Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dr. Ben Carson is Giving his Best and Thinking Big

Title: Think Big: Unleashing Your Potential for Excellence
Author: Ben Carson with Cecil Murphey
Publisher: International Bible Society East Africa; 1992
Genre: Non-fiction (Self Help)
Pages: 278

A black boy growing up in a Detroit ghetto, in a single parent family is constantly taunted as the dumbest kid in his fifth grade class. With this constant admonition he comfortably resorts to his ‘fate’ at the unchallenged position in the bottom of the class. That is till his mother, Sonya Carson spikes the boy, Ben Carson to a path of success.
This is probably the story in Dr. Ben Carson’s with Cecil Murphey in the first book Gifted Hands which was produced on the screen in the movie by the same title starring Cuba Gooding, Jnr (Reviewed in this blog post)

Dr. Carson’s story of having a positive mindset in doing his best while attaining life goals sees him become a prolific neurosurgeon who separated Siemens twins successfully and the head of pediatric neurosurgery at John Hopkins hospital. By the time of publishing this book Dr. Carson had 6 honorary degrees.

It’s these achievements that make Dr. Carson to share his experiences in this title which lists mentors and people who helped him in his success by giving their best on what they do with honesty. Although known globally he poses to shed light on medical mentors not known.

In his success guideline he uses an acrostic for THINK BIG;

T-Talent/Time: Recognize them as gifts and use them appropriately by choosing a field that will utilize them to make it easy for you to climb to the top of your field. The notion of having talents in only performance professions like basket ball, singing and modeling is challenged with  innate and often overlooked ones like mathematics, reading books, copy editing or orating

H- Hope for good things even in bad situations instead of lashing out at the system. And honesty shows in our goals to be achievers.

I- Have an insight from people and good books which aid in observation and reflection on our commitment to give our best. Insight help us pick the best from achievers, avoid their pitfalls and making right decisions in attaining goals.

N- Be nice to all people by treating someone the same way you would like to be treated back. Nice people will always finish because how you treat others affect how others will treat you.

K- Knowledge is the key of life and it counts. When you are knowledgeable and are black, pink, and green with yellow polka dots and live in a slum, it will make a different not only in your life but also to the world.

B- books, read them actively because “everyman who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant, and interesting” Aldous Huxley.

And it goes without saying that extensive reading of good books in your profession is proportional to academic and professional ascend.

I- In-depth learning, by reading and acquiring information in our field increase our intelligence by inspiring us to acquire necessarily skills to be the best in what we do. In depth learning involves learning everything there is to know in a field to put us ahead in the profession.

G- This is a caution; God at work. In life never grow to big for God for we need to acknowledge him and he will help us.

Dr. Carson’s formula of putting God first, reading books for knowledge and insight with honesty reminds me of a story of a 21 years old man. In 1946 during the nadir of black segregation this 8th grade drop out was sentenced to 10 years in armed robbery and cohabiting with a white woman.

With a red hair and battling with mercurial temperament due to withdrawal of drug abuse, his cellmates nicknamed him ‘Satan.’ That is until he found solace in the prison library and copied out the entire dictionary. Six years later the prisoner was released to be a great orator and an icon of black liberation worldwide.

This Ghetto urchin was called Malcolm Little who late became El-Hajj Malik Al-Shabaaz. The world knows him as Malcolm X!
Dr. Carson’s book unlike other ‘self-confessed-self-help-books’ gives the life of a ghetto boy raised by a single mother to became a world renowned figure. The truth in Carson’s life which in an interview with Ebony he called ‘an open book’ entails the readers to reflect in his/her own life.

Although Detroit where Carson grew up is a million and one mile from Kenya, when my elder brother told me of his first book Gifted Hands while in primary, I remember reading the book deep into the night. I easily identified with his hurdles and it inspired me greatly.

Now with my own copy of Think Big: Unleashing your Potential for Excellence in my private library, I constantly turn to it for guidance.

Syndicated Online at: Bookstove

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