Living a Purposeful Life — Dinner with Dr. York Chow, Chief Medical Officer & Corporate Advisor of AIA Hong Kong and Macau Ltd.

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Dinner with Dr. Chow has raised 188 volunteer hours

Sometimes the most meaningful and inspiring conversations happen over casual meals. The Time Auction Blog is a snippet of our meetings with people who have found passion in their life and career, where we get a glimpse into their mentality behind their ventures.

From surgeon to government official and now to Chief Medical Officer and Corporate Advisor for AIA Hong Kong and Macau Ltd. (a role he took on 9 months after retirement), Dr. Chow’s career has been quite a ride.

Previously, he served as Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Princess Margaret Hospital and later Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and was later appointed Cluster Chief Executive of the Hong Kong West Cluster of the Hong Kong Hospital Authority in 2002.

What he’s most known for, though, is his tenure as the HKSAR’s Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food (2004–2007) and Secretary for Food and Health (2007–2012) — where he introduced anti-tobacco law and policies, healthcare service and manpower reform for public and private services, and handled various health and food safety crises in his eight years of service.

Being a man who has had to make countless of important decisions for himself and for the public, Dr. Chow talked about how to make life bearable when faced with numerous difficult problems.

Is there a life philosophy that you live by?

I seek purpose in life all the time. So no matter what I do, it must bear purpose. And for the most part of my life, that is to train as a doctor and help people.

If what I do does not help people, I do not want to do it.

but if it does help people, I will keep doing it. I think finding purpose in what you do is very important, and it applies to every occupation, finding a purpose and pursuing is something everyone should do.

The other philosophy I live by is that work hard and play hard, that way it makes me stay optimistic and happy. I think it would do the same for everybody.

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Is there a habit you would like to share?

I guess sports, it’s something that I am likely to continue doing till the day I die. And when I say sports, I don’t mean going to the gym. I mean actual competitive sport. The reason behind me being so picky and specific is because when you hit the gym or go swimming, when you are working out alone, your mind wanders, and it often goes back to work. But when you are competing, you are more focused on winning or scoring a point. To me, it is a much needed distraction. I think this is the same for everyone else as well,

Take a break from time to time, it helps.

Sometimes after taking a break you even manage to come up with a solution.

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What is one action that you wish everyone here to takeaway?

Stay positive. We can categorise problems into two types, problems that you can solve and ones that are so big that no solution can be found, ever. Don’t worry too much about those.

Don’t get bogged down by problems that can’t be solved.

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Thank you Dr. Chow for donating dinner and raising 188 volunteer hours to Po Leung Kuk, The Mental Health Association of Hong Kong and more!

These awesome photos are brought to you by Harris Cheng from Freehunter — an online marketplace for reaching freelancing talents in Hong Kong!

For more amazing opportunities, visit Time Auction to volunteer and meet inspiring mentors!

This article originally appeared on our blog on Medium:

Updated on 8 April, 2021
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