Dr. Ben Carson rose from humble beginnings as the son of a single parent to become a trailblazing brain surgeon. Many of us remember the time when he separated congenital twins who were not expected to live or have watched his life story in the movie "Gifted Hands". His cutting-edge methods and strong commitment that involved over 15,000 surgeries were recognized with numerous awards as well as respect and gratitude from those who crossed his path.
Dr. Carson's whole life was not only dedicated to developing expertise in his field of practice but also to serve others. After retiring from his medical career, he unsuccessfully ran for President of the United States and now holds the position as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
This week I finished reading the book "A Doctor in the House" in which Dr. Carson's wife, Candy provides an insider view of her husband's personal and medical activities.
She described a method that he developed over the years for solving any dilemma that involves asking himself the following four questions:
- What is the best thing that will happen if I do this?
- What's the worst thing that happens if I do this?
- What's the best thing that will happen if I don't do this?
- What's the worst thing that happens if I don't do this?
Four simple questions that can be used as a template for decision-making in all situations!
Because Dr. Carson and his wife wanted to encourage others to reach potential, they created the Carson Scholarship Fund and regularly spoke to various groups even when his work week was extremely demanding.
On June 9, 2015 he was a guest speaker at the inaugural graduation of the Ben Carson High School for Science and Medicine in Detroit, the city where he started his life and journey. During his speech he cautioned students to beware of naysayers and described a situation where his medical school advisor had told him that he wasn't cut out to be a doctor.
Dr. Caron stated: "When someone tells you something like that, remember that they are speaking from their experience, about what they can't do. They really can't speak for what you can do. Only you have control over what you can do."
Over the years, I have been blessed with many good mentors. Some of them were personal friends or acquaintances. Some were ones who I observed from a distance. And some were found in the stories published in the media and books.
We don't need to adopt everything that others say or do but it is important to sift through the information and capture the nuggets of wisdom that will move you forward with your life and goals.