#229 What If You Only Had 6 Months To Live? W/Dr. Allen Lycka

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This week I spoke with leading cosmetic dermatologists, Dr. Allen Lycka. A pioneer in cosmetic surgery, he helped develop laser-assisted tumescent liposuction – an advanced body sculpture technique, and Mohs Micrographic Surgery, an advanced means of removing skin cancer with 99% success.

In 2003, Dr. Lycka’s life changed drastically when he suddenly developed a right foot drop and then misdiagnosed as ALS (Lou Gehrig’s’ disease). Still, he maintained his status as a leading cosmetic doctor for 30 years.

Now, as we get started, I want you to ponder this question: If you were told you had 6 months to live…what would you do?

Well, there was a point in Dr. Lycka’s life when this question was a reality for him. He was told that he had only 6 months to live. Wow.

During this season of his life, Dr. Lycka experienced a myriad of emotions, as anyone would– and he kindly shares what that was like for him…

His first emotion: anger.
But, he used that anger in a way that turned out to be beneficial. He goes onto explain: “anger motivates you because it DRIVES you…”

Second emotion: bargaining.
He would try to bargain with God, saying that he would do anything to stay alive!

Third emotion: denial.
Do you struggle with denial?
Dr. Allen says: “You go through denial…We deny things that are going on…”

Fourth emotion: depression.
He further explains that in this phase, you no longer have a desire to do anything. And, a part of this darkness, as Dr. Allen and I agree on, is a lack of identity. We find our self-worth in our work for such a duration of time, that when life happens, and we are forced to “take a break” from our job or career, we sort of have this identity crisis– and that is a very lonely place.

However, I love what Dr. Allen’s wife shared with him, she reminded him: “That’s not all there is [a career]. There is much more than that.”
I think that is deeply important to remember.

Next, Dr. Allen goes on to share that life is never a straight one-way path. We must learn to adapt because those changes we accept are how we live a good life! As he puts it: “Maybe we should say thank you for all the little stresses and strains that go on. Because that makes us the better people that we are, each and every day.”

Dr. Allen’s Tips:

  • First of all, overcome fear. FEAR: False Expectations Appearing Real… 95% of things we fear never actually happen!
  • If you are going through trauma, volunteer. Go help others because it is healing for us to give.
  • Be grateful for the things we have 🙂 write down 3-5 things daily that you are grateful for.  
  • Doing the little things makes all the difference.


Dr. Allen’s Facebook

Dr. Allen’s LinkedIn

Dr. Allen’s Book: The Secrets To Living A Fantastic Life

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