As a Man Thinketh

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

If you’ve never heard this quote before, really take a moment and read it again. Let the words sink in. This quote really embodies the saying “…for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7, KJV). You remember that feeling in dental school when you doubted if you could get a high grade on that dental exam or pass that competency? Or now when you do not believe you can get an exceptional outcome on that new dental procedure you have on your schedule next week? As dentists who are also human beings, we think about all the things that can go wrong, such as the dental equipment malfunctioning, the assistant’s inability to find the right instruments we need, poor lighting or that uncontrollable heme obscuring our vision. We verbalize our fears to our colleagues and/or others, and we limit our actions of researching better techniques or ways to execute the outcome we desire. We develop a habit of “winging it,” giving our minimum to the practice of dentistry, which ultimately is a better reflection of our values than what we recite to our patients. This is the slippery slope of our beliefs driving our words which can eventually drive our destiny.

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Journeying Toward a Life of Significance

“You want to be a dentist?! Ohhkayyy Doc, you’re going to be so successful!” I heard some variation of this comment countless times while pursuing my studies of becoming a dentist. Today when I introduce myself in a non-medical setting, I casually say I work in dentistry. If the conversation progresses further, the individual may learn I am a dentist. Then they are wowed by the fact that I am so young to be a doctor, they assume I am successful and often comment on how proud my family must be given my success. Of course, the inevitable question of, “When are you going to open your practice?” comes along, as if to suggest there is yet another layer of success to be attained.

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Back to Basics: Laying a Strong Foundation

Photo: Pixabay

“We need to get back to the basics of life, a heart that is pure and a love that is blind, a faith that is fervently grounded in Christ, the hope that endures for all times. These are the basics, we need to get back to the basics of life.”

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In the Midst of Uncertainty

It happened so quickly, it seems. One moment it was business as usual: reviewing lab cases, getting ready for boards, opening our practice doors for patients to arrive, joking with staff and colleagues throughout the day and planning to attend the next mission trip, church service, conference, wedding or other event. It feels as if we all became affected at the same time. In an instant those jokes were replaced by concern as dental boards were put on hold, our office closed to routine dental care, we became unemployed or we put some of our staff on unemployment to keep the practice afloat in the midst of uncertainty. Our plans got cancelled one by one, our normal way of life crumbled. It’s now challenging to find one broadcast, social media post, YouTube video, email or conversation that does not mention “virus,” “pandemic” or “COVID-19”.

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Do You See Me?

Photo: Pixabay

Regardless of your practice setting, you encounter them also. Those uncertain of themselves yet confident in the need that has violated their entire body. That need for more, the need to fabricate pain just to get more.

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