Success Stories By Dick Kazan - Valuable lessons on how to succeed in business and in life
Entertaining and compelling real-life stories with valuable
lessons on how to succeed in business and in life.
The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on September 7th, 2010

Today: Advice that could bring you a greater, happier and longer life.

After two heart attacks nearly killed him at 55, a prominent doctor made a remarkable discovery that brought him a far better life and ultimately allowed him to live to be 90.

This doctor was well known San Francisco cardiologist and author Meyer Friedman, who coined the phrase “Type A personality,” so commonly used today. It refers to high intensity people, many of whom are stress driven workaholics and who have little patience for others.

As a Type A personality, Dr. Friedman understood the condition well. By the time he had finished junior high school, he planned to attend Yale University and then Johns Hopkins Medical School, for he had already become a young man in a hurry.

As a doctor, for many years he was known for racing up and down the halls to get to patients and if people didn’t speak quickly enough he’d abruptly cut them off and get them to the point for there was no time to waste on small talk. His time was valuable.

And really getting to know the patient beyond a medical chart was out of the question.

With Dr. Friedman’s enormous medical expertise and his tight schedule allowing him to see large numbers of patients, he became very successful but he paid the price.

When he was just 45-years-old in 1955, he suffered an angina attack which is intense bouts of heart pain. He didn’t change his behavior and when he was 55-years old he suffered the first of two heart attacks.

With his life now hanging by a thread, Dr. Friedman knew he had to change his life, before he no longer had one. And the change he discovered not only did save his life but the lives of countless thousands of other heart patients and it is an approach you and I can use, starting today.

It is very simple and it is this: Slow down, calm yourself and find relaxing things to do in place of your intensity before it kills you or damages your health. In Dr. Friedman’s case he developed a strong interest in what he termed “the three Ps: Pets! Plants! Persons!”

He consciously slowed down as he became more patient with everyone, including his wife and three children, and he became an avid reader of the classics.

One of his favorites was Marcel Proust’s seven volume “Remembrance of Things Past.” He read all 3,200 pages three times! For he realized from personal experience and later from studies that one could sharply cut the risk of a heart attack by calming down and relaxing.

And Dr. Friedman believed reading the classics is a great way to improve the mind. In treating his patients, he encouraged them to read and try other things Type B personalities often do. Put their watches away for awhile, drive in a slow lane and when shopping, select a long line and strike up a conversation with those around them.

“You can’t change personalities,” Dr. Friedman would say. “We just try for more B-like behavior.”

Dr. Friedman pointed out that to succeed Type A personalities must overcome their “impatience and hostility,” and that many Type B’s succeed as well. He listed such notable Type B people as Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.

Over the years, Dr. Friedman not only helped Type A personalities, his research led to important contributions in treating cholesterol and gout and helped develop the angiogram, which is a dye injection in the arteries to locate blockages.

In 2001, shortly before his 91st birthday, following a short illness Dr. Friedman passed away. He had lived decades longer than anyone could have anticipated and was far more productive and found much more happiness in his life by taking the time to enjoy the wonderful journey life can be. Shouldn’t you and I do the same.

Originally Published on October 07, 2008

Success Tip of the Week: Try some of Dr. Friedman’s techniques to see which work best for you. Reading can not only sharpen your mind, it can entertain you as you discover you have time after all to learn about new and fascinating subjects.

Editor's Note: Thank you to Irvine, CA realtor Ariel Feir, whose Ariel’s AbodeNews introduced me to Dr. Friedman. Another valuable source for this story was

In the next KazanToday: Two of the world's wealthiest men and how they began with no money and built a global retail empire.

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Many of these short, inspirational success stories are about people from all walks of life who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieve remarkable results. These stories contain practical advice and a recipe for success for each of these renowned individuals. Some of their stories may help you to avoid some of the costly and time consuming mistakes that many of us make in life and at work. Learn from some of history's greatest winners on how to become a winner yourself, no matter what the obstacle, and no matter how daunting the task before you may seem. Good luck!