Victors and Viktors

Dr. Ben Carson (from White House Photo) and Dr. Viktor Frankl (Attribution: Prof. Dr. Franz Vesely

Dr. Ben Carson (from White House Photo) and Dr. Viktor Frankl (Attribution: Prof. Dr. Franz Vesely

While researching my newsletter, I came across a 1999 PBS interview with Dr. Ben Carson, renowned pediatric neurosurgeon. Many of you know his story: young black boy raised by a single mom who wanted her boys to escape from poverty. She required he and his brother to read 2 books weekly from the library, and write book reports. His love for learning inspired, he fought other challenges to eventually become the man of distinction he is today.

Carson’s mom also would not stand for her boys to play the victim. If they were in trouble and used someone else as an excuse, she would ask, “Do you have a brain?” If they answered yes, then it really didn’t matter what others did. She made her boys understand personal responsibility.

And personal responsibility is an empowering trait. Recognizing that racism was a serious problem in his youth, Carson’s mom reminded him that he still had choices. As Dr. Carson told it in his interview:

When it comes to something like racism, for instance, my mother used to always say, “If you walk into an auditorium full of racist, bigoted people,” she said, “you don’t have a problem. They have a problem. Because when you walk in, they are going to cringe and wonder if you’re going to sit next to them, whereas you can go sit anywhere you want. So let them wory about it if they want to. You don’t ahve to do that.” And, you know, that’s the whole concept in terms of the victim’s mentality. You either accept it and become a victim, or you deny it and become a victor.

You have a choice between being a victim and a victor.

Another “victor” — Dr. Viktor Frankl — said:

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

When somebody provokes you, or you discover your plans are failing, in that moment between the stimulus and your response, choose how you will respond. Choose to be a victor and find a way to win.

Conversation with Dr. Ben Carson (1999) by David Gergen at PBS.


Gratitude made clear

Readers of my blogs know that I am a big fan of gratitude. It really is “the secret sauce” that makes live savory and delicious. It is the real fuel of success that beats away fear and doubt when things get tough. Marc over at Marc and Angel Hack Life wrote a great post just in time for Easter to help us realize that we have so much to be grateful for. Here are his 6 Reasons Someone Wishes They Were You:

  1. You are educated enough to read this.
  2. You are reasonably healthy.
  3. You have the freedom to choose.
  4. You have enough wealth to live comfortably.
  5. You have a home.
  6. You still have a chance.

Now, you may be thinking that all six are not true for you. but if you are reading this, I guarantee you that numbers 1 and 6 are true, and because they are, you have the ability to make all the rest true. But even if only one or two are true, there are people who wish they were you because of them.

Be grateful for the many blessings you have. That gratitude, harnessed and put into action, will make your dreams come true.

6 Reasons Someone Wishes They Were You at Marc and Angel Hack Life

The Power of Gratitude at Dwayne Baptist and Associates