How to Have Fun in Your Practice
My eyes sting from the sweat that drips from my eyebrows. The nearly 90 degree heat and humidity are of no help. A thistle has somehow lodged in my sock and with each step it jabs the arch of my right foot, but it’s a welcome distraction from the burning pain and fatigue.
It’s early Sunday morning, late May. I’m running up Fallenwood Avenue, AKA “Heartbreak Ridge” and it’s a long, steep incline that levels out for 30 steps or so partway up before resuming its ascent. I’m about 80% of the way into today’s run and I purposely include the hill at this point as an additional challenge – to my legs, my lungs, and my heart… not the heart that is now pulsing in my ears, but the other “heart” – my will.
It would be so easy to quit right now. And the thought comes frequently. The enemy whispers, “Stop. you’re working too hard… what’s the point? you’re exhausted”… And some days my legs, in agreement, nearly sell out on me, and it takes every bit of will I have to overcome the enemy… “No, keep going!” comes from somewhere. “I… can… I… will… I… cannot… be… stopped” I say one word each time my left foot strikes the ground. “Reach the top, rest of the way is cake”, I think to console myself. A little nausea is felt. No matter, just a minor annoyance. Just keep going; almost there.
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In part I of “What Can a Chiropractor learn from a Man who wears PantyHose?” you read that “man” is Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath (Go back and read it if you haven’t yet). When asked once about his secret to winning, Broadway Joe’s reply was, “When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things.”
I also shared what some had answered in response to the question, “What are some things that you do to have fun in practice?” I alluded to contributions made by a few docs who had obviously given the question some deep thought.
You’ll see from their responses below, there is more to having fun in practice than just hoping such will occur by chance. And it’s more than just “doing” a list of things. It runs deeper than that. It has to do with intent, and deciding.
For starters, Dr. Jim Hitson observed:
“You can’t go in with the mindset that being at the office is WORK……for some reason that word can be a real buzz kill. So it really starts in your head.”
Then this from Dr. Edgecombe:
“Most all things are a matter of perspective, you see, we are blessed. No matter what, we are blessed. Focus on that fact. Choose to focus on the blessings we enjoy and do your best to make the most of the time we have. Enjoy everything in as much as you can and for the things that (are more difficult) trust that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28 When you remember that, you gain perspective and confidence in the resolution of the things that aren’t fun by default.”
From Dr. Mortenson:
“I have thought a lot about this. When we get to the office we show up for service and we show up with the intention of having fun. We start with the cheer and a staff meeting (in which we have some fun) every AM. We always PLAN on having fun. It is only work if you would rather be doing something else.”
Wise indeed. And then, perhaps the coup de grace, from Dr. Besso:
“I have noticed that for a day to be fun I have to be in a rhythm, in “the zone”. For example, when I have followed my daily routine (in and out of the office) the day is bound to be more fun. If I skip the part of the daily routine that involves reviewing our goals and objectives with the staff then I am a lot more likely to become frustrated with their performance, which leads me to lose my focus with patients, which leads to less productive conversations, less referrals, less teach to testify, less success stories, less talking twins, less laughter.. and before you know it the whole energy and atmosphere in the office really stinks and the day will definitely not be fun.
So what makes our office a fun place to be is simple: Learn to Be in the Zone and learn what takes you out of the zone. At the end of a great day: what did you feel, how were you scheduled, did the staff have fun that day, did you stimulate referrals, did you get a success story?..
Once you find out why it was fun you will know what to visualize and to focus on.
I think the people with the most successful practices are the people who have figured out how to have fun in practice, and how to be in the zone more consistently. You can be busy but if it isn’t fun for you and your staff then you won’t be busy for long.”
Wow! Couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you, good Doctors!
I cross the “finish line”, and use forced exhalations to bring my heart rate down. Fatigued, yet satisfied once again to have finished and not taken the easy way out.
It does not matter whether the urge to give up happens 80% into a 3 mile run, at mile 18 of a marathon, or at year 5 in a struggling practice… persevering is a decision, fortified by intent and by will, moreso than a physical feat. And so it is with having fun. Confidence sets the stage for fun, yes. But having fun in practice begins with a decision that you must make, an intent on your part, moreso than a random after-effect of events that hopefully play out in a positive way!
Now, How one builds confidence is the subject of a future post. Meantime, work on yours, because when you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. But you must Decide and Intend to have fun, because when you have fun… you can do amazing things…