Tune Up Your Mindset


Tune Up Your Mindset

Many things can hold you back. Most doctors are looking for the one thing that can turn their practices around. Like Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, most of these same doctors, can’t handle the truth. The person who asks but doesn’t really want the true answer will never get better. They want to put the blame on a lack of growth or new patients on not having good enough marketing. The time has passed when you just open your doctor and practice and do well. Most of us need to reengage and spend more time working on the practice than just in the practice. You need to tune up your mindset. As Zig Ziglar used to say: You need to get rid of that stinking thinking and get a check up from the neck up. Have you forgotten what a badass you are, or at least were? You graduated from high school and college at the top of your class or you would never have been selected for dental school. You actually graduated, and while that diploma means you’re just barely not dangerous, it is your learners permit to reach any level of success you choose.

Each of us faces a battle of mind capture. We live in a culture that competes for our attention. Life can become so distracting as to cause you to forget what is important and how to stay focused. In a way, you have your foot on the brake and on the gas pedal, meaning you are going nowhere.

My goal has always been to help you think differently, because how you think will determine your destination in life. I want you to think for yourself and question everybody. You need to question me. Forget the herd mentality of doing what everyone else does. Statistically if you do this, you can count on not liking your profession and never becoming financially independent with options for your life. I said it a couple of weeks ago and will continue to harp on the futility of striving for average. No one needs another average dentist. They don’t need just an average you, they want the best you.

If you are reading these blogs, you are striving to do better. To get more. To have more options. To not follow the path everyone else takes. You are searching for information, but what you really should seek is transformation. There is no learning without application. Real application is information in motion. You take what you see, read, and hear and act on it. I was always told, practice makes perfect. It wasn’t long before I really understood that only perfect practice makes perfect. Practice makes permanent. So, there are a lot of us out there with a bad mindset distracted by noise, myths, and mistakes only to wake up and find that we never made it to where we thought we would be.

I want to leave you with a tried-and-true way to solve problems as you progress to the practice you always thought you would have. I am not sure where I first heard this, but I have used this strategy for at least 50 years. Here is a quick, down and dirty way to organize situational (problem) analysis and decision making:

First: Estimate the SITUATION. Determine HOW MANY there are. List them all. Take ONE and define it.

Write it down in a clear, complete statement, not a question.

What are the causes of the situation?

What are the possible solutions? List all possible answers.

Which is the best possible solution?


How will it be carried out?

When will it be done?

Where will it be done?

Who will do it?

What will be done?

How will it be done?

Why will it be done?

You should realize that attitudes are more important than facts. A good, positive attitude can eliminate problems completely by tuning them into situations that challenge your skills and abilities. For me, this transforms my life into an exciting game. So, play to win and enjoy the journey. This is how you Summit.

Michael Abernathy, DDS