Dr. Dave's Eclectic Blog



We sailed through the Bab Al Mandeb (Gate of Sorrows) at the southern end of the Red Sea, happy to have finally made it out of the Gulf of Aden. No more pirate problems to worry about.

The Bab was 16 miles wide, and we could see Yemen to starboard and Africa to port. 

At its widest, the Red Sea is 200 miles wide, and then it cones down to 100 miles wide, and then 50 miles wide until it reaches the Bal al Mandeb where it is 16 miles wide. This geography creates a wind acceleration zone where winds can reach fifty knots in a short period of time.

We sailed through a quiet Bab, and figured we had dodged the Bab bullet. Unfortunately we were mistaken.

As we bobbed along in the Bab, the winds started picking up. 20 knots. 30 knots. 40 knots. 50 knots. Fortunately we were running down wind which kept our apparent wind at 40 knots up the stern.

By midday, we had a decision to make. We could run down wind in a gale and sandstorm for 36 hours, or we could seek shelter along the western coast of the Red Sea. 

Our buddy boat, Balmacara, checked the chart and identified a large headland called Ras Terma in Eritrea, and there was a possibility we could use it as a shelter in the storm.

None of us wanted a 36 hour run downwind in a sand storm, and so we flopped over to a port tack and battled the wind and seas for six hours until we tucked in behind Ras Terma.

We put our anchor down before dark, and we hung on for three days - that’s how long it took for the sand storm to blow itself out.

The reason I tell this story is because I never felt a shred of fear as we sailed in uncharted waters and stormy seas after passing through the Bab. What I felt was irritation and resolve as we bashed our way toward Ras Terma.

I was irritated that I had to deal with those conditions, and I felt resolve because I was going to do whatever it took to get Exit Only and my family to a safe anchorage before the sun set.

As I think about all the storms I have been through on board Exit Only, and all of the mishaps that have happened at sea, fear has never been a part of those experiences.

When I am fully immersed in apparent disaster, I am too busy figuring out how to deal with the adversity, and I never have time for fearful thoughts to enter my mind.

Fear is something that happens to people when they imagine all the things that could go wrong on a voyage around the world. Waterspouts, earthquakes, tsunamis, storms, lightning, rocks and reefs are the stuff fear is made of, and I have seen them all as I circumnavigated Planet Ocean. When you think about everything that can go wrong, fearful thoughts take over your mind. Fear immobilizes you and stops you in your tracks. 

That bad thing about fear is it causes inertia and keeps you from doing what you want to do and need to do in life.

The good thing about fear is that if you immerse yourself in adventure, when problems happen, you don’t have time for fear. You get on with what needs to be done to deal with the challenges at hand, and when the problems are over, you realize you were never afraid.

Fear is something you do before you have problems.

Irritation, tenacity, and resolve are what you feel when you are up to your eyeballs in adversity, and you have no time for fear.

That’s why I tell new sailors it’s a mistake to worship at the altar of fear.

Fear is a false god, and tells nothing but lies.

You have one life, and you must live it ignoring the voice of fear.

And when adversity happens, you do what you have to do, and fear departs in search of weaker minds.

That’s all I have to say about that.

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.