Be Comfortable in Your Own Skin – by Gary S. Smolker

Copyright © Gary S. Smolker 2014
Updated June 28, 2014
The only thing that matters is how one feels in one’s own space.
It is very important to be comfortable in your own skin.
As a result of people striving to be comfortable in their own skin -to enrich their own lives- many significant changes are taking place.



We are living in a time of large scale social change, marked by creativity, innovation, questioning of authority, rugged individualism, concern for self, the emancipation of women, changing demographics, wide scale use of smart phones and many other significant life style transformations.

Today, people are devoting significant amounts of their personal time and energy focused on themselves.  Many people are making strong efforts to take charge of their own individual future.

Today, a developing emphasis on the individual and individual responsibility is growing, the power of authority over the individual is constantly being questioned and reassessed, the traditional authority relationship between men and women – granting authority to the men – is undergoing change and scrutiny, and there are significant changes in the racial educational and economic composition of the population in the United States.

The increased emphasis on the individual cannot be over emphasized.

Concern for individualism has vigorously appeared.

Today, compared to times past, women have attained a great deal more responsibility and freedom.

As a result of having more freedom and responsibility women have themselves come to question their traditional family and social roles and reciprocally, males have raised similar questions about male-female relationships.

As women move out of confinement to the domicile, they experience new outlets and opportunities, demand power/empowerment, respect and “equality”, and are more and more interested in change.

Improvements in methods of contraception and the increase in experiential access to opportunities outside of the home have released women for participation in new roles and functions as never before.

As a consequence of “women’s liberation”, on-going debates on issues of gender and racial equality; the government’s ever growing increase of public debt and social change, including laws regarding contraception and birth control; a cascade of new technologies; and, being bombarded by an avalanche of messages, visual images of massive disintegration of society, a steady stream of information and misinformation and ideas; and, as a result of being constantly exposed to loud acrimonious debates over different points of view, it has become impossible for anyone to live in solitude or in the past.

People Are Tired of Being Talked To, They Want to Be Talked With

The mega-trends that are shaping our times have massively accelerated.

One mega-trend is that there has been a seismic shift from presentation to participation in many areas of daily life.  People are fed up with being talked-down-to.

The shift from presentation to participation means that the days of the Gods, sitting up on Mt. Olympus and telling us how things are and what to do, are long gone or rapidly coming to an end.

People are tired of being talked to they want to be talked with.

Today, people can use technology to search for information and to have a global conversation.

People are hyper-connected: As a result of our use of the Internet and other communications technologies we all engaged in a global conversation.

We are using technology to connect with others – not just with people we already know, but with people who have similar or related interests that resonate with us – and not just to search for information.

In fact, it is estimated that 3 billion more people will join the Internet’s community by 2020.

Everyone’s perceptual space, expectations, life style and peace of mind has been shaken up.

Taking Care of Your Body and Mind

People want to feel cared for.
How does that play out in the practice of medicine?
Consider being told by an MD to put an eye-drop in your child’s eye or in your own eye.
Have you ever been told to do so by an MD?
Have you ever noticed that the eye drop falls onto your eye and/or onto your child’s eye then off your [child’s] eye and wondered how much (if any) of the eye drop actually got in the eye?
Health is “emotionally charged.”
If you are told by your physician to put an eye drop in your child’s eye and you see the drop dribbling down your child’s cheek you are going to be stressed out.
Did your physician tell you that is supposed to happen?
The moisture of an eye drop is too much for an eye to handle; part of the eye drop will ALWAYS dribble down your face or down you child’s face!   That is what is supposed to happen!
MDs, for the most part, have no clue that they should tell you that an eye drop you apply to your child’s eye will always dribble down off the eye.
Is your physician or you partially “brain dead?”
It is not “easy” to know what to communicate, or to know how to communicate or to have empathy or to show empathy.
Being “smart” is not enough.
Always ask questions if you don’t understand something!
You are in charge of your own health.
If you have a young child, you are in charge of  your child’s health.
You are in charge of your own life and your child’s life if you have a young child.

