Talk With the Doc

Here are your ABC’s for personal success

Jim Surrell, MD, Journal columnist

The term “personal success” has many definitions. My favorite definition of personal success is as follows: “Success is the progressive realization of a worthwhile goal.”

Of course, this refers to personal goals we have set for ourselves, and setting personal positive goals is something we all should choose to do. In this regard, I believe that we can look at three personal choices that will make a positive and significant contribution to our personal success. These can easily be remembered as my ABC’s for personal success. A – Attitude. B – Believe in Yourself. C – Choices.

A = Attitude. It was a great learning experience for me when I finally understood that I can choose my personal attitude each and every day. It is very important to be aware that, often without even thinking about it, we all choose our personal attitude each and every day. We can choose to have a positive attitude or we can choose to have a negative attitude. Clearly, a positive attitude will guide us toward personal success in our actions, and in our personal interactions with family, friends, fellow students, co-workers, and others.

William James is considered by many to be the father of American Psychology. This is his famous quote about attitude. “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” Please also note the wisdom in the following. “A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You can’t go anywhere until you change it.”

B = Believe in Yourself. If you truly believe in yourself, then you already know the answer to the following question. Who should truly be your own best friend? This is a very important question, and clearly, there is only one correct answer. The answer is you! This is a very, very important personal choice. As our own best friend, we must always be honest with ourselves and continue to assess the results of our thoughts, our words, our personal actions, and interactions with others.

Certainly, we all should take pride in our success, and learn from these positive experiences. Of course, all of us will also make some mistakes along the way, and know that this just is a part of life. Both the positive and the negative events in our lives always represent great personal learning opportunities. We all need to learn from all our past experiences, and then just move on. Consider this wisdom — Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is here and it truly is a gift, and that is why it is called the “Present.”

C = Choices. We live by choice, not by chance. We have also been given this remarkable ability to choose what we think about. And it is always so very important that we choose to have positive thoughts, and choose to avoid negative thoughts.

We should think of our mind as a garden, and we are the master gardener. The thoughts we choose are the seeds we plant in the garden of our mind. Therefore, as the master gardener in control of our thoughts, we should choose to plant good seeds (positive thoughts), and not plant bad seeds (negative thoughts). Never forget this: We all have this remarkable ability to choose what we think about. Consider these six words of wisdom from Earl Nightingale, a great motivational author and speaker, “We become what we think about.”

So, remember these ABC’s, and choose to have a positive attitude, choose to be your own best friend, and make good life choices. These ABC’s are reviewed, along with a positive suggestion for all 26 letters of the alphabet in my book, “The ABC’s For Success In All We Do.” Of course, we cannot always choose what happens to us in life, but we can always choose how we respond to what happens to us in life. And, ultimately, we all will become a product of our personal choices.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Jim Surrell is the author of “The ABC’s For Success In All We Do” and the “SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet” books. Requests for health topics for this column are encouraged. Contact Dr. Surrell by email at sosdietdoc@gmail.com.