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Deep inside of us, there is a desire for us to do something great. Something which expands us and is a contribution to the world. It may be in the area of beauty, fashion, health or business. For some, it may be raising a family and for others, owning a dental practice. What is important to you will be related to what you perceive as missing in the world, also known as your ‘void’. Your voids are totally unique to you. These voids determine what you think about, act upon and remember. It is your voids in life which determine your values. As no two people will have the same set of values, no two people will see life exactly the same. Your values are just as specific to you as your fingerprints are and as your life’s decisions are based upon them, it is absolutely essential that you understand your values.
For example, when building a dental practice, it is important to have a blueprint of what the construction will look like. The blueprint of your life can be constructed by knowing what your values are. You will set goals according to your values and these goals will determine the direction of your life and the individual destinations you will arrive at. Looking forwards from those destinations will be your destiny and looking backwards will be your legacy. To master one’s life, it is important to know what your final destination is, and this can be done by asking the right questions. The quality of your life is going to be determined by the quality of the questions that you ask. If you ask a mediocre question, you will have a mediocre life. Ask a quality question and you will have a quality life. Let me explain.
When starting a dental practice, most people ask ‘How’ focused questions. How am I going to get a change of commercial business use? How am I going to attract patients? How am I going to negotiate the lease? These are reasonable questions and certainly essential for the process of creating your own practice.
A more deeper question would be ‘What’ focused. What will be the layout of the surgeries? What type of equipment will we purchase? What will be the total cost of installation? The answers required at this level will become more meaningful and will require more in depth investigation. Most practitioners begin with a combination of these two types of questions when creating a practice.
However, the most important question that you can ask when creating anything are ‘Why’ focused. Why do you want to create a dental practice? Why do you choose a specific location? Why do you want to create financial wealth?
Your Why is the most important question as it will get you to focus on what is truly meaningful and how that relates to your life. By asking Why focused questions, you will start to look inside of yourself and while searching for the answers you will get a deeper insight and understanding of who you are.
The How is your Mission – how you are going to do things.
The What is your Vision – what would you like your life to look like.
The Why is your Purpose – why you are doing it.
Your Why is the highest question of the three and it embraces all of the lower questions. It cannot be the other way round. The lower cannot embrace the higher. Your Why is your purpose in life, that which you are uniquely designed to do and which will give you the greatest amount of fulfilment by doing it.
For example, you may want to open up several dental practices. If this is really meaningful to you and you have a big enough Why for doing it, then you will equally embrace both the pleasures and the pains in the pursuit of that purpose. You will embrace the rewards that come from having that financial empire and you will equally endure the sleepless nights and the frustrations that come with difficult staff and patients in order to achieve that specific outcome. Your purpose will inspire you to get out of bed in the mornings and you will not need anyone on the outside of you to motivate you and remind you to go out and build that business.
The two words ‘Motivation’ and ‘Inspiration’ are different. Most people think that these two words are synonymous. They are not. Motivation comes from the outside of you whereas inspiration comes from inside of you.
You will have heard of motivational coaches, motivational gym instructors, people motivating you to stop smoking, drinking alcohol or lose weight. If you need external motivation to do anything, then you will only do that thing if you perceive it to be pleasureful, otherwise you will not do it. As soon as that thing becomes painful in your perceptions, then there is more of a chance that you will give up on it.
You don’t need anyone on the outside of you to inspire you to go out and do that thing which is meaningful and important to you. This is the basic difference between inspiration and motivation. With inspiration you value that thing or action from the inside and are inner directed. When you can see how doing something is linked to your Why and to your purpose, you become inner directed.
Finding out your values is the most important thing you can do before you create a dental practice and certainly if you want to expand an existing practice. Orchestrating your business and life around that purpose will give you the highest probability of doing what it takes in order to make that business successful on your terms.
In my 2 day programme The Dental Mastery Experience, I show practitioners how to discover their values so that they become more focused, inspired and productive as they set goals according to what is truly meaningful and purposeful in their life.
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