, and let God do the rest.

Fitizen

Having grown up with sports, competition and fitness, it has become integral in my life. (I actually get “hangry”, yet it’s not hunger but rather  the lack of activity that causes me to get moody 😉 ). Looking back, having a strong support system from a close community has been such a strong ‘push’ factor, and has definitely helped get me through some of the hardest points of my life.

As such, I am trying to start a fitness community. A place where one can find a family that provides support and help them stay consistent, accountable and motivated in their daily lives and quest for a better them/ to achieve their fitness goals. It’s not easy starting from scratch, especially in the fitness industry where things are crazy competitive and saturated. It’s tough, but this is something I really enjoy (helping, encouraging and giving hope to people, via the use of my Science/Medical and Fitness knowledge and experience as a Biomedical Science graduate, Personal Trainer & Orthopedic Exercise Specialist).

The Driving Factor

Why do I do what I do?

As mentioned at the start of this blog post, there isn’t a day when I don’t question myself and why I do what I do everyday. What is my driving factor? Why do I have this passion that causes me to do all these things and still not give up when I face setbacks?

And this has caused me to wonder, I can’t be the only one who’s experiencing all these things and thoughts. Other people must too! That’s why they keep going even when they fail, fall and often sacrifice so much of their lives in their pursuit for that particular thing they need to do/achieve. What is going through their minds? What is that “Driving Factor” within them? How is it similar or different from mine and others?

I would like to understand and know what’s going through their minds. Why swim against the current when everything seems to be going the other way?

As such, I am trying to compile the contributions and experiences of a range of people from different countries, backgrounds, jobs and religions. To try and understand their “Driving Factor”, and why they do what they do and have chosen that for their lives.

Hopefully, things go well and I am trying to get this book out by this year!

Pray for me friends, I would really appreciate it. I’m still learning, often falling more than progressing, but let’s keep pushing on.

Love,

Paul Chong

Loss

I was the type of person,

That held onto things too tight,

Unable to release my grip,

When it no longer felt right.

And although it gave me blisters,

And my fingers would all ache,

I always thought that holding on,

Was worth the pain it takes.

I used to think in losing things,

I’d lose a part of me too,

That slowly I’d become someone,

My heart no longer knew.

Then one day something happened,

I dropped what I had once held dear,

But my soul became much lighter,

Instead of (being) filled with fear.

And it taught my heart that some things,

Aren’t meant to last for long,

They arrive to teach you lessons,

And then continue on.

You don’t have to cling to people,

Who no longer make you smile,

Or do something you’ve come to hate,

If it isn’t worth your while.

That something the thing you’re fighting for,

Isn’t worth the cost,

And not everything you ever lose,

Is bound to be a loss

.

.

.

.

.

-Anonymous

What is it? (4)

I am your constant companion.

I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure. I am completely at your command.

Half of the things you do you might as well turn over to me and I will do them – quickly and correctly.

I am easily managed – you must be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically.

I am the servant of great people, and alas, of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures.

I am not a machine though I work with the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a person. You may run me for profit or run me for ruin – it makes no difference to me.

Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet. Be easy with me and I will destroy you.

Who am I?

I am Habit.

(Author Anonymous)

A love letter.

Lord I am writing this post because I want to praise your name. I want to thank you for everything you have given, everything you have done. All that has happened. The emotions, sorrow, pain and troubles in life. Each of them were meant for a purpose; to shape and mold me into a better, more mature Christian. Even now, as I still am struggling to understand certain things, my faith in You is absolute. And for that, I want to praise Your Name. You are everything to me. My life, is Yours to control. Use me Lord, use me. Keep me empty, keep me humble and ready to do Your will. Not I, but Christ. I love you.

Why do you do what you do?

Getting out of bed in the wee hours of the morning,

Day after day slogging your ass off for hours on end.

Why do you do what you do?

Facing closed doors,

Getting disappointments left, right and centre.

Why do you do what you do?

It’s tiring,

It’s frustrating.

Results aren’t always seen.

Why do you do what you do?

Money, fame and fortune?

People’s impressions or societal expectations?

Why do you do what you do?

Is it because of a spark that lives within you,

Keeping that fire going in hopes it will all be worth?

Why do you do what you do?

I do it because I love what I do,

But most importantly, because this is what God has called me to do.

Youth church camp.

If I had to use just 3 words to describe this youth church camp that i’m helping out for this week, it would be these.

1. Nostalgia.

2. Friendships.

3. Revival.

Its been so heartening to have church friends welcome me back into the community. To communicate and be able to integrate back as one of them, especially with me being overseas for most part of the past 7-8 years in New Zealand. So much has changed. So many new faces. New building. Young kids now grown into young adults. People I used to know whom I now can’t even recognise. I just felt like a total foreigner in a church that I supposedly was born into and grew up in. It has all just changed so much!

Camps are time a great opportunity for bonding. To get to know people better and have good conversations amidst the late nights/suppers/game planning etc. Just spending time together and laughing at stupid stuff can surprisingly help diffuse any sense of awkwardness and tension between people.

Being able to have been a part of the games team and to be a part of this camp has really reminded me so much of how youth camp used to be like when I was still in my childhood years. When I was just like them! So many memories. Listening to sermons and having my heart touched. Busily writing and trying my best to get everything down. Singing worship songs and feeling that sense of deep deep joy and happiness/sadness to prepare my heart for the message to come. Oh! And the games! How i’ve missed the classic games like candle fights, tug of wars and water bomb wars we used to play back in Serimbun camp. We don’t have it there anymore. Heard its been demolished or something. Whuuuuut! All those childhood memories of getting muddied and bitten by those much hated bloodthirsty mosquitoes. URGH. But still. Just being able to help carry out some of these games, brings back such good memories of my growing years. Sad, but happy. Yes I know theres a word for it- Bittersweet. 😂

Second word- Friendships. Camp has really helped me bond so much with new friends in church now. And also old friends whom I haven’t seen or kept in touch for years. They’ve all moved on with life and things have changed so much! Being able to actually have this time of planning and hearty conversations, its actually so rare at this stage of life when we are all busy transitioning from school to working life etc. Sadly, there just isn’t enough time for everyone! Community support and integration is just so important.

