‘If I Only Knew Then What I Know Now’
I think just about anyone who has accomplished anything in life has had that thought from time to time. “Wow, if I had only known this back then, I would have been dangerous.” In fact, if you’re like most people, you’ve probably said it each time you’ve had what I call an “a-ha moment,” where you learn something new and realize how your life would have been different if you’d known it earlier.
Because when you say this you’re not just saying it would have been nice to have had this knowledge back then. You’re suggesting that if you did, you would have done things differently; you would have acted more confidently and decisively. You would have been more strategic with your time and resources. You would have been less distracted by noise and stayed focused on those actions that deliver optimal results. You promise yourself that that’s the way it’s going to be from now on. Then eventually you have another “a-ha moment,” and you make the same promise.
What if we could take all the collected wisdom from all those “a-ha moments,” put it all together and put it to use right now? It doesn’t matter if it’s your first day of practice, or your 30th year, wouldn’t you love to have that kind of clarity from this point forward?
Well the fact is you can do that, because the knowledge of best practices is already out there. It is possible to get the kind of clarity that removes the barriers, and to get it now. It’s there in the workshops. It’s online in venues like our Digital Campus. It’s in your local study clubs. The challenge is not finding that knowledge. The real challenge is developing the mindset of being open and ready to hear the message.
What are you doing today to avoid saying “If only I knew then” tomorrow? Recognize that “then” is happening right now and tomorrow’s results are a product of today’s actions. How the patient honors their commitment to their future appointments depends on the value you create for that appointment when you have them in the chair today. Today’s diagnosis is tomorrow’s treatment.
You’re creating your future as you go, so it makes sense to do it with optimal awareness and a sense of purpose. That’s what vision is. It’s turning hindsight into foresight and acting on it. It’s not a gift that only a few people have—anyone can do it—but it does require a certain mindset and the courage to look beyond what’s worked in the past. It takes the courage to set goals that stretch your abilities, to say “that was good, but I can do better.” If you want to really lead your life, you need to have the courage to grow.