In the first of a new column, Mahmood Mawjee discusses mindset within dentistry and explains how to ensure you live a happy and exciting life.
Is growth in dentistry linked to happiness? Well to be quite fair, it depends from person to person really.
All of us have different ambitions and the way we dream about our ‘ideal’ day differs somewhat from our colleagues.
The reason behind this is that we’ve all got different commitments that govern our daily lives. Some of us have young kids, whereas others are single or newly married.
Our goals differ and, more importantly, so do our backgrounds and cultures.
What remains constant is the level of contentment we expect to get from our profession.
Everyone wants to be happy and live an exciting life. And because we spend a vast majority of our day in the clinic, we assume that our growth within dentistry will help us get that superior level of fulfilment, which we’re desperately craving.
I was like that. I moved around between different clinics looking for progress and development. And I eventually ended up practising as a principal dentist at two practices that I co-owned.
I’d managed to develop and climb up the ladder (so to speak).
But I was absolutely miserable. I used to feel a pit in my stomach every Sunday evening because I wasn’t looking forward to going into practice Monday morning. I felt indifferent and disengaged simply because I was going through the motions to pay the bills. So I lived a robotic life. The only thing I was sure of was that I didn’t sign up for a life like this.
You see, I had linked growth in dentistry directly with happiness in life. But the profession wasn’t giving me the level of contentment I was looking for and I didn’t understand why.
I couldn’t possibly blame the profession for my disheartened state. It was an internal disease that I had to sort out on my own.
And what I didn’t realise was that I’d overlooked a massive component of growth in life.
Changing my mindset
There were areas in my life external to my career as a dentist that needed developing.
In my case, speaking was a massive drawback. I had a terrible stutter for as long as I could remember. My confidence was at rock bottom because I couldn’t get words out of my mouth when I wanted to.
I couldn’t express my thoughts in an articulate manner. The person listening would ‘switch off’ during our conversation. So I started to figure out a way to fix my ability to speak.
My ability to sell was another area that held my confidence back. Everyone could sell on price and so could I. But I wanted to sell with a different level of enthusiasm.
Selling with integrity was a big thing for me. So I decided to figure out how to do that once I fixed my ability to speak.
All that was individual growth away from dentistry that helped build up another side of me.
Developing these two areas gave me a lot more energy during the day. I started waking up in the morning excited about the day ahead because I’d cured the reasons that held me back.
Taking the first step
Now, I’m asking you to take a few minutes out of your day each month to join me as I look at different reasons why life is dragging you down.
We can work through some of the big stuff together and discuss some practical ways that you can start building yourself back up.
I taught myself to look at the world differently. To look at dentistry differently and find that thing that really made me tick.
It all starts with your mindset – by being open to growth and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you are without limits.
Are you ready to start that journey today?
Saying ‘yes’ is the first step.
Find out more at www.mahmoodmawjee.com.