Lastly, Revival. Being able to hear messages from Luzerne our camp speaker has been such a blessing. Luzerne is my childhood friend. We grew up together. Then we kinda grew apart when he migrated over to Australia in his high school years. Then I migrated to New Zealand. Now he’s back in Singapore for good. We’ve met up on a handful of occasions since then, but things have definitely changed between us. We’ve all changed and moved on. I miss having a close brother, whom I trust and am able to confide and be vulnerable with. To do bible studies together. To pray together for each other. To gym. To study. Christian, I miss you man. But it’s God’s plan. A new chapter and a new life. Hope you’re doing well in the states bro. We’ll meet again i’m sure of that. But anyway, I digress. Luzerne has grown so much spiritually its been so encouraging! Motivates you to want to do better. You know you can be better! Today, his message was on two main points.

1. Quality time with God, beats quantity any day. When was the last time you actually sat down to spend serious quality time with God to talk and ponder about His word? Just as your girlfriend would get angry if you don’t spend enough quality time with her, why aren’t we doing that for the most important person in our lives who loves us so much, sacrificed so much and basically is able to do anything for us?! Why? I ask myself all the time. This message spoke to me and hit home, because recently, i’ve been doing this bible reading plan that enables you to cover the entire bible in 90 days. If you think 90 days is long, trust me, its intense reading. The bible isn’t short. Its a whole compilation of a many ancient manuscripts and has 66 books that are split into the Old and New Testament. Basically, in order to finish the bible in 90 days, everyday requires me to read about 15 chapters on average. This takes me on average about 45-60 mins. Its really tough! And on many days i’ve got to admit, although I force myself to keep to schedule to avoid falling behind and accumulating even more chapters to read the next day, I find myself skimming the words and sentences. And when I ask myself what i’ve learnt from my reading session, if i’m being absolutely frank, many times, in fact, most days would be me admitting I don’t know or understand what i’m actually reading. Its more skimming to cover ground than understanding scripture. Quality over quantity. Thank you for this reminder.

2. Abiding in God’s strength and absolute power to carry be through life’s trials and issues. Life is a journey full of constant trials, ups and downs. We are weak. But this is absolutely why we need to depend on God rather than on ourselves. All too often, I fall into this trap of trying to think up or create more things to do that would supposedly “help” be improve myself. For example, reading the bible more. Hanging out with Godlier friends. YES. Im not saying these are bad. But, what is the whole point?? These things aren’t that. I’m not depending on God when I do these, i’m depending on myself or other people who will all too often fail us! Why place your faith and trust in things that fail when all we could’ve done was to trust in God, to abide in His word and hang on for dear life whilst He takes us on for the ride of our life?

If we do not abide in Him, like a branch that does not bear fruit, we will be cut off and disposed of. We will be useless. Only by “connecting” and depending upon the vine which is Christ, are we truly able to bear genuine fruit, that brings glory to His name.

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”

‭‭John‬ ‭15:4-8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

All Glory to God.

Whatever your will for my life Lord, I will place my utmost faith and trust in your plans for me, and I will abide and follow you to the end. I only pray for grace and patience for me, as I still try to navigate and learn day by day, prayerfully, to be a better and more God-fearing Christian. Whether the world accepts of rejects me, it doesn’t matter. In fact, they will most likely reject us, just as the bible says that because we am not of or from it. My home is far above, and my journey here not done. Till then, my work here will be to do the great commission, to bring more people into your kingdom. I pray that I will do you proud!

Love,

Paul Chong

Cycles

The sun will rise and set.

The waves will ebb and flow.

Pick up, let go.

Rise up, fall down.

Do I really matter at all?

A time to laugh,

A time to cry.

A time to be born,

A time to die.

What is the reason for my existence?

Fall in love,

Fall out of love.

Studying so hard my whole life,

Forgetting in subsequent years.

Why do I do what I do?

Vanity of vanities,

All is vanity saith the Preacher.

How true.

Take care guys,

Paul Chong.

Lost

I read this story years ago. And right today, I was reminded of it again. Twice. By 2 people that were closest to my heart. Thanks Mieke and Christian.

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Footsteps

One night a man had a dream.

He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord.

Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.

For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonging to him, and the other belonging to the Lord

When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints.

He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life.

This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it.

“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way.

But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.” The Lord replied, “My precious child, I love you and would never leave you. During times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints in the sand it was then that I carried you.”

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Right now, i’m going through some serious trials.. and i’m not going to lie. It feels like shit and I honestly don’t know why things have turned out the way they have, why God allowed it, or how the future will turn out. It hurts. So bad. But I refuse to blame God. Or doubt His bigger and better plan for me. Who am I to say what I want is best??? He knows everything. And I am reminded of this prayer that I made just a few years and again a few months ago. Whatever happens, you have allowed it to happen for a reason and I will follow and obey you till my last breath, just like Job. I will hold fast to God and His promises, even though I can’t understand or see them right now. I know that one day, God-willing, I will be able to look back at my life and understand why He allowed all these to happen, even though they sucked. Because this is for my good. For better.

Keep the faith dear readers, even when it hurts. Remember, you are NEVER alone.

God Bless,

Paul Chong