What do you want? Have you thought about why you do what you do everyday? Why do you go to work? Being a dentist is a tough job. Like any professional job, it comes with responsibility and stress. So you really should consider why you do it. You need a good reason for giving up the best part of your day.
I don’t mean to be negative. I’m not saying ‘Oh, what’s the point. Why don’t we all give up now?’ My point is that if you have a vision or a set of goals, work becomes much more rewarding. Being a dentist can be rewarding in many ways but it is so much more meaningful if dentistry is helping you to attain what you want from life.
So, what do you want? What do you want from life for you and the people that you care about?
Do you want meaningful relationships? After all, people are social and we derive some of our greatest happiness from our relationships. Do you want your kids to go to a certain school? Do you want material things like a fancy house, a red car or a hot tub. (I don’t know much about cars but I’ve heard that red ones are very nice)
Once you know what you want, you need to work out how to get there. Coming back to dentistry, how are you going to use your career to serve you. So often we make personal sacrifices for our job when it needs to be the other way around. You do not exist to serve your career. Your career exists to serve you.
So how will dentistry serve you? There are loads of options and you need to work out how each serve your goals. Will you be part time or full time? Will you work in a hospital or a practice? Will you be a principal or associate? The list goes on.
Money is not a goal
Let me say that again. Money should NEVER be your target. Money is a tool that you can be used to reach certain ambitions but it is not the end goal. It is an extremely important tool and you can use money to achieve amazing things. But it can also be be misused and squandered in ways that prevent you from reaching you goals.
Money will not make you happy. Money should not be your ambition. Money is a tool that you can use to your advantage or disadvantage.
Where do you go from here?
I realise that I haven’t given you any answers here. I’ve posed a lot of questions but the only person who can answer those questions is you. Go back to the title of this article. What do you want from your life?
Set your goals. Write them down. Then work out how these dreams will be realised. I think you will find that you are already achieving a lot of what you want. But what are you missing and what do you need to change?
You only have one life so you need to think about what you want out of it. Then you need to work out how dentistry can give you what you want. If, on reflection, dentistry doesn’t help you to achieve your goals, it may be time to think again. I hope that’s not the case. I strongly believe that dentistry is a fantastic profession that can help you to accomplish amazing things. But you need to know why you do it and where you’re heading.