A GREAT book on how to live a life full of JOY is Dr Chris Baker's powerful little guide, REAL.
“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart…” ~ George Willis Cooke
Screens. Your and your family’s mobile phones, pads, computers, TVs and computer games, are stealing your joy.
That’s complicated, because of your need to communicate with your phone, and to answer emails and work at the computer. Even your children may be required to work at the computer in and out of school.
However, we know now that screens are addictive, creating notable changes in brain chemistry, particularly the release of dopamine. Dopamine is nicknamed the “pleasure neurotransmitter,” and neurologists know it is due to dopamine that screen use is addictive.
Besides being addictive, screen games, shows, videos, have fast-paced scene changes every few seconds, and contribute to ADD and other brain disorders.
In fact, IUD is the medical name of the mental health disorder, Internet Use Disorder, classified in the DSM-5 (American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic Manual).
IUD messes people up. It has the hallmarks of all addictions - inability to focus on tasks that require concentration, restlessness, moodiness, lack of joy. These screens steal our joy.
“We live our life through screens and images in this way, and we don't know what is real or fake anymore. And it doesn't matter to us”
~ Alison Jackson
This week, consider turning off your TV and not using your other screens any more than absolutely necessary.
And focus on joy. “Joy is not in things - it is in us.” ~ Richard Wagner
Enjoy the faces and voices of your favorite, most beloved people. Grab the moments and turn them over and over in your heart. Savor life's preciousness.
“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”
~ Henri J.M. Nouwen
After all, “For to miss the joy is to miss all. “
~ Robert Louis Stevenson
Find the Joy in Your Everyday Practice Life: Part I
Find the Joy in Your Everyday Practice Life:
A classic book for improving your life and your business is Dr Norman Vincent Peale's "You Can If You Think You Can."
Though it was written for parents, Dr Chris Baker's book, "Your Child's Smile," has been used as a textbook for dentists who want to treat children.
Dr. Wayne Dyer's classic work, "You'll see it when you believe it," takes readers on a step-by-step path toward living and loving both life and career.
Critical element 1: Gratitude
As you drive in to your practice in the morning, spend the drive-time in gratitude, loving your life and yourself.
Think about your simple gratitude, and about your sacred gratitude. While you may have some current situational gratitude - the new car you are driving, your daughter’s amazing sports performance last night, also remember the simple gratitudes - your home, your work, your shower this morning, the way your staff makes your patients happy.
And, practice your sacred gratitudes: feeling grateful for everything in your life - even the hard stuff, the challenges, the grief in loss, knowing no matter how difficult, there is benefit to you to come.
There is no substitute for feeling grateful, happy, blessed.
By the time you get to your office, you will be ready for a fantastic day where things seem to turn “your way.” I love the story of the doctor whose staff knew what sort of day “they were in for,” when they noticed how the doctor got out of the car - slowly, slumped, low-energy, or, on some wonderful days, upright, with energy, smiling.
Before you walk through the door, take a nice slow breath through your nose. This engages the peace of your para-sympathetic nervous system. It changes your physiology immediately to one of peace. Then, you can walk in to your office and greet each team member by name.
We all love to hear our name. It has been said that your name is the most beautiful word in the whole world. Yes, greet with love and their name! And feel your gratitude for each one of them. Why not? - the alternative is not going to make you feel happier, and gratitude can make you remember all your joy.
Critical element 2: Your beliefs and thoughts
Decide to love your practice. Assuming you are continuing to practice dentistry, you don’t have to love your practice. Your choices would appear to be three: You can:
1. ...transition/sell your practice if you’re not happy with it,
2. ...keep trudging through your days and practice, facing the difficulties and challenges with dread at the worst, coping at the best, or...
Critical element 3: Decide to love the practice life, and do what you need to do to see it as joyous.
I know one general dentist in a small upper mid-western town who so loves his practice, patients, and staff! His life is full and his family reaps the benefits of a joyous husband and father.
Years ago he did not feel quite that way about his practice. It was much more work, not financially great, and he came to the fork in the road - toward joy? Or toward the "same old, same old"? His beliefs and thoughts had to change, and when they did, he ran smack into the knowledge and guidance he needed to transform his practice to GREAT, and with that, his life to GREAT.
