Sit for a minute and get quiet. Totally quiet.
Think - what is on your “I should” list?
“One of the best places to start to turn your life around is by doing whatever appears on your mental ‘I should’ list.” ~ Jim Rohn
That’s a place to start.
Then as you go through your day, notice what you see that could be done better, that could be done differently, that you’d like to see changed.
When your vision, your idea is aligned with insatiable hunger and a persistence that just keeps moving in the face of apparent failure, get ready for your miracles!
Believe it - your direction is awaiting.
In Abu Dhabi, Claude and I have been ever so fortunate to enjoy the Manarat Al Saadiyat, and its traveling exhibits from the British Museum, and to enjoy the Louvre-Abu Dhabi, a campus of the Louvre, Paris. The solitude and beauty of each are heady and wonderful.
I can sort of imagine the English poet John Keats, standing in a perfectly quiet room of the British Museum in London, observing a Greek urn. This young man, who died at 26 of tuberculosis, was moved by the engraving on the funerary urn and wrote,
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty, — that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” ~ John Keats
Beauty is truth. Beauty captures us. We cannot get away.
I live in the world of orthodontics. Orthodontics is a beauty treatment.
“If there is a defect on the soul, it cannot be corrected on the face, but if there is a defect on the face and one corrects it, it can correct a soul.” ~ Jean Cocteau
Seeing beauty - of a smile, of art, of nature - holds each of us. We cannot get away. It connects us to the Universe.
Today, see the beauty in your day, in your world, around you.
Feel its joy.
Think about perspective.
Think about your day.
It’s easy to think about “getting through the day,” and then we’ve sort of wished away yet another of our precious days.
Instead, we can see our day as a blank slate, upon which to write, in which to love, feel joy, and work toward our goals.
“One of the major reasons people don't make any progress toward their goals is because they keep trying to get through the day. A more worthy challenge is to try to get something from the day.”
~ Jim Rohn
We have today. We have no promise of tomorrow.
Savor your possibilities.
Cherish your moments.
Make the most possible of your day, today. Move along your path with joy.
Tina Turner sings, “What’s love got to do with it?” (Side note, no one on the face of this earth can dance like Tina Turner - AND in spike heels! Amazing voice, amazing dance, amazing lady, exuding love.)
A pretty 12 year old recently came in for an orthodontic evaluation. After the exam, I told her mom why I would recommend braces for her daughter, as her bite is off on one side, even though her smile is gorgeous. (And I added, that mom would decide of course whether or not they would proceed).
Her mother responded, “ We came here because we are so in love with you and what you do here.” (This was the first I had met them.)
What's love got to do with it?
Love is contagious. Love spreads from one mom, one patient, to another mom, another girl, another boy, another and another.
This sweet mom came because she had “caught the love bug.”
That’s what love’s got to do with it. In love I have the honor and privilege of orthodontic care.
Love brings us together - Orthodontics is a beauty treatment.
And, love is its result.
As you go through your day, keep 'people notes.'
Take note of people’s names, little tidbits of information about them.
I worked for many glorious years with a special man named Tack Mayfield. He has a heart that takes in everyone in the world, and an incredible mind that remembers names and information about people. Tack can see someone after years, and remember their name, their sister’s name, how old they were when he first met them - or how old he was - and on and on.
I cannot. My mind doesn’t hold a candle to Tack’s.
However, I found that my cell phone - and yours - has a wonderful tool that is probably with you most all the time. It’s the Notes app.
That little app allows me to keep notes in folders. For example, I travel on Etihad Airlines a lot, from the US to Abu Dhabi. So I have a folder, Etihad People. In that folder I add a heading of a date I traveled, from what airport to what airport, and list the names of the flight attendants/crew that I met on the flight.
Amazing how many times I meet a crew member again, and can go back and find them and a little tidbit about them - “from Romania, loves to cook…” And, after the flight, I can write a little thank you email about those folks to Etihad.
I have a folder labeled, “Doctors and colleagues” to remember who I met at what meeting… and one labeled, “East Texas people” to remember servers, sales clerks, and others met in the course of going about my errands and days. (Tack would most likely remember - I may not!)
And I have a folder labeled, "Ideas", where I note something I hear that is valuable, something important, and ideas.
It all helps my love shine through.
And, if you’re not as good as Tack, keep people notes on your phone!
I am the love leader.
In my dental practice, my most important role is loving the child patients, the orthodontic patients, and, the parents of these. Funny thing, loving the moms and dads IS loving their children.
It’s easy to think of the patient needing your attention, compassion and excellence. Actually, the parent needs it even more. It is the parent who wonders if he is “doing the right thing” for his child. It is the parent who needs to trust me, so the child can feel his parent’s trust.
It’s the parent whose heart is lying on that dental chair. It’s the parent whose child looks to that parent, the person the child trusts the most, for assurance that all is ok.
What a wonderful job I have. LOVER.
And to you,
Sometimes you get up earlier than usual and find a fresh morning, free of the weights of yesterday.
Sometimes you enjoy that steaming cup of coffee in your hands, and in the sips you take as you revel in the solitude.
Sometimes you notice the quiet that you otherwise rarely have.
The sun comes up to a new sparkling morning.
Hold your morning, with open hands and open heart.
This week, you could make your mornings special. "It’s just a regular day,” could be “It’s a splendid, sparkling day.”
Betcha your splendid sparkling day will surprise even you!
Here’s to that great cup of coffee and your brightly shining day!
Our human nature - our ego - is confusing. You feel the emotions of anger, resentment, extreme emotions. It’s difficult to see or feel “past” those strong emotions.
Yet, those emotions are imprisoning you.
“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.” ~ Catherine Ponder
The next time you feel an extreme negative emotion toward someone, begin to think of forgiveness. Forgiveness in that there is “no more debt.” Forgiveness in that you move on, in freedom from those emotions.
Forgiveness does not have to say that the other person did nothing wrong. Forgiveness has to say that you are free, that there is no further debt holding the two of you together.
Hold it gently, mull it over and move into the light.
Without failure, there is less strength. In your struggles comes your strength.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ~ Winston Churchill
“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength.” ~ Napoléon Bonaparte
You may not realize it when you are being strengthened, because the adversities, troubles, obstacles are taking your focus. But, that’s what is happening. You are getting stronger.
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” ~ Dale Carnegie
For today, for this week, keep on keeping on. Just when you thought you were lost, you are actually on the path to greatness.
Walking with you,
In a 1956 song written for the Broadway musical, Most Happy Fella, Dean Martin sang,
“…Haven't got a girl but I can dream
"Haven't got a girl but I can wish
"So I'll take me down to Main street
"And that's where I select my imaginary dish
"Standing on a corner watching all the girls go by…”
Are you watching life go by? Wishing?
If you want - and of course you do - for your life to be INCREDIBLE...
Don’t sit on the couch and wish and wait.
Go out. Make changes. Smile a lot. Be excited.
Be courageous. Do new things. Do things that challenge you.
Get around people who challenge you and help you grow. Don’t gossip. Show and feel a LOT of gratitude.
Make gratitude your constant companion.
Dr Chris Baker
Dr. Chris Baker is Past President of the American Orthodontic Society, a pediatric dentist and teacher of orthodontics, An author, dental practice consultant, mentor, and a current or former faculty member of three U.S. dental schools, Dr Chris is based in glorious Texas, USA. but lectures around the world.
Text and images
© 2019 Dr Chris Baker