I Believe in the Unity of the Heart and Mind, by Shriya Sachdeva

One of the greatest things I struggled with last year was deciding what major I wanted when applying for college. I was aware that people change their major all the time, but I still wanted to have some sort of goal to ground myself on. I think the bigger question I had was: What do I want to do with my life?

Almost every individual has their eyes set on a dream career, and I began panicking as I couldn’t figure out which of my passions I wanted to pursue, or if there was something else altogether. My life can be summed up in four words: singing, reading, writing, and healing. I didn’t yet know which one was something I loved enough to dedicate my life to.

One day, I approached a teacher with my doubts, and the line she said became the motto of my life: “Draw a line from your heart and draw another line from your mind; where these two intersect lies your occupation.”

Her words gave me some thinking to do.

When I broke it down, I realized that while I love writing, I need the correct emotional stance to be able to pour out my feelings into words. For me, this doesn’t happen very often, because my writing can’t be forced. As for singing, I love giving not-so-secret concerts in the shower, but doing it at a professional level just isn’t for me. I don’t want my voice to represent me; I want all of me to be put into doing what I love. That leaves medicine.

At first, I was discouraged about becoming a practitioner because it takes so long and requires so much effort. I came to realize that this hard work is only worth it if there is a love and passion for this field. I feel like I have the intellectual ability that is needed to pursue medical school. I have always found science interesting, especially biology and anatomy/physiology (the health sciences). I do find it difficult, but the thrill of understanding how a body works is ineffable. I also care a lot about others and want to serve people. I feel happy when I help others heal. Isn’t that incentive enough?

As I have said before, I believe in love: love for life, love for a career, and love for other people, too. I believe that love is what holds this entire world together, and this is why I want to be a physician: to love humanity, and to heal.

While a career isn’t everything, it is a major part of life, and through the quest of finding myself, I have understood the nuances of loving life. I have found meaning in the aphorism “Follow your heart, but take your mind with you”, because in life, the act of thinking and using one’s common sense is the antidote to the blind spots of a heart still learning to love.

This I believe with all my heart- and mind.


This essay was written for Dr. Elizabeth Flowers’ World Religions in America course.  You can read more about the TCU Religion Department here

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