1. Stone MJ. The wisdom of Sir William Osler. Am J Cardiol.
1995; 75( 4):269-276.
2. Covey SR. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Restoring the
Character Ethic. New York, N Y: Free Press; 2004.
3. Robertson K. Active listening: More than just paying
attention. Aust Fam Physician. 2005; 34( 12):1053-1055.
4. Mehrabian A. Silent Messages: Implicit Communication of
Emotions and Attitudes. Belmont, CA: Wads worth; 1981.
5. Keller H. To Love This Life: Quotations by Helen Keller. New York,
N Y: AFB Press; 2000.
6. Goleman D. What Makes a Leader? Harvard Business Review.
2004; 82( 1): 82-91.
7. Stojanovic D. Mastery. Available at: https://en.wikiquote.org/
wiki/Dejan_Stojanovic. Accessed July 6, 2015.
8. Maraboli S. Life, The Truth, and Being Free. Port Washington,
N Y: A Better Today Publishing; 2009.
9. Collins JC. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap
and Others Don’t. New York, N Y: Harper Business; 2001.
10. Lipkin M. Star power: How to Be Unstoppable through
the Nine Star Social Values. Available at: www.mikelipkin.
Book Preview30.pdf. Accessed June 17, 2015.
11. Steiner I. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: It’s still day-one, 20 years
later. EcommerceBytes.com. April 14, 2014. Available at: www.
June 17, 2015.
which focus on bringing the best to whatever you
happen to being doing every day. 10 We should live
each day as if it is Super Bowl Sunday, and we are
in the game.
Bringing your best to the table also means
being willing to view things from an unfamiliar
perspective. Executives at successful companies,
such as Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer of Amazon.com, apply unique and innovative
approaches to their work. A reporter once asked
Mr. Bezos how far he believes his company has
come and how far it can go. His response was, “It’s
day one,” meaning he views every day as if it is the
very first day of the business being open. 11 To keep
moving forward, surgeons need to view each day
as if it is day one.
Each of us defines success differently, and only
you—with guidance from experienced mentors—
can determine what it means to you and how to
achieve it. This RAS-ACS issue of the Bulletin
explores a variety of topics related to “seeking
success,” ranging from effective communication,
teaching in the operating room, surgical advocacy,
training for future leaders, and providing feedback
Having nearly been killed at the age 17, I am
often reminded of how fortunate I am to have had
this second chance at life. I am also reminded of
the limited and unknown amount of time we each
have on this earth. As surgeons, we have the special ability to profoundly affect people and society.
Applying some of these common principles of success will allow us to better achieve the desired
impact. When the time comes to take that last
breath, one can only hope to have achieved success on his or her own terms. ♦
Each of us defines success differently, and only you—with
guidance from experienced mentors—can determine what
it means to you and how to achieve it.