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What does it take to have your best year ever?

#goals attitude entrepreneurship leadership Jan 02, 2024

So... 2024 is here!  Is it going to be the same year as last or will you take the opportunity to make 2024 your best year ever? 

But wait... what does Best Year Ever even mean? 

You hear this all the time but until you get specific on what it means for you, you'll have a tough time looking back and really pointing out where you excelled, where you exceeded, where you made significant gains.  

Have you ever heard of the Japanese term IKAGI?  I first heard it from Jesse Itzler (he married Billionaire Spanx Founder and super inspirational girl boss CEO Sara Blakely) 

"Ikigai" (生きがい) is a Japanese term that combines two words: "iki," meaning life, and "gai," meaning worth or value. Ikigai is often translated as "a reason for being" or "a reason to wake up in the morning." It represents the concept of finding joy, fulfillment, and purpose in life, especially in the intersection of what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for.

In other words, Ikigai is a holistic approach to discovering and pursuing one's passions and sense of purpose.

So - let's break this down:

What do you love about dentistry?  Do you even love it? Whoa...  how many of us have to come to terms with the fact we spent hundreds of thousands on a career that we don't even love?  Yikes - that's a hard pill to swallow.  However... you can learn to love it, maybe not all of it - but certain aspects.  What would it take for you to love your work?  To really love what you do?  Sitting down and figuring out this piece could be one of the most powerful things you do.  

What are you good at? Are you even good at dentistry? (Now there is a smack you in the face kinda question right?!). Have you in your career ever held the mirror up and taken a hard look at what you are actually good at?  Long ago I admitted first to myself and to others - I am not good at endo.  No matter how hard I tried I just sucked. So I stopped.  You don't have to be everything to everyone all the time. And in fact I would argue that if you are... you are trying too hard and making yourself miserable in return.   What do you need to start doing and what do you need to stop doing? 

What does the world need?  If there is one thing I am passionate about it's that we are not JUST dentists. I really and truly believe that we CHANGE LIVES.  And not only the larger than life smile make over dentists (Dr. Apa for instance) - all of us change lives. Ever treated a grown man in so much pain they show up crying - life changed!  Ever build up that small lateral? Life changed!  Ever treat someone with perio and get it stable and maintainable? Life changed.  We all have to give ourselves more credit - what we do is important - we trade a day of our life every day for it - we need to make it counts - and maybe more importantly - believe it counts. 

What can you be paid for?  We all know we can make a living - and a good one at that, doing dentistry.  But are you being paid what you are really worth?  Are you making the money you deserve.  In talking, coaching, guiding, mentoring I have definitely come across more than a few dentists not making enough money, Stressed about money. Paying their teams more than they pay themselves.  And it makes me sad. 

So with a fresh start and a new year what will you do? 

Get specific on your best year ever:

  1. Where do you want to grow?
  2. What do you want to learn? 
  3. What change do you need to make and you have been avoiding?
  4. If it was December 31, 2024 what specifically will have needed to happen for you to look back and say "Best Year ever!" 
  5. What aspects of dentistry do you love and can you nurture?
  6. What parts of dentistry do you need to stop doing?
  7. Are you clear on how you can change lives this year?
  8. Where can you make an even bigger difference?
  9. How can you be more intentional about making the money you deserve?
  10. How much money do you want to make?  
  11. Can you do it alone? Or do you need some sort of accountabilty?

Define, decide and declare that 2024 is going to be the Best Year Yet - but not by accident.  Because you made a plan and committed.   

Need help?  Check out the Leadership Academy.