463. Bringing Humor to Health Care
As the other kids were off doing kids’ things during vacation, Maia’s parents were asking her, “Where do you want to volunteer this summer?” “It was just what they expected of me,” she recalls. “I didn’t know how to exist without that core value of the importance of helping others.”
Maia Aziz is a Social Worker and healthcare administrator who currently acts as Assistant Administrative Chief of Allied Health Services at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. A Certified Humor Professional (CHP) and contributing writer to The Positive Psychology People, Maia hosts a weekly talk radio show Morning Moments with Maia…Conversations of Love and Laughter where she shares heartfelt and often hilarious conversations about love, laughter, leadership and well, life!
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
I came from a family where service to others was always something we were encouraged to do. It was a value of my parents, and I remember as a young child, my friends were joining soccer teams and various other things, and I was being asked, “Where do you want to volunteer this summer?” So, as a kid, I was a candy striper, I took piano lessons, and then I was encouraged to play piano for Alzheimer’s patients in seniors’ residences. It was just a way of being. I didn’t know how to exist without that sense of the importance of helping others, from a very young age.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
While on her second maternity leave from a job where she worked with child protective services for 12 years, Maia took time to reflect and decide it if might be time for a course correction. Caring for her firstborn daughter, who was born with a genetic syndrome and had some special needs—and recalling how working with disabled children in her job in child protective services had tugged at her heartstrings—she did some research about opportunities in pediatric physical rehabilitation. She took a leap of faith—and even a slight demotion—to accept a job with a center in Montreal, Quebec. “If you’re truly interested and motivated, sometimes you take a risk. I was willing to do that, and it worked out very well. I worked there for almost 10 years. It was a wonderful experience.”
The Most Powerful Lesson Learned?
“When it comes to choosing our life path, society leads us to ask the wrong question: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ We should be asking ourselves, ‘Who am I? What are my values? What do I care about? What are those activities I love so much that I lose track of time?’ Until we ask those questions, we’re not really looking at what fuels us. If you are not finding a career in line with what fuels you, you’re going to be searching for a long time for this so-called happiness everybody is looking for. No matter how many promotions or raises you get, you’re still going to be looking.”
Steps to Success from Maia Aziz
1. Stop and ask yourself who you are, what are your values, what do you care most about. These are the fundamental questions.
2. Recognize that deep down, you know who you are and what you love. Your instincts and intuition are so in tune, if you’ll stop and listen.
3. Find ways to live a life of service to others.
On Her Bookshelf
Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow, by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie
Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being, by Martin E. P. Seligman
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics), by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Top Tools on Her Browser
Assessment: StrengthsFinder 2.0
Connecting With Maia Aziz
|Your LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/maia-aziz-95087685
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