Values & You
How do you get a lot of people to read and share your blogs? How do you draw attention to them and get people talking? How to create the ‘buzz’ and media frenzy?
The answer hasn’t changed much. If you want to gather people in the town square, put a corrupt politician in the stocks or publicly hang them.
If you want everyone to watch the news, tell them it’s an exclusive interview with a cabinet minister who cries, admits it was all lies and then has a public breakdown. Or in a world where being polite and politically correct is the norm, slag someone off.
OMG did you see what Richard wrote about, that twat we all secretly hate? He told the truth and, wow, I hope there is a massive fight on Facebook and everyone goes completely crazy towards each other. Let’s get some popcorn and watch the carnage.
I aim to please.
But, I’m not slagging off one person. I’m going big… you can decide for yourself if it applies to you. Strap yourself in, have a cup of tea, and read on.
Lots of dentists (and people) are lazy, apathetic, have fragile egos and aren’t the special little soldier mummy told them they were. They want life to deliver all its indulgent richness for free. Amazon Prime has made them want it NOW too. This may be you, punk.
How to know if this applies to you? Because you spend your life looking for the easy way out. You like courses that sell themselves on ‘tips and tricks’. Tips and bloody tricks. Are you kidding me????
Tips are a con man’s snake oil. The easy, quick shake of the dice that brings fortune and fame for no effort.
‘Tips’ is a presumptive and, frankly, deceptive term that suggests true mastery of your art can be achieved with a cheat sheet—a quick list of easy five-second fixes that makes your professional life soar. It’s not true.
I recently met a dentist who has, on average, two GDC FTP hearings a year along with a ton of local complaints. His message to me: “I hear you’re good. Just work some magic.”
Magic isn’t real.
Is this you? Are you looking for quick fixes? I meet lots of dentists who are, and their inertia takes a lot to overcome. I’m being deadly serious; it takes a lot. We give them a lot of time and emotional effort.
These folk can feel defensive, hurt, aggressive and sceptical when life makes it clear that there isn’t an easy win. Sure, there are a few easy small gains and they feel good, but the bigger and more valuable ones take effort.
I admit I love the small wins too. But best of all I love it when the tip seekers overcome their inertia, they apply their beautiful incredible minds and the penny drops. They put in the work and, for me, the best thing of all is that light bulb moment and the smile that comes with it.
That very moment when they realise the effort was worth it, that hard gain has been achieved and now it’s theirs, and they are better than all the other tip seekers who are still looking for Harry Potter’s magic wand and the ‘tips’ course that gets them there.
Now, a few eternal and unmovable tip seekers exist. Those that will never move on. They are real and probably have no place in healthcare, let alone our emotive, litigious, microsurgical, aesthetic corner of someone’s face.
Perhaps they can stay in healthcare, but they should work in building maintenance rather than human maintenance.
So, how did we get here, why do some have this apathy, and how can we fix it?
Well, it largely comes down to values. What do you value? Shakespeare or Love Island? Dumas or Eastenders? Chopin or Nikki G? Proactive or reactive? Exercise or the sofa?
I have a whole two-hour lecture on value-driven motivation. Here is the very abridged version:
In life you act. You have to.
As an infant you act to please and test your parents. As a teenager you act to learn and test this new body you are in and the minds and bodies around you.
As an independent adult you act to make your life better. You invest in finances for the future (or not), you educate yourself, you keep yourself physically well. You act.
This action is based on decisions; but, sadly, we aren’t always good at making decisions. We are flawed, malevolent, self-destructive, lazy, biased… etc. It’s why we have debt, preventable diabetes, and why you can’t work out what to do next and you just want someone clever to tell you.
The values you have determine the decisions you make. You do what gives you the highest possible value at that time (even if what you value isn’t actually valuable AT ALL).
So your values make your decisions and they align and build your life. Where you are, where you have been and where you are going. Your values. Your actions. Your life.
The life you have is representative of your values to date. Do you like your life and the world? Because you chose it. You built it.
That means if you look at the world you see TODAY as it manifests itself to you, how you perceive the world has been at least co-authored by your values.
