American doctor Ben Carson (born 1951) overcame poverty, racism, and a violent temper to become a world-renowned neurosurgeon. Later in life, Dr. Carson became a presidential candidate and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Donald Trump.
After Carson brought home a report card of failing grades, his mother quickly limited her sons' television viewing and required them to read two books a week. The boys then had to give written reports to their mother on what they read. While other children were outside playing, Sonya Carson forced her boys to stay inside and read, an act for which her friends criticized her, saying that her sons would grow up to hate her. Ben later realized that because of his mother's own limited education, she often could not read the reports, and was moved by her efforts to motivate them to a better life.
Another story he often related about his mother was how she would never allow herself to be a victim. No matter what happened, she never made excuses, and she never accepted an excuse from us. If we ever came up with an excuse, she always said, “Do you have a brain?” And when the answer was yes, she would say, “Then you could have thought your way out of it.”
“Here is the treasure chest of the world – the public library, or a bookstore.”
“The more you know, the more options you have.”
“The doors of the world are opened to people who can read.”
“I started reading about people of great accomplishment… and it dawned on me suddenly that the person who has the most to do with what happens in your life is you.”
“Successful people don’t have fewer problems. They have determined that nothing will stop them from going forward.”
“We have the ability to figure out where we want to be a year from now, five years from now, 10 years from now and to begin to organize things in a way in order to accomplish those things. And when we don’t do that, we place ourselves in tremendous jeopardy, because we place ourselves in situation where we can only react.”
“There’s no such thing as useless knowledge, because you never know what doors it is going to open for you.”
“I came to realize that if people could make me angry they could control me. Why should I give someone else such power over my life?”
“No matter how good you are at planning, the pressure never goes away. So I don’t fight it. I feed off it. I turn pressure into motivation to do my best.”
“No knowledge is ever wasted.”