“Everybody wants to go to heaven, but no body wants to die.” That’s what Jim’s dad, Carl, used to say on Thursdays in the 1970’s when we looked to him for his wisdom and advice. Actually, he used to say it when we were complaining about how hard it was to accomplish something. It’s funny, but applies to so many areas of our life.
Creating the future, or at least creating a positive future, is something that everyone wants, but when it’s time to step out and make it happen, it’s a good idea not to stop and look behind you, because, usually, there’s a very short line of risk takers standing there with you.
John F. Kennedy used to refer to the Irish writer, Frank O’Connor, who wrote about his childhood and about the early formation of his risk taking philosophy by saying, “He and his friends would make their way across the countryside and when they came to an orchard wall that seemed too high, too doubtful to try and too difficult to permit their voyage to continue, they took off their hats and tossed them over the wall, and then they had no choice but to follow them.”
It was Henry Ford who said, “If you think you can, you’re right. If you think you can’t, you’re right.”
As an organization, we are facing our future head on. We must re-invent ourselves on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Business as usual will not cut it here anymore.
Only through our creativity, our persistence, our desire to succeed . . . only through throwing our hats over the wall, putting a stake in the ground, taking a stand and being there for our patients, our physicians, our partners and our loved ones can we be successful.
Dream our future as an International Center of Excellence, and dream individually of our new centers of excellence, the ones that you will work to create. Then, create and support them.
We’re only in a competition with ourselves, and we are not the enemy. Let’s start each morning by saying, “If we think we can, we’re right,” because, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “A Hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.”
Be brave. Focus on a positive future and it will be ours!