Last summer we mentored a young dental student who completed his internship at Mitchell Dentistry. Our goal was to impart knowledge about practicing dentistry, but we also wanted to share the sense of fulfillment we get from our profession every day. I realized that the things that have kept us excited and inspired over the last 30+ years apply to any career or lifelong interest. Here are the top five ways we keep motivated, and we hope these thoughts will help you too:
It’s true that knowledge is power, and the more you know about what you do, the more in control you are. No matter how much we have learned in dental school and in our practice, we take time to attend yearly workshops and seminars to keep us on top of the latest in the industry. Being educated in your field gives you the confidence and expertise to know you are bringing your A-Game to every patient, client, student or customer.
Author Malcolm Gladwell wrote that it takes 10,000 hours of doing something to be an expert, and I know that each member of our Mitchell Dentistry team has exceeded that. If you want to get better at something, you have to practice it…over and over again. While it may seem repetitive, there is always something new and different to discover. Plus, nothing can replace that feeling of achievement when you know you have done it right!
Revel in the Human Experience
Whether you work in a research library or at the front desk of a medical practice, remember that you are not alone. Sometimes we are so involved in our work that we forget to listen and share our experiences, but please believe me when I say that we love hearing about our patients’ children, upcoming milestones and what’s happening in their lives. Getting to know our patients is a special joy of our practice. Remember to connect with those around you.
Surround Yourself with Inspiration
It may be a gifted teacher in your life, a talented mentor, or the latest book you read. But everywhere you look, there are sources of inspiration to plant new ideas or take you to the next level. For us, our family, our staff and our patients serve as our inspiration. We are very fortunate to be surrounded by so many interesting and intelligent individuals who keep us on our toes every day!
Love What You Do
Yes, everyone has their bad days – wishing they could stay in bed on a rainy morning, or struggling to overcome a difficult problem. The key is to look at the big picture and take a measure of how you are doing overall. Are you reaching your potential? Are you continuing to learn, grow and thrive? If not, what can you do to change?
Thanks to our patients and friends, Dr. Joe, Dr. Yolanda and I remain passionate about our practice and our profession. What keeps you inspired? Please let us know.
All the best,