Dr. Dave's Eclectic Blog



The Panamanian rainforest has a canopy just like all rainforests around the world. Surprisingly, some islands ten miles off the Panamanian coast have a rainforest canopy as well.

Rainforest trees are tall with few branches down low and leaves mostly at the top where there is sunlight for photosynthesis. 

Tall rainforest trees need to have excellent root systems in order to survive. They actually have roots that spreads out like a massive pancake at the base of the tree. There are no giant taproots pulling water from deep within the earth. When there is so much rain there is no need for taproots. Horizontally spreading roots just beneath the surface creates a strong attachment to Mother Earth guaranteeing the tree will remain upright for a hundred or more years. 

When rainforest trees are on islands close to shore, wave action may erode the ground covering the roots exposing them to the elements, and eventually the roots may not have an adequate hold on the earth to keep the tree upright, and the tree falls over levering the root complex into the air. 

I saw a similar root pattern in the Isle of Pines in New Caledonia where cyclones had uprooted tall pine trees. Their root complex was tilted ten or more feet in the air.

Some of the fallen rainforest trees continue to thrive on Escudo de Veraguas in Panama. These are trees with attitude. I call them the NEVER QUIT TREES of Escudo de Veraguas 

The tree in this picture would have died in most places around the world, but this tree is special. It continues to dominate the landscape.

The relentless tree has enough residual root system to not only keep the tree alive, it has enough roots to support a small forest. It becomes a small rainforest within a bigger rainforest. 

The fallen tree not only refuses to die, it sprouts new branches that rise straight up into the sky from the fallen trunk. Those new branches create a forest within the forest.

The branches closest to the root complex are the largest because they get the lion’s share of nourishment from the roots. Those branches farthest from the roots are smaller, but they still reach into the sky. 

This never say die, never quit tree demonstrates the relentless force of life that keeps on keeping on in the face of apparent disaster, and it does more than just survive, it thrives. 

Never Say Die coconut tree

This is a NEVER SAY DIE palm tree in Escudo de Veraguas. The tree may have fallen over, but it refuses to die. The tree trunk makes a ninety degree turn skyward and continues to produce coconuts. 

Roots are important. As long as you remain connected with your roots you survive.

People who lose contact with their roots wither and die. They forget who they are, and when they get uprooted, it’s game over. If they had stronger roots, they would have had the resources to survive.

If your roots are strong, and you are relentless, you can overcome adversity, and like the NEVER SAY DIE trees of Escudo de Veraguas, you will not only survive, you will thrive.

People get beaten down by life and listen to the voice of fear telling them the challenges they face are insurmountable, and it’s not even worth trying. Instead of believing in their strength to endure and overcome, they give up. 

The most consistent failure of the human species is giving up too soon. If they had persevered relentlessly, they would have grown through their challenges and emerged a stronger person on the other side.

People are much stronger than they feel. 

When I started my second sailing voyage around the world, I had to have complicated abdominal surgery four times to regain my health before I set sail. But that was not the end to adversity. Four days before we planned to drop our dock lines and sail offshore, I fractured my left hip socket, which delayed our voyage another ten weeks while my hip healed. Once I got out of my wheel chair and on crutches, we finally set sail. It was’t until Panama that I donated my crutches to other people who needed them more than me.

I had plenty of opportunities to quit and it would have been easy to fold my tent and go home. Fortunately I had strong roots that supported my 70 year old frame, and although the winds of adversity blew hard, I was not totally uprooted and my dreams survived.

I am still not all used up, and so I will keep on keeping on.

I aspire to be like the NEVER SAY DIE trees of Escudo de Veraguas. 

It’s never over until God says it’s over, and until that happens, I will relentlessly move forward in the direction of my dreams.

Never say die!

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.