The moon is back to normal again.
Just a few hours ago, though, standing in the middle of a snow-covered playground near Lake Michigan, in the night sky at about 3 degrees above zero, it looked like a smudge. A grey brown spot that was almost black, like someone had tried to erase it with an old eraser, but part of its image still remained.
For a few hours, the earth blocked out the sunlight to the moon, at least from our perspective. These unimaginably huge spheres of matter, nearly perfectly in balance, were gracefully moving like billiard balls in a ballet. Compared to this, all else really seems insignificant.
Before street lamps, car lights, TVs and late night computers, the night sky entertained us. Everyone could recognize the constellations, and an interplanetary event such as an eclipse was a very big deal. All our ancestors were stargazers – the night sky gave them the comfort of familiar signs, as well as wonder and awe. And mystery.
Besides the city lights to distract us, we have our daily duties and deadlines that rivet our attention to the near. Your patients, your notes, your computer, staff members, phones; most things are just a yard stick away. Like a ping-pong game, your focus has to be complete, quick, and close, or, you lose.
When your attention drifts, patients think you don’t care, staff thinks you take them for granted or are displeased, and insurance companies can’t read your notes. Success in practice requires keen attentiveness.
You can’t survive asleep at the wheel, dreaming or daydreaming. To be a winner you have to be alert and actively attentive to your job each minute you are at the office.
And if that is all you do, you soon will burn out.
Studies have shown that you have to, now and then, disengage. Take a break. Learn Japanese. Play with your kids. Help the poor. Pray. In their best selling book, The Power of Full Engagement, the authors offer studies and examples on why it is important to become involved in disrelated activities to balance our hectic if productive lives.
All this goes back to the moon and the sky. I don’t think we look up enough. The sky, the stars, and the whole natural God given world are about us, mysterious and awe inspiring.
In business, we have to focus on the short term and build for the middle term. But it is the far away that calls us, if we can stop to listen. What makes you curious, fills you with awe, love, and seems a mystery? What does your future whisper back to you, as if you could hear your eulogy years from now? What are your greater purposes?
Balancing these three is the key to a successful practice, business, and life. Your first goal is to play each day fast, full out, like a basket ball game you have to win. Your second goal is to gradually build a strong organization with the right teammates and the best plays that have proven to work for you. But your third goal, and there may be many, are why you work at all.
If your business has plateaued and stopped growing, it is because one or more of these goals is not being worked on correctly.
We have developed a general pathway and framework for doctors to move upward so that they can correctly work on and achieve all three goals. It doesn’t matter what technique you use, therapies, providers, or offices.
We are excited and pleased about the development of this new approach to practice management and marketing and how it impacts our consulting and the results our clients can see, as well as our own business and personal lives.
We will be publishing and just talking more about these three goals, but we encourage you to come to our seminars. You can learn more about them by clicking here. 3-Goals Seminars
And, in the meantime, as my old pal, Jack Horkhiemer the stargazer always says: “Keep Looking Up.”
photos from Microsoft and NASA
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