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LIVING WELL: Everyone can be successful at something

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Have you ever had a goal or dream that you gave up on?

I don’t think a single reader can answer that question with a no.

Everyone has dreams, ambitions, desires and goals. Obviously we all have our own version of goals and objectives.

One person may be focusing intently on achieving their next sales goal, while another is plotting to successfully rob the convenience store without getting caught.

One achiever may be studying intently to pass a certification examination, while another is trying to successfully record and watch every single episode of “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo.”

Everyone turns out to be successful at something. You always hit some target in life. Sometimes the value of your success is just a matter of how high you aim.

Most people have secret desires that are hidden away within them for a very simple and universal reason. They don’t really believe in themselves enough to think that they really can accomplish that desire. Because they don’t believe that they will be successful, it seems pointless to even try.

If you weigh more than 50 pounds over normal, you might feel completely incapable of ever losing the weight and becoming healthy again. You may even imagine how foolish you would look to others trying to lose weight when you feel so obviously incapable of it.

Losing a large amount of weight is an extraordinary objective.

Yet I have several patients that have successfully lost more than 100 pounds. Some have had bariatric surgery while others have been successful by combining increased exercise with a healthy eating plan and persisting long enough to obtain their goal.

Weight loss is just one example of intimidating goals.

Other readers may have a forgotten dream of advancing their education. They realize that they are limited by their current level of training and secretly wish they could achieve more in life by continuing their education.

For many the advent of continuing education through distance learning has opened the gateways to advancement. The options to taking course now over the Internet are practically endless.

In one innovative program, Harvard and MIT have combined resources to offer certain very popular college courses over the Internet, available to anyone in the world (including you). And get this: The courses are free.

For example right now you can take the most popular beginning computer science course taught at Harvard absolutely free. Or you can enroll in a different computer science course or a chemistry course offered by MIT.

There are also courses offered by University of California at Berkeley and University of Texas.

To learn more, simply go to edx.org. This experimental program is gaining ground rapidly. More than 140 colleges and universities around the world have expressed interest in participating.

The courses are open to literally anyone who has access to a computer. In a single course offered last year about circuits and electronics, there were 154,763 registrations from around the globe.

In a moment, I will reveal how many of those registrations actually completed the course.

First, let’s look at this incredible opportunity. It doesn’t get any better than that. Top-ranked universities, very popular courses led by excellent professors, available anytime you choose, anywhere you are, with no pre-admission qualifying, and all for free.

Would you agree that this project is making exceptional strides in making college-level education available to anyone?

Here is the part of this column that focuses on motivation.

Of the 154,763 people that registered for the class, only 7,157 completed it. That is less than 5 percent.

For more than 95 percent of the people that began the course, their motivation to complete it was unequal to the obstacles they encountered.

This ratio may be reflective of human nature.

Of all the people that complain about their current situation, either relating to health, finances, relationships or employment, only a small minority will actually commit the effort necessary to follow through long enough to change their circumstances forever.

It may be time to dig a little deeper within yourself to start believing that you can accomplish those hidden dreams.

Life is short.

Start today.
Tagged under  Columnists, Dr Mark Kestner, Living Well, Motivation, Voices

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