Dreaming is an important facet of success. Without a dream, there cannot be a vision foryour practice or your life. When I close my eyes and dream of my ideal practice, I see all smiling faces. Smiling staff, smiling patients and I can't help but grin a little myself when I see another huge deposit from the day before. In my dream, I have a few minutes before the next patient, so why not a quick check of the email, maybe someone sent something funny.
Even in my dreams, email is the best way to quit thinking about what matters to me and see what matters to everyone else. While reading my emails, I am quickly reminded of my real practice situation and it is not all smiles.
The New Year is a very natural time to compare the real to theideal and decide how to take steps to get the two closer together. Here is my plan for the New Year and I recommend something similar for you.
Turn it all off and revisit your vision.
Try to block it all out, for just a little while. If you haven't definedyour ideal life yet, this is going to be harder. But for me, it is a matter of re-visiting the work that has already been done. I can only concentrate on four areas at a time, so have to break everything into quadrants. I try to envision a perfect balance between my professional and personal life and I strive for a nice blend of community involvement with comfort at home.
It is important that I do this BEFORE checking your email and I must leave my phone in the other room. (Trust me on this: you are not so important that you can't be unreachable for an hour or so. Turn it off - you will be ok.)
Enjoy the Dream.
For just a few minutes, I will imagine my perfectly balanced life. I will close my eyes and dream of the smiling faces at work. Everything is done and the patients just breeze in and out, singing our praises.
And we are all smiles at home too. My family laughs harder each time I tell the same story saying, "that one never gets old." My teenage children are always saying, "Dad, we are so lucky to have the coolest dad in town." (Remember - it is a dream.)
Explore the Reality.
Now that we enjoyed the dream, it is time to open my eyes and face reality. There are real challenges out there. It is time to look at some of the routine aspects of business like the standard benchmarks but especially the budget.
I also take some time to look at the less measurable aspects of the practice - staff morale, exam efficiency, and office appearance. And I will also analyze the profession from an overall perspective. There seems to be a lot of attention on regulation lately and I think it is getting worse.
At home, the time constraints seem to be getting bigger and bigger. When school starts getting in the way of family time I can't help but think this education stuff is so overrated.
Look at the Ideal and the Real at the same time.
This is where it starts to get tough, but it is at this point that you begin defining the rest ofyour life. It is here that you can direct where you are going. Be realistic as you compareyour current situation with your dream and identify how real your ideal can be.
Identify the steps that can get you closer to the ideal.
- Record the steps.
- Start trying.
- Keep trying.
Leadership OD is Here to help.
This stuff is so easy to say. I should know because I have said it over and over again. But it is hard to do. I know this too because I have failed many times.
Leadership OD continues to develop tools to help you get it all done.
The Vision Builder app asks a few questions and walks you through the process of defining your view of success. The BluePrint takes your Vision and puts it to work.
We continue to build specialized applications to help you make sense of all the information and apply it to your practice.
For 2013, my theme was "No Excuses." This year, I am pondering something a little more inspirational, more positive. "New Horizons," "New Frontiers," "Reaching New Heights." Something like that, but nothing is hitting home. I am asking for your input. If you have any ideas, I would sure love to hear about it.
I look forward to the upcoming year and wish you all the happiness and success that you deserve.
Happy New Year,