You may think, “Dr. Chris, you have no idea…”, or “It’s just not that simple.”
Indeed, it’s not that simple. But it IS that worth it! And it gets easier and easier. You can turn your beliefs / perspectives of your daily “grind” to daily joy.
You can if you think you can.
Yes, it will take work. Work that has the magnificent outcome of bringing you to a joyous existence.
The work can be magnificently successful if you “get out of the way”, and get into the belief state as soon as possible. Nothing will change until you do.
How do you get out of the way? You might call this release, or surrender, or focusing on what is right in your life/practice. Dr Wayne Dyer liked to remind us, “You’ll see it WHEN YOU BELIEVE IT.”
Focus on what’s right. Act as if. Walk in that door in the morning and act as if your practice is the best place in the world to be. If it were, would you ignore the staff, or would you say a bright and cheery “Good morning, Claire” to each person you see, greeting them by name?
If your practice were such a happy place to be, would you look at the schedule with dread over the patients who are scheduled? Or would you think how lovely it will be to see each one? Act as if…
Believe it TIL you see it!
The change is in YOU.
Your belief, your trust, your joy will change everything, including your practice. And when that happens, you will truly be living your magical, miraculous, magnificent life of your dreams!
Just you wait!
Your staff will become wonderful (or you’ll find new staff who are wonderful and fit your new life well.) Your patients will be delightfully happy with your care (or the grumps will leave.) You will have created your great practice!
More critical elements to come next time!!
Keep reminding yourself of what your "big bold goals" are.
What do you want out of life?
Do you dream of great and heroic things?
This is the second of a two-part series beginning December 8, 2016.
So, you have a big, bold goal in mind - or maybe several! Now that you know you want it, how do you get going?
Before you sleep, picture yourself living your goal. Think about how it feels; see it as your reality. This is charging after them. Your life design is working!
"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward."
~ Amelia Earhart
As our son Trey says many times, “Never give up.”
"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." ~ Thomas A. Edison
Today going to the dental office, or to teach orthodontics, or cooking dinner, or sitting on the couch talking to my husband Claude, is glorious. Most moments. When I realize I am not enjoying a moment, as soon as I can realize it, I begin focusing my attention on gratitude and on my goals.
The goals keep changing. We meet goals, and some goals change form or meaning. Some goals are merely stepping stones to more important and wonderful parts of life, and as such are part of the journey, yet not met in the form we imagined. Yet all very important.
Every night Claude and I say together, “I know, within me now, is the Divine ability to manifest or attract everything I need or desire. All I desire is on its way. It will arrive on time, and in even greater amounts than I have imagined.”
And every morning we say, “Thank you, thank you, thank you for the miracles and magnificent outcomes of today.” Then we review what they were that day.
"Today is life--the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto." ~ Dale Carnegie
Read Dr Chris Baker's book of positive life strategies, REAL.
This week - strategies to get to a 2017 filled with miracles and magnificent outcomes!
Q: What keeps us from enjoying each magnificent year filled with 365 magnificent days?
A: Our humanness. Our beliefs. Our hurting hearts. Amazingly, deep down, we all have insecurities and feelings that we are not good enough.
We assume - we make up - what others think of us. Then we decide those things are true and come to believe it about ourselves. Everybody secretly harbors the fear of being not smart enough, not pretty enough, not lovable enough, not successful enough…
So, to get to those magnificent and miraculous days? Become aware of what you are buying into, what you are accepting daily. Look at what you’ve already been programmed with and begin to question it, disassemble it and let it go.
Wake up and free yourself from the negative programming of the world.
This week, become as aware as you can of your negative fears and beliefs. Just the awareness alone begins to move you toward joy and prosperity, because your focus changes.
AND, also become aware of the good in your life.
“Clearly, one of the major obstacles to our experience of gratitude is the habit we have of sleepwalking through life. The truth is that we are never lacking for blessings in our lives, but we are often lacking in awareness and recognition of them.” ~ Rev. Diane Berke, Ph.D.
To a 2017 awareness - and a new gratitude!
Both the dental patient and the dentist have a problem!
It’s tough to have the patient’s head positioned comfortably, AND ideally for the dentist.
