So we have plenty of time on our hands and in our heads. What do we do with this unexpected, unprecedented time (opportunity)? Let’s use our heads.
In large part our lives move forward in the direction of our plans, dreams, and expectations. This pandemic has made the fabric of our lives into a blanket, smothering some of those dreams forever, and allowing others to hibernate, preparing for the time a new day arrives, the blanket is removed, and new light provides energy for dreams to blossom.
There’s a difference between plans, expectations, and dreams. Let’s have some fun thinking about these in light of this pandemic, and how it is affecting our thoughts.
Plans are specific, measurable, and usually timely. This pandemic and its confusing consequences have completely disrupted most of our plans. That is just a matter of fact.
How we think about those disruptions is a matter of mind, and usually is tied up in our expectations. Before the pandemic we largely expected life to go ahead as planned. Now that it hasn’t we’re disappointed, angry, or depressed. We had great expectations for work, vacations, family, and retirement before the pandemic, and now those expectations are confused, creating stress. Lowering expectations reduces stress and allows us to “accept that which can’t be changed”.
Dreams. Now here is where we can blossom. Under this pandemic blanket are all sorts of seeds. These seeds are thoughts and dreams that we have had and new dreams that are being created. They are very different from expectations because they can be created or discarded relatively easily depending on our mindsets as we interpret events in our environment. Our current environment may include the presence of mental weed seeds resulting in tangles of thorny, bramble barriers to progress. Or, we can find feed seeds that produce abundant flowers or fruits, food for the joy and growth of us all.
At this time it is probably more productive and enjoyable to spend more time dreaming than planning or expecting.
-Neil S. Hiltunen, D.M.D., F.A.G.D.Read More
People under stress often make poor decisions. During these days it is important to remember that, and we can see it with the volatility of the markets. Fear and greed are exacerbated and drive financial decisions in more exaggerated ways.
Stress may be less evident as we make other decisions during these weeks, but the impact can be long lasting. A roller coaster of emotions may influence our choices about practice transition and even about retaining a dental license. Some of us may want to bail out.
We suggest that dentists be thoughtful about allowing a license to lapse. A dental license provides psychological and financial benefits both of which are important, particularly in these times.
I’m reminded of a very successful prosthodontist who retired with a boatload of retirement money and let his license lapse early in the year 2000. He told me that when the dot com bubble burst shortly afterward, his boatload of money sank to the bottom and he lost virtually everything. Not only did he have no money but he could not practice dentistry to earn it back. He told me that he was suicidal and regretted letting his license expire. Fortunately, through counselling, he was able to improve his outlook on life.
This pandemic is unprecedented in our lifetimes and information changes day by day and hour by hour. We can’t tell you what to do, but we can advise every dentist to be very thoughtful about allowing a dental license to expire.
What are your thoughts?
Neil S. Hiltunen, D.M.D., F.A.G.D.Read More
Here we'll discuss current challenges we face in the later stages of our practices. Some of us are facing transition challenges. Some retirement fund challenges, and some are facing health challenges. Have any of us tested positive for Covid -19? Symptoms?Read More