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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin September 2011
38 SePtember 2011 Compiled by Stuart Wemyss business perspectives Aimlessly WAnDeRinG “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up somewhere else”—Lawrence L Peter. Most dentists lead a busy life? You probably don’t get as much sleep as you should. You always feel tired. Your dental practice commitments compete with your personal life. Life’s a balancing act. We try to please everyone but it’s not always possible. We sometimes feel guilty that we’re not spending enough time with family or friends. What about some ‘you’ time? When was the last time you did something just for yourself...took a day off just to relax and recharge your batteries? Sit on the couch one afternoon (uninterrupted) to read a book? So why are you working so hard? Why is your life so busy with ‘stuff’? You must have a goal that you’re working towards. Right? Tell me you do. Tell me you’re not slaving away making sacrifices and just riding the bus of life wondering where it will take you or hoping that you’ll get there (where?). Surely, given all your time and effort (read blood, sweat and tears) you are sitting firmly in the driver’s seat steering the bus directly towards your goal(s). Surely you have complete clarity over where you are heading in life. You have written goals and have a clear understanding of why you are working so hard and making these short-term sacrifices. No? Does it make sense to put so much effort into dentistry without knowing why you’re doing it? People say that goals are simply dreams that are written down. We all have dreams. So how simple is it to write them down and turn them into goals? WHY dOn’T dEnTISTS SET GOALS? Most people who enrol to study a course or go to university do it for two main reasons (one or both): • Firstly, they may have a genuine interest in the subject and want to advance their knowledge. • Secondly, it may be a means to an end. Their goal might be to get a job as a lawyer and know they need a law degree to do that. The point is, prior to dedicating hours of their life to study; most people think about why they are doing it and have a goal in mind. Have you ever contemplated completing a degree in aerospace engineering just for the fun of it (assuming you don’t have a personal interest in this subject)? Your job is probably similar to this. Some people genuinely enjoy their job and would continue to do it irrespective of how much money they have in the bank. Of course, I know that some people would stop working if they had the opportunity to do so. Despite which camp you sit in, most people would like to have the benefit of more balance (flexibility or choice). Even if they love their job they might prefer to work three days per week instead of five – or something like that. Therefore, the studying analogy above rings true. Why do we dedicate our life to working without clarity as to why we are working? It doesn’t make sense to me. There are many reasons why people don’t set goals, including: • They believe it’s a waste of time. • They have set goals in the past, but not achieved them so they believe it doesn’t work. • Fear – if they set a goal and don’t achieve it and feel they’ve failed. • Laziness (I don’t believe this applies to most of you who take the time to read these articles). • Don’t want to move outside their comfort zone. • Don’t know where to start or implementation gets distracted by life’s other urgent and/or important issues (I suspect quite a few fall into this category). Do any of these relate to you? It is never too early or too late to set goals. Young people might find it challenging to set retirement goals (for example) because it’s so far away. That’s fine – just set shorter term goals. The best time to start goal setting is now. THE POWER Of GOAL SETTInG Your mind is a very powerful tool (this doesn’t apply to Collingwood supporters of course). The focus of our subconscious can make a big difference in our life. Setting goals helps your subconscious mind focus on your goals. In the absence of goals you might focus most of your attention on your problems, challenges or what you don’t have. Goals encourage you to focus on the future... where you are heading. It’s not about being unrealistic about your current situation but is very much about focusing on the positives in life, not the negatives.
ADA News Bulletin August 2011
ADA News Bulletin October 2011