There is an important distinction between “having” a philosophy and “living” a philosophy.
“Having” a philosophy implies that we can envision a better way of practicing and living, but it doesn’t necessarily mean those thoughts are being acted upon -that progress is being made in the direction of that vision. “Having” a philosophy therefore can functionally be little more than a dream.
“Living” a philosophy, or living with a clear sense of purpose, is about engaging life based on clarified values, on an accurate understanding of ourself, on a realistic view of the world around us, on a clear understanding of what we are trying to accomplish, and therefore focused on principle-centered goals.
Drs. Pankey and Barkley talked extensively about the need for us to clarify our practice philosophy and to apply it daily, but most of us dentists rarely think of ourselves as philosophers, consequently we struggle to see the true value behind deeply engaging in this type of internal work.
Their point was that living a life of greater purpose is an opportunity which lies right in front of each of us, and that a life full of greater emotional, spiritual, and financial reward lies there as well.
Our daily decisions are what drive us toward the future. And it is what we believe about ourself and the world around us -our philosophy toward living- which influences that direction more than anything else…the direction toward a greater or lesser purpose.
Today might be a perfect time to examine your personal philosophy and subsequent practice and life purpose.
Paul A. Henny, DDS
Thought Experiments LLC, ©2017