5 lessons from Dr. Daneshmand in creating success from zero

Updated: Mar 26


In this episode of Empowering conversationZ, I interviewed Shahram Daneshmand (Dr. D), a successful high risk obstetrician living in San Diego, CA. While he shared his challenges as an immigrant, he gave many secrets in creating the success he currently has. Below are my favorite five:

1. Dr. Daneshmand encourages us to understand the value of time. “We really don’t pay much attention to time… until [we are in] our late thirties or early forties. That’s when we start all of a sudden paying attention to the concept of time. And that nothing remains consistent in life.” Referring to his immigration story and how everything was taken away in a blink of an eye. Through out the interview he awakens the procrastinator in all of us to value time and act on our aspirations.

2. When asked passion or money, Dr.D responds “Passion always!” Living by example, he is passionate about his career as a high risk obstetrician as well as his non-profit organizations which focuses on helping women and children “… I think women hold the key to a healthy society...” As you hear his stories, one might wonder whether he knew exactly what he wanted to do early in life. “I’m a late bloomer. I’m not one of those people who came in this world and knew exactly what I want to do… Except… I knew I wanted to be a physician at a very young age… It was later in life that the dots connected… and there are still many dots waiting to be connected.”

3.Did you have difficulty fitting in? If so, Dr. D shares the pain of being a kid who looked different and spoke very little English as teenage immigrant in America during the hostage crisis in 1979. His suggestion on how to cope with such challenge is “as human beings, we tend to want to assimilate with people that look like us, think like us, ... that’s human nature.” Then he encourages us to shift our mind and respect one another. “We have to remind ourselves… it’s only our thoughts that pushes us forward or hinder us from moving forward… some of the people that are seeing unfortunately just superficial layers are not the ones that I want to associate with… [as human] we are all very much alike. More than ninety-nine percent of our DNA is the same. If you can see beyond the superficial barriers ,the top layer of the epidermis, then you can certainly achieve a whole lot more.”

4. Dr. Daneshmand vision for success is eye opening for those of us who focus on financial well being. “… Success to me is [the] balance between personal [life], professional [life], social [life], [and] our contribution to [the] community.” “I think that a person to achieve success really needs to have a balance between all those four areas of their life… that’s what I try to strive for. Meaning if I come to work and everyone says oh Dr. D your amazing… [and] when I go home I’ve got my daughter [or] my wife who hate my guts [or they] are always upset with me I haven’t achieved success.” To reach his ideal balance, he uses whiteboards around his house to remind himself of the responsibilities he has in each area.

5. We know diversity leads to creativity and novel ideas. Dr. Daneshmand beautifully describes the importance of intercultural communication and embracing the diversity while reminding us how similar we are to one another. “I love to be able to break down barriers. We are all very much similar and working together actually is much more interesting than just hanging out with people who just look like me and think like me because I can learn from others that don’t think like me. So having a respectful dialogue with everyone that is in this planet is really important.” One of my favorite quotes from this interview is “we need to have fenestrations in our skulls… we need to allow our brains to expand much more than we currently do.”

What was your favorite takeaway? Let us know in the comments below. If you found this article useful, sign up for our mailing list.

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