Dr. Dave's Eclectic Blog



As far as I am concerned, ten lives are not too much and one life is not enough. There are so many things I want to do and not enough time to do them all. 

My bucket list is still full after all these years. The list is so big, I need other people to help carry the bucket.

My bucket list scares many people, and sometimes it even scares me when I am tired and the hobgoblins of fear dance in my mind. That’s why I don’t listen to the voice of fear or make major decisions when I have a tired mind.

Every item on my bucket list involves risk. That’s what makes bucket lists into an adventure. Without risk, you just have a mundane to do list and nothing more.

Everything worth having involves risk. Getting married, having children, flying in airplanes, and sailing around the world on your own small sailboat all involve risk. 

People who don’t take risks waste a perfectly good life. 

Aversion to risk is like standing in wet cement, and if you stand there too long, you become stuck for the rest of your life.

Whether you like it or not, life is risky. Bad things happen to good people all the time, and aversion to risk will not shield you from misfortunes that are a part of being alive.

People who never take risks miss out on life’s greatest adventures.

The biggest rewards go to those who take the biggest risks and who never quit.

For a risk to be worthwhile, the rewards of taking a risk should be proportional to amount of risk you assume. If the rewards are tiny for a great deal of risk, you are engaging in brinksmanship. Don’t do it.

Not all risks are necessary or worthwhile. 

When I begin a new adventure, I evaluate the risk and carefully review the penalty of making a mistake. I will swim on a thousand beaches around the world, but you will never see me swim in the crocodile infested Zambezi River. Swimming with crocodiles is not worth the risk.

A situationally aware adventurer is an expert at risk assessment, and quickly parses the difference between necessary and unnecessary risks. There is a huge difference in risk between flying in an airplane, parachuting out of an airplane, BASE jumping, and flying in a squirrel suit off a high mountain cliff.

When I sailed Exit Only around the world, I did everything possible to eliminate unnecessary risks and minimize the necessary ones. Getting to the sweet spot where risks are reasonable is expensive and takes time, but once the job is done, the odds are in your favor that you will have a great adventure and live to see many more days.

Most people are risk averse, and if you listen to what they say, you will kiss your dreams goodbye. They will tell you to be careful, avoid risk, and worship at the altar of security. Don’t listen to them or take counsel of their fears.

If you want to know whether it’s possible to do an item on your bucket list, ask someone who has already done it. They know what they are talking about and you can trust their advice.

If you want to sail around the world in your own boat, the only person qualified to advise you is someone who has already done it.

Don’t ask monohull sailors whether it’s safe to sail around the world in a catamaran. Ask Dr. David Lewis who sailed with his family around Cape Horn in a home built catamaran named Rehu Moana. He was the first person to circumnavigate the globe in a catamaran south of all the great capes. 

I admire the abilities of rock climbers who literally live close to the edge. Their finely honed risk assessment and risk management skills keep them safe as they ascend the sheer rock face of El Capitan in Yosemite. If I had ten lives I would spend one of them climbing rocks. 

Unfortunately, I don’t have ten lives, and when I choose to do one thing, it means I am choosing to not do others.

That’s the problem with being a one life person. I always have to choose.

My bucket list is a luxury not afforded to all, and I have more than a few fallen comrades who would have been ecstatic to choose even a few items on my list.

I realize how fortunate I am, and I will not become an insufferable little clod of complaints about the things I don’t get to do.

Instead, I will focus on all the adventures that remain, and I will get busy with making them happen.

I would love to have ten lives, but one life will have to do.

Life is good.

Dr. Dave




Pushing back the limits in your life

Pushing Back The Limits In Your Life

Many times I felt like I had taken things to the limit, but on further examination, it was clear I simply had enough. I was done and was unwilling to do whatever it takes to continue. Hitting the wall of absolute limits has never been a problem. The envelope of possibility is infintely large, and the likelihood of encountering absolute limits is infinitesimally small. There are no limits. There are only limiting beliefs.