Ok, so let’s say you aren’t too happy but you want things better. Which path do you choose?
Well, that’s not the question. The question is: Are you ready to accept that the way you see the world and your life has largely been of your choosing, and if you are unhappy, accepting you played a huge part in how you are now feeling. Your values built your world. How the world reacts back and your resulting emotions and feelings are determined, to a greater or lesser degree, by your own choices. In terms of the overall picture, our choices have at least played a big role.
1. Go for a walk or jog with a friend along the river, in the sunshine, and ask them about them and how they are.
2. Sit on the sofa alone eating Krispy Kreme and playing Fortnite / Watching Love Island.
You already know which one aligns the world with who you really want to be and which one makes you feel a vague sense of shame. Now replicate the latter type of behaviour every day for ten years. Well, what a surprise, your life is crap and you hate yourself. Your values chose this. The world’s reacted, and you now feel sad and don’t like the photo of yourself in beachwear.
“Delete it, filter it… aaargh, give me the bloody memory card NOW!”
Now the world is a busy and complex place, so we have to adapt, and if we fail to do so… well, that’s where depression, anxiety and some of the genuinely tragic ends that await some of us lie.
Here is a method of helping you decide what you want — something which has produced so many of the light-bulb, emancipating moments and wonderful smiles I love so much. I hope it works for you.
What I want:
1. Decide on a version of you that you’d like to be and write that down (this is a third order manifestation of the version of you determined by the values you really hold in the highest esteem):
a. You cannot lie when you write.
b. If you don’t know who you want to be or what the better version of you looks like, then spend time thinking about who you admire, who you envy, and use that feeling as fuel to power your progress towards those goals you want to emulate.
c. Write down what you are embarrassed about, what no one else must know that you think or do. Do not let anyone else read that ever. But write it down and ask if you feel shame.
d. Now we know who you want to be, reverse engineer the journey (there are NO TIPS on this journey, by the way).
2. Write down every single achievement you make on this journey. This is your foundation, so you need to make sure it’s solid and good. You’ll need to refer to it when times get tough and some doubt creeps in (that happens to me too… because I’m human, just like you).
3. Train yourself to habitually look for methods of improvement. They are everywhere and if your senses are always open you will find them. Remember other people do NOT have magic hands and abilities. They have kept their senses open and tried to improve.
– Improvements are tangible and concrete.
– You have already moved from dwelling and thinking to actually doing.
– Remember to write them down, too.
4. Compete furiously but NEVER EVER with other people. Your only competition is the future version of you.
– If you compete with others: you may win but the win is achieved by beating their highest parameter. It may be pathetically low. Your goal is limited by their potential, not yours. The future you is awesome and great. Win that and… well, boy, you are really winning now.
– If you lose, leverage the resultant frustration and anger: therein lies more fuel for you to keep competing.
– If you don’t feel frustrated, go re-read the values section. Your values are choosing to lose, which is fine, but don’t complain when you hate your job/life and you end up miserable, poor, angry and so full of shame you can barely look in the mirror.
5. The more purposeful, deliberate practice you put in place the better you will be.
-Pick up a violin and practise for 10,000 hours, with a critical teacher, and you will be performing live in front of paying audiences. They pay to hear your expertise and the effort it took to get there.
– Pick up a handpiece and prepare a tooth under guidance (as many times as you like on Aspire courses, as we don’t limit your overheads on phantom head teeth), competing against no-one except your future self, and you will become superbly skilled at this procedure.
– Compete not against other dentists but against your future self.
– Prep one isn’t as good as your prep two, which is way behind your prep 15. That’s who you are competing against.
If you don’t compete against yourself and simply prepare teeth and get the crown on, you haven’t moved; you’ve simply survived another patient encounter. For now.
How many of you get to Friday PM and feel you have ‘survived’ another week? I wonder at which point during the weekend does your Monday morning anxiety start…
Realign your values, adapt them, get writing and get help.
Our Aesthetic Restorative Course and our Emotional Intelligence, Occlusion and Endodontics Courses help you with all of this on an individual basis. You and your values: Align them and the rest becomes easy. See you soon.