A body at rest tends to remain at rest; a body in motion tends to remain in motion. Many of you will recognize this as a summary of Newton's first law of motion, sometimes referred to simply as the “Law of Inertia.”

I've seen evidence of a similar phenomenon in dentistry, a similar “law of inertia.” It goes like this: A dentist in the comfort zone tends to stay in the comfort zone; a dentist who is advancing and growing tends to continue advancing and growing.” And in this case, how the law affects you, comes down to a choice.

It's pretty obvious, I know. But let's never forget that inertia can be a powerful force itself, and it's a state of being that can be too tempting to slip into. It's easy, when things are going good enough, to just hit “cruise control” and basically let the practice run itself. But in nature, anything that isn't growing is dying, and a dental practice that isn't being actively driven forward starts to slowly fall back. Eventually, “comfortable” becomes “struggling” and that's when the urgency occurs and action happens. But why wait?

“Good is the enemy of great,” Jim Collins wrote in his wonderful book, “Good to Great.” That's something we need to remind ourselves of when we catch ourselves becoming complacent with things being “fine” and not being fully engaged with what we do. Good enough is the enemy. Inertia is the enemy. Identify this force when it takes hold and respond with a force of your own. The reward for defeating it makes life richer in every way.