Academy of Rural Veterinarians
Western University
August 31, 2007
Dr. John Waddell
Sutton Veterinary Clinic
Sutton, Nebraska
Keys to a Successful Life
(adapted from H.J.Brown,Jr.)
 Marry the right person. (this will determine
90% of all future happiness or misery)
 Work at something you enjoy and that is
worthy of your time and talents.
 Give people more than they expect and do it
cheerfully. (under promise and over deliver)
 Become the most positive and enthusiastic
person that you know.
Keys to Success
 Be forgiving of yourself and others.
 Be generous.
 Have a grateful heart.
 Persistence, persistence, persistence.
 Discipline yourself to save money on even
the most modest salary.
 Treat everyone you meet like you want to
be treated.
Keys to Success
 Commit yourself to constant improvement.
 Commit yourself to quality.
 Understand that happiness is not based on
possession, power or prestige, but on
relationships with people you love and
respect. (it’s a state of mind, not a situation)
 Take good care of those you love.
Keys to Success
 Be loyal.
 Be honest.
 Be a self-starter.
 Be decisive even if it means you’ll be
wrong occasionally.
 Be bold and courageous. (you’ll regret those
things you didn’t do more than things you
tried and failed)
Keys to Success
 Don’t blame others. (take responsibility for
every area of your life)
 Don’t do anything that wouldn’t make your
Mom proud!
What’s missing?
 Where you live and work.
 How much money you make.
 What kind of car you drive.
“Happiness is at a state of mind…not a situation!”
Sutton, Nebraska
Population: 1477
Rural vet wisdoms
 Disease does not always read the book.
 The farther away you park your practice
vehicle and the more fences between you
and your patient is inversely related to how
many things you forget to take with you.
 The client who calls after 10 pm will always
tell you that they saw the cow starting to
calve right after lunch.
 If she is “down and won’t get up”, make
sure they have a rope, a four wheeler or a
horse available.
 The chances of recovery from serious
disease or injury is inversely related to the
clients love of and/or value of the animal.
 The value of a horse increases exponentially
when it dies, especially if the animal was
under the care of a vet at the time of death.
 Horse owners almost always are related to
or have a close relationship to an attorney.
 A sick sheep gets up in the morning looking
for a place to die, cuz it doesn’t need a
 The animal that has absolutely no chance to
survive…will. The converse is also true.
 Treatment failures will most likely be
communicated by the loudest client over the
din of the crowd gathered in a public place
such as a café.
 In a small town, never say anything
negative about someone, the person you are
talking to is likely related to the person you
are talking about.
 If you really love what you do, your
vocation becomes a vacation every day.
 If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
 When you hear hoof beats, don’t be lookin’
for zebras.
 80% of sick animals will improve no matter
how or whether you treat them.
 10% will die no matter what you do.
 God decides which ones are in each group.
 Happiness is a state of mind…not a
 Never get in a pissin’ match with a skunk, a
lawyer or a banker.
Work hard….
Play hard…

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