Understand Your MD’s Behavior

One of the large scale social changes being experienced today is that many people are appalled at their personal experience of how medicine is being practiced today on a day to day basis ; they are appalled at the lack of scientific curiosity, the lack of social skills, the lack of humanity, and by the medical profession’s lack of understanding of what is required and expected in a physician patient relationship and the money obsessed focus of the mindset of their MDs.
A galaxy of feelings and impressions is involved in a healthcare encounter.  The medical profession has a name for this: “patient experience.”
There is a human dimension to medical care.
If you are one of those people who are disappointed by the way your current MD practices medicine, understand why your physician acts the way your physician acts and get over your disappointment by moving forward.
If your physician is not adequately addressing your educational, emotional, spiritual needs and feelings, doesn’t make you feel cared for, move on.
You have lots of options.
Move forward because only you can be comfortable in your own skin.
We create ourselves in the everyday choices that move us in life.
It is up to us to create our own lives; it is up to us to create the life we want to live.
If you think you are not deriving “value” from your office visits with your physician: Ask your physician questions. Tell your physician you want answers to questions and/or changes in the way your physician treats you.
Demand your physician’s personal attention.
There are many physicians vying for your attention, bringing medical information to you and exposing you to them and their ways of thinking.
Magazine stands and book stores are full of publications which claim to tell you how to take care of your health.
Newspapers and TV shows and radio shows and the Internet constantly publish information on how to take care of your health.
If you can’t have a forthright conversation with your physician and/or you don’t get any satisfaction or enough satisfaction or enough value from seeing your present physician, look for another physician who is amazingly brilliant, touchingly humane, highly trained, superbly skilled, up to date on the latest research findings and medical thinking and who has a great personality, warmth, empathy, great people skills, is practical and puts you the patient first, puts your concerns, your feelings, your condition (physical and mental conditions) first.
Physicians need to treat the soul and spirit of the patient, not just the body.  In the olden days, when most doctors were solo practitioners ministering to patients, the offered patients communication and empathy as well as technical proficiency and excellence.
There are physicians that still do that: there are physicians who care about how well they communicate with patients and conduct themselves as professionals.
Caring, nurturing, knowledgeable, educated, skilled, brilliant and helpful people exist; some of them are physicians.
Even if you are not trained as a physician, you know whether or not you feel cared for.

Move Forward

Take responsibility for your own life.

Accept your “freedom.”
Don’t behave like a helpless puppet.
You are in charge.



Creative talent is a highly adaptive one and involves specific and complicated processes of thought.
Creativity requires an open mindedness and removal of inhibitions.
Practicing medicine, the stress on conformity in the medical profession and psychodynamic forces inherent in the practice of medicine do not encourage open-mindedness.
Many physicians have mental limitations as a consequence of studying to become a physician which are exasperated by their training and which become severely debilitating as they get further and further experienced in the daily routine of practicing medicine day to day.
A MD friend of mine recently mentioned to me that most physicians lose their dynamic sensory and information processing capabilities.
He explained to me that the memorization demands of the natural science/life sciences courses taken before and while attending medical school destroys their capacity to solve problems by thinking creatively. 
According to this friend: A physician’s creative orientation and ability, if they had any, diminishes and finally goes away as they practice medicine.
While practicing medicine their mental capability due to following standard methods which are recipe book like protocols they follow while they are engaged in their day-to-day professional work.
He explained that very few lectures, in medical school, engage a student’s mind. 
Relatedly, he explained that physicians are not taught to think innovatively so that as they work, they can gain insight into patients’ needs and strive to find new solutions. 
In summary: Young doctors are not educated to be curious researchers and inventors as well as knowledgeable, compassionate, and effective healers. 
They are not trained to be physician-investigators. 

