Aleksandra Nenadic is a physiotherapist. She is the owner of Aleksandra Nenadic Physiotherapy, a private physiotherapy clinic that promotes health and well being through various physiotherapy techniques, including manual therapy, acupuncture/dry needling, therapeutic ultrasound, and others. Nenadic provides one-on-one tailored treatment plans to each patient and educates them on ways they can actively work to improve their condition.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I grew up in Ottawa from the age of eight. As first-generation Serbian-Canadians, life had its challenges as we adapted to a new country. I learned French first, and then English; as a result, I got to know and integrate into both cultures. What was a tough path for a child that had to learn two cultures in Canada and juggle them with my Serbian heritage and traditions at home, became one of my biggest (if not the biggest) advantages as an adult.
My parents worked modest jobs to bring up and educate two daughters. It’s through their hard work and their parenting that I learned the importance of good family relationships, perseverance, and good work ethic. These values helped me later on in life, in social and professional environments. I would say that as a first-generation Canadian, I appreciated small things and my parent’s sacrifices more than other children.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
I wish I learned earlier in my life how to live more at the moment. I’ve heard of this saying many times, but I never practiced this philosophy because I truly didn’t know what it meant or how to do it. I have come to understand the meaning of these words, but I wish I had understood them earlier.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
I used to hear “Fake it ‘til you make it” from people around me very often at the beginning of my career. I think this is bad advice because when you work in the healthcare field, and when patients’ health is at stake, there is very little room for mistakes. I strongly believe in honesty and integrity. I don’t believe in ‘faking it’. I don’t think that any professional should pretend they know how to do something if they don’t have the knowledge or skills.
I don’t have an issue with telling a patient that I don’t feel comfortable treating them if I don’t have the training for their condition. I believe that honesty is the best policy, and I am always happy to refer my patients to fellow colleague chiropractors, massage therapists, or osteopaths if I believe that their services would benefit my patients more. In my view, this is the right approach because I truly care about my patients’ wellbeing. In return, my patients show their respect and appreciation.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
I’ve gone through a few periods in my life where I experienced difficulty and sadness, including illness of family members, the passing of relatives and friends, and break-ups. Each time, I leaned on family and close relatives, and that helped me tremendously. Having the support of close family members has been one of my greatest blessings.
I learned that life is a true roller coaster, and that good moments, as well as bad ones, come and go. I also learned not to take anything for granted anymore. I’ve lost some people in my life much too soon, and only after they left this world did I realize that I didn’t spend as much time with them as I wish I had.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
Thinking outside the box and taking matters into my own hands. That’s two, not one, I know. But I think that if you want to be successful and happy in life, you have to take it by the horns and consciously choose which direction to take, to the extent possible. In order to do that, you have to think outside the box as opposed to following the mainstream of our society.
What is your morning routine?
My morning routine is slightly different every morning because it depends on when I start work, but typically, I wake up between 7 am and 8 am. After brushing my teeth, I start my coffee. I am a huge coffee lover, so my day never starts without a good cup of coffee. While the coffee is getting ready, I scan over my emails or messages. I quickly answer the ones that are urgent, leaving the rest until I get to my office. I have some fruit and a light breakfast and get ready for work. If I don’t start work too early, after breakfast I do a 45-minute workout that includes cardio, weight training, abdominal exercises, and some stretches. After my workout, I take a shower, get ready, and go to work.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
I started working out regularly, that is, at least three times per week, about seven or eight years ago. I find that this has improved my life tremendously, not just on a physical level but on a mental one as well. I find that exercising relieves stress and helps me get great ideas for my business. At the end of the workout, I feel better physically and I’m mentally recharged.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
One of the strategies that I use for productivity is making a to-do list, and executing it. I feel great satisfaction when I complete one of my to-do items and scratch it off the list. Lists help me see what needs to be done during the day. With a list in my hands, I can prioritize appropriately. Most of the time, I get everything done by the end of the day. If I don’t, I try to get it done the next day or as soon as possible because I feel accountable to myself.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald are two of my favourite books. I find that both books demonstrate what we as human beings and society are like, in good and bad ways. There are great lessons in these books.
Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsh is another book that I truly enjoyed reading, and one that I found eye-opening. This book put a lot of things in perspective for me. Never before did I think about some of the concepts that he describes in his book, such as “Fear or love are the two basic alternative perspectives on life,” or that “One cannot understand one thing unless he or she understands its opposite.” I learned a lot about life while reading this book.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
“Create your own reality.” I really like this quote because it says that I can create a life that I desire. It reinforces that the power is within me. On the flip side, no one is to blame for what happens to me, but me. This is hard to accept sometimes, but it ultimately makes me reflect on what I could have done differently to get a more desirable result. If I can correct my approach next time, then I know I have succeeded. That is the way I grow and become a better person.
“Everything happens for a reason.” For years I struggled with this concept. I had an idea of what life should be like, and if my life took a different path, I would be upset. I have come to realize that things really do happen for a reason, even if we may not be aware of what it is right away. I accept now that some things ought to be a certain way, and I see them either as blessings in disguise or great lessons to learn from.