ZERO TOLERANCE TO NEGATIVE THINKING
SACRIFICE ONLY THOSE THINGS THAT ARE UNIMPORTANT AND
Identify those things that are
of low importance and expendable. The lizard willingly
sacrifices his tail to the predator in order to preserve his
life. He can always grow a new tail. If you only sacrifice the
unimportant and expendable, the setback may be only a minor
detour on the road to your dreams.
Itís inevitable you will
encounter adversity on the path to your dreams, and so you
should prepare for adversity in advance by identifying assets
that are less important and expendable. Although it would be
nice to have everything go your way, and to never make
compromises, itís wise to decide ahead of time those things you
can do without.
When setbacks occur and chaos
temporarily reigns supreme, at least you know what youíre going
to do. You have already mentally drawn your line in the sand,
and surrendering the unimportant and expendable wonít cause a
For many years, I was the
chairman of the morbidity and mortality committee at our
hospital, and I quickly learned the difference between the
essential and the expendable.
Every medical complication that
occurred in the hospital had to be reviewed by our committee.
This involved a search for the truth within the limits imposed
by the politics of medicine. Although we fearlessly and
critically examined every complication that landed on our desk,
we also realized we couldnít do everything we wanted because of
the politics involved. So we identified the critical issues
that could not be ignored, and issues of less importance were
shuffled off to the side.
Itís not that we lacked courage
or resolve; rather, we knew we better stick to the big issues if
we wanted to be effective as a committee. Otherwise, we would
have rapidly become bogged down in the unimportant and
expendable. By focusing on the essential, we were able to
maintain a high standard of care and accountability in our
hospital which was our primary objective.
Thatís the nature of
compromise. You identify the essential and draw your line in
the sand; everything else is up for grabs, and if the
unimportant and expendable have to go, you still will be able to
achieve your objectives.
ASSESS THE SITUATION
From your fallback position,
take time to assess the situation and examine every possible
contingency. Itís rare for adversity to be so great that there
arenít many alternative ways of responding. There is a high
probability you have enough control over the situation so that
you can select an acceptable response to the setback rather than
have a single course of action dictated by your adversaries.
Before we sailed our boat up
the Red Sea, we had to pass through the Gulf of Aden, a body of
water notorious for pirate attacks against cruising yachts.
Each year, several yachts are attacked by pirates from Yemen or
Somalia. There is no way to go up the Red Sea without first
sailing through the Gulf of Aden; it isnít optional. Everyone
transiting this area has to assess the situation and come up
with a plan for how they are going to manage the risk associated
with acts of piracy.
Our assessment told us we had
three options. First, we could forget about sailing through the
Gulf, and instead sail for South Africa where there isnít a
problem with piracy. The second option was to sail right up the
middle of the Gulf seventy miles offshore. The third option was
to ignore the piracy risk and sail wherever we wanted.
After assessing the situation
we were fairly sure we could manage the risk using option two.
We sailed seventy miles offshore, straight up the middle of the
Gulf of Aden, and our conservative approach worked fine. It
took thirty six hours to sail through the danger zone, and then
we were free to sail wherever we wanted.
We formed a convoy in Oman so
we could travel in the company of other yachts as we sailed
through the danger zone. We also went to considerable effort to
sail down the middle of the Gulf of Aden, staying seventy miles
from Yemen and seventy miles from Somalia. The boats that
followed our plan made the trip without a problem. Two yachts
who deviated from this plan and sailed closer to Yemen were
attacked by pirates.
GO TO NEXT PAGE
WHEN YOU ARE IN A HOLE, STOP
One of the first rules you learn about
driving in sand is that when you are in a hole, stop digging.
When I started driving in dunes, I frequently got stuck in
patches of soft sand. As a novice, when I bogged down, I spun
my tires which made me sink progressively deeper until the
chassis rested solidly on the ground. Only then did my
Defender stop sinking.
Eventually I discovered that if you don't spin your wheels when
you first get stuck, you don't sink down nearly as far. It's
much easier to recover a bogged vehicle when it's not buried all
the way up to the chassis.
We developed a damage control rule for everyone who drove with
us in the sand. When the forward motion of the vehicle ceases,
you immediately stop spinning your tires so that vehicle
recovery will be easier. When we did it that way, we could
usually go in reverse and back out of the sand trap if a couple
of people got out and gave the vehicle a push with their hands.
Only occasionally was it necessary to use sand ladders, winches,
or snatch straps.
This rule is applicable to life in general. When you find
yourself stuck, when forward motion ceases, it's time to stop
digging. If you continue to spin your mental wheels, you will
only sink deeper into the muck and mire. Whatever it was that
you were doing before you got into trouble, you must immediately
cease and desist. If you don't stop, you will only sink deeper
making it more difficult to get your life back on track.
might want to write that rule on paper and look at it several
times a day when you are having problems. If you stop digging
and start doing something constructive, it won't be long before
you are back to living your dreams.
THE POSITIVE WEB RING
The Positive Web Ring has eleven positive web
sites. Each site lifts you up, pushes your mind in a positive
direction, and makes it easier to live your dreams. The
Positive Web Ring has something positive for everyone. There's
podcasts, and much more.
The wheel of change always turns in the direction of what you put into
your mind, and the Positive Web Ring fills your mind with good things.
Give your mind a push in a positive direction today. Cruise your way
to a positive life. If you really want to be positive, nobody
can stop you.
RED SEA CHRONICLES DVD
When Dr. Dave isn't working as a flying doctor for the Indian Health
Service, He is sailing around the world on his sailboat. Find
out what it's like to sail on the ocean of your dreams by watching
Captain Dave's DVD.
Chronicles DVD Previews