Mind Expanding Experiences

Medical training is not entirely a boring brain deadening experience. 
Throughout basic clinical education small groups of students are presented with a realistic case study (in a hospital or elsewhere) of a patient showing special symptoms. 
The students work together to figure out what is wrong with the patient and what to do about it. 
Tasks are assigned by the instructor that allow the medical students to discover the skills and knowledge any doctor needs in treating a patient that is ill, in traditional areas such as pharmacology, anatomy, and physiology.
“Diagnosis” of medical conditions (i.e. problems) does require a limited amount of analysis, called “differential analysis” [a hit and miss way of determining the cause and/or existence of a medical problem], AFTER the problem already exists.
Because medical training revolves around lecturing and the rote presentation of facts and the practice of standard diagnosis techniques it does not foster the curiosity and inquisitiveness that great innovators commonly display.
As a result, in their every day medical practices very few physicians reach or come to medical conclusions on a particular case after completing many studies and giving a matter much thought; instead, they come to their “medical conclusion” re diagnosis and treatment by following a “one-size-fits-all” a recipe in a recipe book. 
Physicians not been trained to become lifelong learners – strong thinkers who are curious and who work proactively to satisfy their curiosity.
They have been trained (some might say programmed) to follow standard procedures – they are in effect highly trained robots, that is why the standard practice of medicine is in the midst of a huge change, it is being overtaken by innovations. 
A willingness to innovate (which is totally lacking in the standard practice of medicine) will determine the clinical, social and economic futures of medicine in the United States. 
The vast majority of the current set of physicians are not willing to innovate.
Instead, the vast majority of  physicians feel compelled to stay within “standards of medical practice” and do not question, or analyze whether such “standards of practice” make “scientific sense” or not. 
They do not experiment or have a willingness to innovate or to explore challenges to currently accepted “medical truths.” 
They are not curiously engaged humans who want to help patients by pushing medicine further.
They are discouraged from making, recording and acting on their own clinical observations which could or would lead to the establishment of new and better medical care, and new standards of care.
Being curious and then designing and caring out experiments to test ideas is one of the most satisfying uses of a mind. 
Most physicians give up their ability to engage their minds in the pleasurable and satisfying activity of doing research when they begin to practice medicine – because to them the practice of medicine is like playing a broken-slot-machine which always pays – and they “think” they will get great pleasure out of making a lot of money and that is why their focus is on making as much money as possible as quickly as possible.
In that regard, almost all medical doctors practicing medicine in the United States today tried to go into whatever medical specialty would make them the most money in the shortest period of time and are obsessed with making the most money they can make from the practice of medicine.

Another one of my MDs friends further explained to me why there is such a pronounced lack of creativity and innovation in the medical profession as follows:

  • “Most MDs are one trick ponies.” 
  • This friend (a highly acclaimed MD – who does not practice one trick pony medicine) further explained to me – “If you only know how to use a hammer, everything is a nail.”

Energizing the Minds of Physicians

Research projects energize students, engage them in serious science, and generate the kinds of questions that lead to new discoveries. 
A focus on medical research in the training of medical students and in medical practice would give medical students and physicians a richer, fuller appreciation of how their clinical practice fits into the larger world of scientific knowledge and which would enrich and refine their decision-making capabilities.
Adding a research requirement to their education and to maintaining their license to practice medicine would dramatically enhance medical care – help patients by pushing medicine further.
In my opinion, everyone would benefit.

Is It True that Physicians Are “Poor” Businessmen/Have No Business Sense?

Many successful business people have told me that MDs have no “business sense.”
Have you wondered why it is the general feeling among many successful business people that MDs have no business sense ?
Here are some questions I have asked myself in order to gain insight into that issue:
  • QUERY:
  • (1) How many physicians practicing medicine have thought about what practicing medicine has done to the functional capacity of that “muscle” in their head called their brain as a result of lack of mentally stressful mind-strength building exercise in their daily lives?
  • (2) How many care?
  • By the way: “Scientific” experiments demonstrate that use of the brain builds neural networks that enable the brain to process information faster and more efficiently.  In other words, using your brain makes you smarter, increases brain function.
  • The old saying “use it or lose it” applies to brain function.


There are giants in the medical profession who are human wonders.

Also, the conventional make-up of the scientific and educational background, personality, values and world-view of a growing number of people in the medical profession is changing.

I am meeting a physician this afternoon at the check in area of jetBlue at Logan Airport in Boston before I fly back to LAX, Los Angeles International Airport.

This physician has an open mind, but that description seriously understates the reality, which is that he is totally curious and eager to learn and asks question after question.

This morning my daughter and son-in-law took my ten year old grandson to be examined by a retina specialist and a trauma eye surgeon for a follow-up examination.

The first thing the retina specialist and eye surgeon said when he saw my grandson was: “I know how to make toys.  Would you like to see me make toys?”

The surgeon then proceeded to make an origami hopping frog and a flying helicopter.  He precisely folded pieces of paper and precisely tore pieces of paper with his own fingers.

When he was done those pieces of paper had been transformed into a hopping frog and a flying helicopter.

This is a true story – someone with that dexterity and people skill actually practices medicine as an eye surgeon in Boston.

He is an expert in the retina of the eye.

The rest of the members of the clinical medical team have extraordinary expertise and are just as kind and as extremely accomplished and competent physicians as the toy making eye surgeon who made toys for my grandson just before examining his retina early this morning.

