There was a time when I was a hard-core scuba-diver. I was one class away from earning my Master Scuba-Diver certificate. As a diver, one learns about mistakes other divers make, particularly fatal mistakes. When the bodies of most divers who drown are recovered, their air tanks are nearly full, especially those diving in stressful environments such as shipwrecks or caves, or in heavy currents. It seems that, when stressed to a certain point, some divers will abandon all logic and actually remove the regulator (their air supply) from their mouths and drown.
Chiropractors tend to be the same way in times of stress. Whether it be personal problems or economic hard times (which, of course, we are living in right now), rather than promoting harder and more aggressively, they do the opposite: they cut back or stop promoting and crawl into a cave of despair. The result is that their practices become very predictable, their business slows, and eventually the practice drowns.
Just like diving, the key here is doing the things necessary to grow when you need to, and never doing the opposite, creating circumstances that make you sink. Each month, I email you an average of 20 new patient projects. Are you putting them right into action, or are you taking the regulator out of your mouth?
Before your practice can grow, you need to make sure you are not cutting off your air (new patient) supply. This week, place focus on growing and expanding. Forget contracting and cutting back or out. Remember, you can’t take one tire off a car and have it run as efficiently as one with four tires and great tread.
The most common problem we encounter on a daily basis is staying motivated. Sometimes we lose focus, get discouraged and overwhelmed, or procrastinate. The bottom line is that we are not achieving as much as we would like. We all have things that are important to us. We have goals, a dream, or maybe some obligations we are duty-bound to complete, but we aren't making the progress we wish we were making. The central issue is motivation.
The fact is that we do the things we are motivated to do. Ask any teenager how hard they will work to get their driver’s license. Ask yourself how many all-nighters you put in to complete an important paper in college. Ask yourself about the times you have worked hard to achieve something that absolutely had to get done! There’s a great story about a young man who traveled the world to meet a wise and famous teacher. When they met, the young man pleaded, "Will you teach me how to find wisdom?" Without a word, the guru led the young man to a nearby lake and suddenly pushed his head underwater. At first, the young man thought it was a joke, but after a few seconds, he began thrashing and fighting desperately for a breath of air. Finally, the guru let him up and calmly said, "When you desire wisdom as badly as you wanted that next breath of air, you will find it."
When we are motivated, nothing can stand in our way! So, how do we stay motivated? I’m happy to share with you a few key ideas I have learned along the way.
- Be clear! You can hit almost any target if you define it precisely enough. It is hard to stay motivated for a vague or distant goal. Be specific, precise and concrete. You will be far more motivated to increase by 6% than by "trying to."
- Have an action plan. If you have a map and know the next step, you are much more motivated to do it. Baby steps are easier and safer than giant leaps. It is really hard to stay motivated through the years to build a million-dollar practice, but it is easy to start by having a goal focused on increasing collections this month. Have a clear action plan and execute it step by step.
- Surround yourself with positives. Zig Ziglar said, "People complain motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does a shower. That’s why I recommend both every day." Read and listen to audio programs, talk with exciting people, and surround yourself with things that energize you! We live in a bad-news world that wears everyone down. To counter this, surround yourself daily with things that energize, challenge, and excite you.
- Eat a "Breakfast of Champions." With apologies to Wheaties breakfast cereal, I encourage you to re-read and re-commit to your most important priorities, goals, and plans every single day. Personally, if I don't begin every morning by focusing on my major projects and goals for about 20 minutes the day gets away from me. In the rush of the day, minor distractions will beat strategic action every time. Start every day by reviewing and reaffirming your most important objectives.
- Enlist plenty of cheerleaders! I think this may be the most important, easiest, and most often over-looked source of motivation. My brother, Dr. Mike, use to say "Trying to stay motivated is like you are trying to keep this big fire burning all day, and you need to look out for potential firemen who want to put it out." Recruit friends and family to hold you accountable. Teach them how to support and encourage you. Pick their brains for good ideas, and report back to them regularly. With a good team of cheerleaders, you can accomplish anything!
To achieve your most important goals and to realize your dreams, hard work and even self-discipline are not enough! Master the tools that enable some people to achieve one goal after another for a lifetime of success while others work just as hard with only minimal results.
Join Dr. Jay Morgan, a 29-year veteran of chiropractic and internationally-renowned chiropractic consultant to over 8,000 offices worldwide.
For more information on Dr. Jay Morgan, visit www.drjaymorgan.com/