Remember how you felt when you opened your first dental school acceptance letter?
That’s the CRUSH it rookie feeling.
When you embrace that feeling as a new dentist … when you live by it … everyday … YOU become unstoppable!
Experience has taught me two things in dentistry:
First, passion and excitement are contagious. Not the runny-nose kind. The amazing kind. Think about your favorite sport. Who do you believe is bringing more mojo to the team? The guy or gal trying to make the team for the first time or the 15-year veteran already who knows they have a spot on the team?
Passion and excitement. We all thrive on it. We hunger to be around it. And that, my friends, is your edge. That is the opportunity you have that most dentists who’ve been in the game for a while forget about. You WANT success. You WANT to make the team. You WANT to CRUSH it!
Second, natural smarts may win a battle or two, but hard work wins the war every time. Think about what rookie athletes do in training camp. Are they the last to show up, or the first? Do they sneak out at the end of the day or sneak in that extra workout?
I had the opportunity to hang with Hall-of-Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice a few years back. I asked him what he thought made the biggest difference in his career. How did he succeed for so long in the NFL? Twenty years,13 Pro Bowls, 3 Super Bowl Championships and to this day still holds 100 records!
His answer was compelling. Every year he went to training camp, he went with a rookie mindset. With every practice, with every game and with every opportunity, he played as if he was trying to make the team. He played with the emotion you had the moment you opened your first acceptance letter.
Did you know every time Jerry Rice caught a pass in practice, he didn’t stop his route? Did you know that every pass he caught, he’d run into the end zone? It didn’t matter if it was 5 yards or 90 yards. Every single practice pass, Jerry Rice ran it into the end zone. When his coach asked him why, he said, “That’s the goal in a game, isn’t it?” Think about that. Think about your goals in dental school. Think about every clinical board, every practical, every patient opportunity you have. Are you playing with the same intensity? The same emotion you had the first time you opened an acceptance letter?
If you want to CRUSH it as a dentist, if you want to CRUSH it in life, embrace your strengths. Own your rookie status. And start today!
Dr. David Rice graduated cum laude in 1994 from The State University of New York at Buffalo’s School of Dental Medicine. In 1995, he completed his general practice residency from the Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. With a strong belief in continuing education and mentorship, Dr. Rice went on to complete continuums at the Pankey Institute, The Dawson Center and The Spear Center all while building the Restorative Practice of his dreams and maintaining an associate clinical professorship at the SUNYab School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Rice combined his passions for teaching, mentoring and making a difference and igniteDDS was born. Today he continues to maintain his private practice and travels the country inspiring dentistry’s future to live their dream, have great success and to make that same difference that has brought him so much joy.