Males Being Rebuffed by Stunning Women

One young woman friend of mine [a beautiful and smart woman] rejected her parents desire that she marry a doctor because she thinks the single MDs pursuing her (young Ferrari driving money making obsessed male physicians) are too lacking in substance, she thinks they are shallow self-destructive individuals and if she dated any of them or married anyone of them she would be doomed to living a tasteless meaningless life. 
This young lady doesn’t want to have the emotional burden such physicians put on the women who prostitute themselves to gain that type of physician’s tasteless attention.
She considers their lack of “substance” to be a “sick” situation which will lead those shallow people to “self-destruction” and being in a constant state of extreme unhappiness. 
She is concerned about their mental health.
It is her opinion that those Ferrari driving young MDs did not go into medicine to help people but instead went into medicine because they are insecure and feel worthless as human beings: they will always be striving to compensate for their feelings of worthlessness and insecurity through fantasies of “greatness” which they have striven to realize by becoming a physician.
It is her opinion that her Ferrari driving young MD suitors
  •  Believe they will prove their worth to their parents by being an MD.  They psychologically are not well formed or mature adults.  To the contrary, they will have a never compelling need to obtain their parents’ approval, the approval of the rest of their family and of their community and her approval by being a money making machine.
  • The feeling of lack of worth has been so consuming in their lives that nothing short of overwhelming financial success will make them feel acceptable.


It is her opinion that those young men are unhappy and will always be unhappy.


For all the reasons listed above, she doesn’t want to have anything to do with any of those young suitors.

Other, dynamically accomplished women (who coincidentally are smart and stunningly beautiful) I have talked to are totally turned off by the phoniness they are being subjected to in the business and social world they inhabit. 
They feel they are “prized” by successful men as status symbols and are not adored or appreciated prized or cherished for being the warm caring persons who they are or for the good companionship and loyalty they have to offer —
  • One beautiful smart successful woman explained her mindset:  She is revolted at being cast in the role being a dynamic businessman’s Gucci purse. 
  • She is revolted at being a prestige high status decoration. 
  • Another beautiful smart successful woman explained to me that the pressure of being phony – while accompanying her successful husband at ‘society events:  While at parties and social events the amount of phony interest she must display and being forced to be entertaining she is is too emotionally exhausting. 
  • She would rather stay home and watch TV than go to another party in the star studded world she lives in.  The routine of being a member of high society is maddening.  Doing the same thing day after day, year after year, is maddening to her.  She cannot imagine anything more boring than living her present high society life. 
  • The routines people in her social circle have taken up are tasteless. 
  • She is a rugged individualist, who is physically fit and intellectually cultured, who can’t stand the “over-civilized life” she is forced to live. 
  • The boorishness and meaninglessness of her existence tests the very limits of her endurance. 
  • She is resolved to escape her present life.


  • These women know who they are and who they want to be in a very fundamental way.
  • They have self knowledge.
  • They are dedicated to protecting their dignity in their money-driven every day world where their souls and status as a person are constantly under attack.
  • They realize how precarious the balance is between creation and annihilation and destruction in the life they lead and in the business world they and the men in their lives inhabit.
  • In that world everyone always is seeking investors and to make more money.
  • In such a world everyone feels they must “look” successful.  They must spend a lot of money on clothing and cars and houses and jewelry, etc. etc. etc.
  • However, the “thinking” women described above – who are moving towards becoming the persons they want to be, and have understood who they are and the psychodynamic forces at play in the world work – don’t want to be emotionally and financially dependent on a man or to be his “eye candy.”
  • They are not hostile or bitter or resentful.
  • Nor do they have destructive feelings.
  • They know what they want.
  • They want to be loved and to love; they want to receive bliss and to give bliss.
  • They want to give and receive care and nurturance.
  • They are not fickle.
  • Their sexuality and emotions are inextricably intermingled.
  • Their bodies wear the smile of accomplishment; they emote a subjective sense of freedom.


