The quality of your life depends a lot on the choices you make each day. And I'm not just talking about the "should I take this course or that course?" kind of choice – the kind of decisions we make in the context of our daily lives.

These can have important implications, but the biggest impact on our lives comes from what I call our "state of mind choices." These are the kinds of things we sometimes forget are choices. For instance ...

  1. Choose to be a great clinician. That's a choice that ultimately determines how successful you and your practice will be. If it's one you're committed to making, there should be no half-measures about pursuing the upper reaches of excellence. Once you have made the choice to be great, you have to be all-in, all the time.
  2. Choose to be a great leader. It's not enough to have a great vision in mind, you have to be able to get that vision into the minds of others and give them the tools and inspiration they need to join you on the journey. Make the sincere choice to do it and you will start looking at team leadership in a new way.
  3. Choose to be profitable. Running a dental practice is not just about dentistry. If you aren't seeing the right return on investment, you'll never get to achieve greatness in the profession. Make the choice to be a complete dental entrepreneur.
  4. Choose to be giving. A sense of abundance and gratitude is part of any fulfilling life. Don't just get tied down in day-to-day obligations. Enlarge your life by giving and growing. Choose to be a part of something greater than yourself.
  5. Choose to be healthy. It's something we all understand at some level, but it is a lesson that too many people learn only when it is too late; nothing else really matters. Don't wait for issues to develop. Choose to be healthy now and embrace everything that entails. Make time to make health the priority you know in your heart it is. And finally, on a related note...
  6. Choose to be happy. And yes, it is a choice. Smiling makes you feel better and, more than that it makes the world smile back. Happiness is a mode of living that brings its own rewards and it is an approach to life that helps you conquer obstacles. Look at it this way: You can choose to let yourself get frustrated or discouraged by the inevitable disturbances of life. Or you can put on a smile and say, "It's all good! Bring it on!" I know the choice I want to make.


Commenter's Profile Image Kenton Ross
July 25th, 2013
Timely thoughts.
Commenter's Profile Image Scott Greenhalgh, DDS
July 26th, 2013
Great words! CHOOSE!
Commenter's Profile Image Gerald Benjamin
July 27th, 2013
This is a great list for laying out a life plan. Numbers 2-6 are relatively easy especially if you are born with the 'happiness gene.' The decision to be a great clinician which means an absolute, relentless pursuit of excellence (especially for an entire career) is the most challenging. Doing a fabulous case is rewarding, wonderful and profitable. Now do 1000 more fabulous cases with each one as good or better than the first. The commitment to clinical excellence is daunting and for many, unsustainable. 10,000 Hours is merely a good start. The book "Talent is Overrated" provides a good understanding of why brilliant, extremely talented and dedicated people fail to achieve and/or sustain greatness.