This challenge makes the dentist’s job difficult because without the best view of the mouth, and without the best light on the mouth, the dentist is working in the dark.
And, it is difficult for the patient to be tolerant and still and be engaged in something interesting during the otherwise boring dental treatment. If the patient is not comfortable, to be tolerant and still is an impossible task for him/her.
It helps if the patient can read a book, pad, or use a game or cell phone during the otherwise boring time in treatment.
Hammacher Schlemmer & Co. started as a New York City hardware store in 1848, and in 1881 began distributing its own catalog (The 1912 catalog was 1,112 pages.) The store was the first to offer the newest and greatest - a pop-up toaster (1930), a portable radio (1930), an electric toothbrush (1955), and a telephone answering machine (1968). Although these amazing products were very practical, Hammacher Schlemmer also sold whimsical and luxury items. Regular customers have included the British royal family, the King and Queen of Spain and Lord Rothschild, many U.S. Presidents and First Ladies decorating the White House, and Princess Grace of Monaco. NYC mayor Rudolph Giuliani renamed one block of 57th Street in NYC as Hammacher Schlemmer Way. The catalog today still has fascinating, unusual and fun items.
About 15 years ago, I was browsing through the current Hammacher Schlemmer catalog and saw this ad:
I thought, “Wow! I know what those are for! - those are for dental patients in the dental chair!” And sure enough - FINALLY - a solution that works fantastically. At the time I called them ‘gameboy glasses’, because then, gameboys were what every child wanted to play with while in the dental chair!
These glasses are fantastic - today! For the patient, they can comfortably hold their book, pad, phone, with their arms resting on their torso, and see it well. The operator’s hands and instruments working on the patient’s mouth are not in the patient’s way at all.
For the operator, the dental light beam is able to shine on the oral treatment area perfectly without the patient blocking the light or the view at all. AND, perhaps the biggest bonus is that in order for the patient to have their head at the angle where the glasses work best, they tend to tip the chin up a bit.
In other words, the patient naturally tips his head up, which makes the view perfect! EXACTLY where we dentists want the patient’s head to be.
You can order them from Amazon (see photos on left ). I recommend having a pair at each chair. Once they have used the glasses, the patients will ask for them each visit. And you will be happy with the result.
For my child patients, whether they are reading a book, a pad, a phone, or watching a movie on our computer monitor, they are engaged, comfortable and off on “planet-la-la land.”
Talk about a win-win solution for you... and for your patients!
Get great life strategies from Dr Chris Baker's book, REAL, available at Amazon.
It’s very neat, how we generally feel optimistic at the beginning of a new year. We tend to feel more hopeful, more capable, more sure.
On this New Year’s beginning days, you can enjoy this optimism and feelings of possibility.
No matter how crazy last year may have seemed, you can bask in being here to enjoy this new year. You are here for important reasons!
KNOW you are in a beautiful, wonderful world that needs you. Replace any doubts with gratitude. (Remember, this is your optimistic time!)
Remember to choose good thoughts. Picture exactly what you want to achieve and be. Then, take actions that move you toward those goals. You can achieve whatever you desire. Believe it and see yourself having achieved it.
“Not only do you become what you think about, but the world also becomes what you think about. Those who think that the world is a dark place are blind to the light that might illuminate their lives. Those who see the light of the world view the dark spots as merely potential light.”
~ Wayne Dyer
You are special. You are incredible, loved, and eternal. “Perhaps the most exciting realization in the world, is finally understanding that living the life of your dreams is entirely up to YOU…”
This is also about the scariest realization! —- UNTIL you realize it includes ‘me’. “
~ The Universe (Mike Dooley)
And when you encounter someone who is challenging to you? Remember, ”Everyone is acting from his own level of consciousness. This is all we can ask of ourselves or anyone else. However hurtful someone is, he is doing the best he can, given the limits of his consciousness.
~ Deepak Chopra
And yet, “Everything is already perfect and complete.”
~ David Hawkins
In time we will understand. And in the meantime, be the incredible person you are, for the world to become more like you, and remember how much you are needed!
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 practices and blogs in beautiful Abu Dhabi, UAE, and glorious Texas, USA.
© 2019 Dr Chris Baker