Long hours and lack of free time. Debt that will dominate the next two decades of life. Class, studying, pre-clinic, clinic and stress, stress, stress. Dental school’s a grind! Why do you do it? What’s the point? Somedays, it’s easy to forget your dream. It’s easy to lose sight of your why. It’s easy to question every other path in life that would make life simpler, weekends more fun and deliver more Netflix and chill. Sound familiar?
It’s the rally cry of many dental students today. You’re not alone. I speak to hundreds of dental students every week who question why they are suffering when all of their anti-dentite friends are living large.
You know what though? We speak to hundreds of young dentists every week too. Thousands every year. Future you’s who made it to the other side … and what I can promise you is this: There are reasons they made it and reasons you will, too!
With that, knowledge is power. Here are the top 7 reasons people give up on their dreams. Pretending they don’t exist is foolish. Learning where your potential obstacles are will help you avoid them. Take some time with them. Own the ones that resonate with you.
7) We fall in love with the idea more than what it takes to get there.
6) We care too much about being judged when we struggle.
5) We mistake opportunities for lessons learned, as failure.
4) We get tunnel vision and find it difficult to pivot.
3) We lack discipline as we try to balance our time.
2) We get distracted by other people’s shiny objects.
1) We don’t believe enough in ourselves.
So … mirror test. Which one(s) have tripped you up in the past?
Total transparency. In the past for me, No. 7. When I was growing up, I was a pretty good ball player … a pitcher. Trouble was, I might have been a little too good, too soon. My natural skills got me to Division I. They got me on a diamond competing against other draft picks for the Pittsburgh Pirates. When it came to the dream, I had it all played out.
When I woke up, I learned the road to the Show was paved by Long days, longer bus rides and little payback. When I woke up, dad sat me down for the talk. Work hard and crush my grades or work hard and wonder. Turns out, my high-speed was way more precise than my bat speed, and it all worked out OK, but dream No. 1 … lost.
I don’t regret it. Dentistry has been amazing. That said, I’ll share a little story that crosses my mind every year right around spring training. It’s a true story, originally shared by the author of Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
Dr. David Rice, DDS 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.