Grand Schemes and Other Important Things

Grand Schemes And Other Important Things

In the grand scheme of things, my grand schemes seem fairly insignificant. In a global sense it's easy to feel as if my life counts for nothing, or at most, counts for little. When someone tells me that I shouldn't be doing things that are important to me, and that I'm wasting my life, they are really saying that my dreams don't count in their scheme of things. 

Daktari Without Borders

Living Without Borders

I am a daktari without borders. I am not sure when and where borders disappeared from my mind, but sometime in the last quarter century, I became a citizen of the world. Wherever I am on planet earth, I feel at home in my borderless world. Find out what it's like to live without borders.

Guilty of Living My Dreams

Guilty Of Living My Dreams

When my life is over and on judgment day I stand in the final line up with all the rest, I hope millions of people can point their finger at me, pick me out of the line up, and say, "He's the one. That's definitely him. He's different from the rest. He didn't conform, and he is guilty of living his dreams.

Negative Thoughts Are A Dream Stealer

Negative Thoughts Are A Dream Stealer

You are never safe from negation. Unchecked negativity can rapidly flush the achievements of a lifetime down the drain. If you ever reach your dreams, it will be because you stopped listening to the voice of fear and negation. You stopped looking at your limitations and stopped constructing barriers that exist only in your mind.

Everything Possible Nothing Impossible

Impossible Should Not Be In Your Vocabulary

Faith isn’t something that must be present before you move in the direction of your dreams. Rather it’s something that develops after you start moving. When you start out, you don’t see how your dreams are possible. Nevertheless, the moment you take the first step, faith instantly comes into your life. Never look at faith as the path to a life of leisure. God gave you faith so you could see things other people can’t see and do things other people can’t do.

Fear Doctor

Things I Feared That Never Happened

I could write an entire book called, "Things I Feared That Never Happened," and follow that up with a second book entitled, "I Feared The Wrong Things." Almost always, fear is a waste of time. Most of the things you fear will never happen, and you fear the wrong things. When the hobglobins of fear start dancing in your mind, it's time to refocus on other things. Learn how to squelch the voice of fear with a positive focus!

What Woud Steve Do?

What Would Steve Do?

For me, the dream is all about adventure, freedom, and being really alive. Although I like seeing the sights wherever we go, I think it's the sense of adventure coupled with the freedom to do what I want to do with my life, seasoned with a pinch of adrenalin that makes it all worthwhile.

Imagine, Believe, Receive

Imagine, Believe, Receive

The first step in moving toward your dreams is to doubt your limits. Once you doubt your limits, it's almost as if you are born again. You get an entirely new life with radically different rules of engagement. You enter the Promised Land of Imagine, Believe, and Receive. I know this to be true because I have been there.

Dr. Dave's Eclectic Blog - Positive Thinking Doctor - David J. Abbott M.D.


More than two decades ago, Captain Dave (aka Dr. Dave) started writing and creating websites as he sailed around the world on his sailboat, SV Exit Only. Those early websites and books evolved into the Positive Thinking Network you see today.

Captain Dave lived overseas for twenty-eight years in his globe trotting lifestyle until he became a Flying Doctor with the Indian Health Service working for ten years in the American Southwest flying out to deliver health care to the Apache, Hopi, Hualapai, Havasupai, and Colorado River Tribes.

Dr. Dave completed his work with the Indian Health Service in Arizona, and now runs the Positive Thinking Network full time either from his catamaran or his Land Rover Defenders as he travels around the world

The Positive Thinking Network has a global outreach sending a positive message to 196 countries, and it is your definitive source of positive thinking on the World Wide Web. 

With hundreds of positive websites, and more than a million pages and podcasts downloaded each month, it's where you come to learn everything you want to know about positive thinking. The Positive Thinking Network focuses on positive self-talk, positive spirituality, winning the battle against depression, PTSD, and positive adventure.

Hundreds of family safe websites stand ready to fill your mind with positive things.

Dr. Dave and the Positive Thinking Network work around the clock to change the world, one person at a time, one web page at a time, and one podcast at a time.