The practice of medicine [which is viewed by brilliant people as a “game” of association] attracts “smart people” but overall does not attract or hold the attention of people with the most “brilliant” minds.
I recently flew from Los Angeles International Airport to Logan Airport in Boston.  
The person sitting next to me on my flight from LAX to BOS told me that 4 out of his 6 closest friends/classmates – fellow students at Cal Tech – “wanted” to be MDs during their freshman year at Cal Tech.
He also mentioned that after taking pre-med courses for a year or two, half of them decided they didn’t want to be MDs. 
He implied that his fellow Cal Tech undergraduate student closest friends saw the handwriting on the wall:  “Brain Death”  would happen to their brains if they continued to prepare for the practice of medicine and “heaven forbid” if they actually became practicing physicians they would lose their acute highly developed ability to think.
He concluded and his friends concluded that practicing medicine would be an act of self-destruction.
He expressed his understanding to me that he and his friends at Cal Tech have hyperactive dynamic thinking alert minds that are always on the go and which need to be fueled by and are energized by having constant new challenges and experiences.
That Being Said: He concluded that being a MD would be too boring an existence ant that being an MD would cause his hyper-active highly functional brain to atrophy.
He mentioned that the smartest people in the world attend Cal Tech —
  • Cal Tech students have the highest SAT scores —
  • Additionally, it is a small elite school.  There are only 1,000 undergraduates, 1,000 graduate students and a faculty of 1,000.
  • This leads to lots of interaction between students with one another and with faculty which is prized by everyone.
  • The faculty wants to teach the most brilliant students.
  • The most brilliant students want to be taught by the most brilliant faculty and to interact with other brilliant students.
Recently, while visiting my eldest daughter Terra, in Marblehead, Massachusetts, I read the Winter 2014 issue of WHARTON Magazine.
“Wharton” is a prestigious business school in the United States.
One article described a study which compares Wharton graduates who graduated in 1992 (the class of 1992) with the class of 2012 in terms of the number of graduates who plan to have children.
The study found that the number of Wharton graduates planning to have children has dropped nearly by half over the past 20 years.
These averages are equal for men and women.  They are both dropping out of parenthood.
This change in plans is not unique to young business professionals.  It’s part of a larger trend: a nationwide baby bust.
Across the United States, births have dropped precipitously.  In 1992, the average US woman gave birth to 2.05 children over the course of her life.  By 2011, it had dropped to 1.89, well below the replacement rate of 2.10.
Another article in the Winter 2014 issue of WHARTON Magazine reports that:
  • The amount of interest in entrepreneurship at Wharton is just crazy.
  • Historically the school has been associated with careers in finance and consultancy.
  • For the first time, more Wharton students are interested in starting companies than in buying them.
  • A growing number of Wharton graduates are willing to trade wing tips, three-star Manhattan restaurants and Tribeca lofts for sneakers, take-out pizza and sleeping under their desks as they race to get a product out the door.
  • In fact more members of the Wharton graduating class of 2013 started a company than joined a hedge fund.
Our civilization has reached a tripping point.
Many people want to exercise freedom by (a) expressing who they are, (b) by experiencing who they can be, and (c) by living their life to the fullest.
They have concluded that the most important thing in their lives is to be comfortable in their own skins.


About Gary S. Smolker

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY: No enterprise can exist for itself alone. Every successful enterprise ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others. Otherwise, it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist. Imagination, open mindedness and flexibility are the most important factors in unlocking potential. Those who embrace innovation, improvisation, continuous learning, time management, are action oriented, high energy, passionate, creative, purposeful and intense individuals are best equipped to succeed. We all have ideas and the ability to make progress by sharing information and our ideas and also by changing our ideas when appropriate. We should always be on the lookout for teaching and mentoring moments. We hold time like water in our hands; however tightly we clench our fingers, it drips away. But, if it falls on a seed, a seed may grow to become something that will have a positive social impact. PERSONAL INTERESTS: I have a passion to learn, to innovate, to lead, to mentor and to teach. I seek to write things worth reading and want to do things worth writing about. I enjoy (a) driving a fast car, (b) having intense conversations (c) teaching/mentoring, (d) reading and (e) being involved in productive activity. PERSONAL: I believe in cultivating and backing passionate people, innovation, and old fashioned good ideas. I love making human connections and spreading good ideas. I am strongly motivated to achieve in situations in which independence of thought and action are called for. PERSONAL GOALS: I want to live life vibrantly, to be as sharp as a tack until my last breath and to change the world by being me. My personal goal is to be fully engaged in life, to lead by example, to set high standards and to continue to amass firsthand experience and knowledge in all that interests me. PERSONALITY: I love fun and mischief. I relish absurdity. I have an irreverent, facetious and satiric disposition. I dread boredom. I have spent a lifetime reading. I have no bias against people who have lived successful and/or complicated lives. I write to release tension, to get things off my chest. SOCIAL MEDIA: I post articles on the "Gary S. Smolker Idea Exchange" blog at, and "Dude's Guide to Women's Shoes" at I also post images and comments on Instagram @garyspassion. CONTACT INFORMATION: Gary Smolker, Smolker Law Firm, 16055 Ventura Blvd., Ste 525, Encino, California, 91436-2609, USA. Phone 1-818-788-7290, e-mail

Posted on June 25, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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