Life is a puzzle that isn’t easy to solve, and at one point in time, every person starts searching for meaning and purpose in their life. While some struggle with what their goal might be, others know it from the start. Cameron Lewis, a traveling oral maxillofacial surgeon executive, is an example.
At a very young age, he knew his destiny was to become a doctor. While he knew precisely where he wanted to go, he also knew that the journey there would be challenging.
Still, his passion burned bright, and young Lewis did everything he could to make his dream come true. Studying and doing well in classes was the first part. Enrolling prerequisite undergrad program at Xavier University in New Orleans was another step. A step that brought him closer to making his dream come true.
When he finally got admitted to Xavier University, Lewis faced a huge dilemma. He wanted to become a doctor, but now he had to choose which type of doctor he would be. The options were overwhelming, surgery, cardiology, radiology, and dentistry.
Unsure which path to take, Lewis became one of the world’s wanderers. And the journey to find his purpose led him to visit Africa, where his life forever changed.
“At age 12, I knew I wanted to be a doctor, but I didn’t know what kind of doctor until I experienced the turmoil in South Africa around 2001,” says Lewis. “I explored the packed emergency rooms, examining patients waiting for treatment for a long time. However, one thing that caught my eye was patients in the ER who were holding their mouths and suffering from pain.”
Lewis could see the immense pain and suffering in the eyes of those poor people. But nobody could help them, especially not him. The dentist working in the ER came only once per month and was there for just six hours. Only a handful of people could get the treatment they needed, but there were dozens of them waiting.
At that moment, Lewis knew what his calling would be. It was clear as a day, a sign from God, that dentistry and oral surgery were his paths. “That’s when I decided to become a dentist,” he says. “I couldn’t help those poor souls back then, and I vowed I would never feel so helpless again. And when I came home, I immediately started dentistry school.”
Four years passed, and Cameron Lewis got his degree. His next step was specialization in Oral Surgery. However, when he applied for the program, the doors were closed. Or, better said, slammed in Lewis’ face for three years.
“I kept doing internships, and I kept trying to persevere, but at one point, my mind and soul couldn’t handle rejection anymore,” he says. As a result, Lewis fell into severe depression. “I was depressed, but what kept me going was my faith in God that had never left. I believed that my day would come, and despite the depression, I still worked every day towards my goal.”
As Lewis further explains, when someone wants a better life, they need to be ready to do whatever it takes to get there. Even though he was in a debilitating and beyond depressed state, he kept his forward momentum.
You’d think that finally getting the specialization is what snapped Lewis out of depression. But a story he read helped him overcome this great tribulation and inspired him to stay on the path.
“I remember reading this book. The main point and lesson were to learn how to revolutionize your words because words are your thoughts. Thoughts produce emotions and how you feel about things in life,” he says.
“We make decisions based on our emotions, and decisions turn into actions; the things that keep pushing us forward,” Lewis adds. “When you repeat the same actions, they become habits, and habits become a part of your character, of who you are. And then the character leads you right to your destiny, what God wants you to be.”
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