A Cardiac Surgeon's Life Story Inspires People's Full Potential
College, medical school, and then ten years of grueling surgical training, that’s what it took for Brian Lima to become a leading heart transplant surgeon – literally able to breathe new life into critically ill patients. Not only has Lima never shied away from a challenge, but he has also spent his life actively seeking them in pursuit of seemingly near-impossible goals.
In his insightful new book, HEART TO BEAT: A Cardiac Surgeon’s Inspiring Story of Success and Overcoming Adversity—The Heart Way, Dr. Lima shares his story, giving everyone – not just aspiring physicians – the tools and encouragement needed to be their best selves.
“We all have free will, and we all have a choice,” he writes. “You can choose to live aimlessly, halfheartedly going with the flow and suppressing that inner voice, the one beckoning you to unleash your full potential and to grab the world by storm. Or you can achieve success by committing to hard work and unceasing effort.”
In HEART TO BEAT, Dr. Lima candidly shares, often with a wry sense of humor, how this approach enabled him to reach the pinnacle of success in all of his undertakings – whether it was building the strength and skill to become a varsity football player, becoming valedictorian of his high school class, earning a scholarship to Cornell University, or winning coveted residency opportunities as he trained to become a heart surgeon.
“You don’t have to be the smartest or most talented person in the room to get ahead, just the one who wants it the most,” he writes. Indeed, Dr. Lima credits his own achievements purely to his intense effort. In his eminently readable, down-to-earth book, he breaks down the keys to advancing beyond your comfort zone and perceived limitations to unleash your full potential. Dr. Lima’s powerful lessons include:
Heart Over Matter – “You, and you alone, are responsible for how much or how little you achieve in this life,” he writes. Only when you realize that you are master of your own destiny and refuse to allow insecurities, past experiences, and fears to limit your potential, will you realize your dreams.
Heart Of War – Complacency is your biggest adversary. You must never cease working and bettering yourself – if you do, you will surely slide off the top of your game. “The minute you rest on your laurels and kick your feet up, you’ve settled for defeat,” says Dr. Lima.
Kickstart My Heart – Dr. Lima explains that the “propulsive power of ambition” has been one of the most impactful forces of his life. “Your eagerness to move ahead contributes more to your success than natural talent or being born with a silver spoon.” Ambition is what enables people to overcome the primary hurdle to success: self-doubt.
Till Death With My Heart – If something is truly your calling – meaningful, bigger than you, and well-intended – it is likely not going to be easy to achieve, says Dr. Lima. For him, the rule must be “it’s all in or no-win.” Being “well-rounded” is incompatible with true excellence, he contends.
Not For the Faint of Heart – Fear of failure can disrupt the pursuit of any goal, and overcoming this fear is a monumental task that requires you to meet it head-on again and again until you’re desensitized to its paralyzing influence. Dr. Lima urges readers to see every moment as just that – a moment – whether they’re going for a buzzer-beater in basketball or performing heart surgery. This is what gives people the courage to take their shot at every opportunity.
The Heart Sell on Entrepreneurship – “One way or another, you have to get the word out about how great your ‘brand’ is – in other words, how great you are,” says Dr. Lima, contending that the sales mantra “always be closing” is critical to success. He points to such key fundamentals as avoiding pigeonholes and being open to opportunities; never second-guessing yourself; continuing to invest in yourself; and using your time wisely.
In addition to the author’s compelling personal story, HEART TO BEAT also includes a fascinating look at the current technologies and medical care available to treat heart disease, along with the basics about living a heart-healthy life – straight from the mouth of one of the country’s leading heart transplant surgeons.“There are those who choose to chase victory and to live life on their own terms, and there are those who don’t,” declares Dr. Lima. HEART TO BEAT will help you choose the path to victory, giving you the motivation you need to achieve your dreams, whatever they may be.
Dr. Brian Lima is a cardiac surgeon, associate professor of surgery, and recognized authority in advanced heart failure. He has published nearly 80 articles in peer-reviewed medical journals and presented at numerous national and international medical conferences. As the surgical director of heart transplantation at North Shore University Hospital, Dr. Lima helped launch the first and only heart transplant program on Long Island. Dr. Lima completed his undergraduate studies at Cornell University and was awarded a Dean’s Full Tuition scholarship to attend Duke University School of Medicine. During medical school, Dr. Lima spent a year at Harvard Medical School’s Transplantation Biology Research Center as a Stanley Sarnoff cardiovascular research fellow. He then completed his general surgery residency training at Duke University Medical Center, and subsequent heart surgery training at The Cleveland Clinic, where he was awarded the prestigious Dr. Charles H. Bryan Annual Clinical Excellence Award in Cardiovascular Surgery.