All posts by mimagam

Meaning

Meaning.  What gives meaning to our lives?  As adults, I think it’s something we often search for, whether consciously or not.  Some find meaning in religion, relationships, learning, challenging ourselves.  By listing these, I don’t mean to minimize them.  Each of them can be a profound source of meaning for individuals.  Some of them are for me too.

I think that these items, though, are all related to one word: Values.  I think that if we are clear about our values, we will be more likely to live according to them and to find our lives have meaning.

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Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is fast approaching.  It’s catching me by surprise this year – again.  Is Thanksgiving still relevant?  Is it important to set aside a day – one day – each year for the task of giving thanks for all that we have been given?

I say, yes!  Each of us, no matter how wealthy or impoverished, has much to be thankful for.  Maybe it is that we woke up on the right side of the grass today, as we like to say in my family.  Maybe it is that the leaves are indescribably beautiful as they change.  Maybe it is that no one in our family has had a trip to the E.R. in the past week, the past month, the past year (well, okay, the past month then).  Maybe it is that my parents are still alive and in reasonably good health.  Maybe it is that our country is not in a civil war at the moment.  Maybe it is that there was food for breakfast this morning.  Maybe it’s that I can get myself dressed each day without assistance.  See, there is so very much to be thankful for.

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Procrastination

What is so appealing about it?  Why do so many of us do it?  Is it that there is so much to distract us that nearly everything would be better than this thing I really need to be doing?  Is it like, as a kid, waiting to eat your peas until there is nothing else left on your plate and no way to hide?  Are we hoping that whatever-it-is-we-are-avoiding will magically disappear if we ignore it long enough?  I am!  The funny thing, though, is that it rarely does.

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Happiness

What keeps us from happiness?  We do!  Each day is a gift to enjoy any way we want to.  Even if we are in prison; even if we are in the intensive care ward; even if we are experiencing loss of a loved one, we have the choice to drink in that gift and savor its goodness.

Have you ever thought about what a gift hot and cold running water in the house is?  (Have you ever been camping?  Camping will make one appreciate running water!)  The problem is our expectations.  We expect to have water at our convenience.  It’s only when it isn’t working properly that we notice it.

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Golden Rule

Maybe it’s just because I’m a business owner and I’m focused on this stuff, but does anyone else notice it when you get exceptionally great service at a business?  Why is that?  It makes sense that we would note when we get really bad service, and we do, but why is it such an event when someone at a business we patronize is really nice or goes out of his/her way to help us?  Why is that?

I suspect that it’s because it is such a rare event.  Why?  Why do we put up with that?  Why don’t we demand better?  It’s our money, right?  We can take our dollars down the street (usually), right?  Why do some businesses have staff who behave as if they’d rather we didn’t show up; as if they are doing us consumers a favor by serving us?  How did that happen?  How on earth do they stay in business?

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The Value of Negative Feedback

Why is it that we all avoid negative feedback?  Is it that we crave affirmation?  Is it that we are so fragile that we cannot abide any disagreement about an idea or thought or body of work that is our own?  I understand that.  If you don’t like my idea or my work or my outfit, does that also mean that you dislike me or you dislike my judgment?  BUT…what if we turned that concept on its head?  What if we actively sought out negative feedback in order to improve?  Who does that?

Is it that we have closely associated negative feedback with negativity?  Or it is that we associate negative feedback with meanness?  Do we, like King Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette, fight to insulate ourselves from all unpleasantness?  They are a good example of what can happen if we don’t pay attention to the negative feedback around us.

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Habits

I’ve been reading lately about habits; how to get rid of bad ones, how to encourage good ones.  The author, James Clear, seems to be a master of…well…mastering habits.  He used a specific example that I love and wanted to pass along.  He said he used to be a non-flosser.  He said that he wanted to change that habit and make a habit of daily flossing (hooray!) so what he did was to change his environment.

Rather than keep his dental floss tucked away in a drawer or in the medicine cabinet, he placed a bowl next to his toothbrush and filled it with flossers.  He attached the new habit he wanted to start (flossing daily) to an existing habit (brushing teeth).  That way, whenever he brushed his teeth before bed, he saw the flossers next to his toothbrush and voila!  He always remembered to floss after that because he was already in the habit of brushing his teeth.

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Authenticity in the Workplace

Authenticity is a word that I hear tossed about more and more casually. It’s a word that, to me, still holds power. Authenticity means being true, honest, vulnerable. That requires courage. It requires a mental and emotional stance that states, “Here I am. I am willing to take a chance to remove the façade I usually show the world.” It means, deep, honest listening. It means letting down one’s guard. It means being fully present and withholding judgment. It means loving the person you are with enough to care about them just because s/he is a human and thus deserving the presence of your best self.

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Upcoming Move

I want to tell you why I’m so excited about our upcoming move.  At Advanced Dental we are all about giving our very best to each and every patient – one patient at a time.  For years I’ve been dissatisfied because we have outgrown our current location.  Because of that I feel like we’ve fallen short on delivering our very best to each patient.  Space is limited, resources were unavailable, the waiting room cold in the winter.

In our new location, we will have everything we need in abundance to deliver on our mission: our best to each patient, one at a time.  We will be expanding to 6 dental chairs with monitors in every operatory for patients to see images of their teeth, both from the digital x-rays and from the intraoral camera.  There will be a dedicated sterilization area that, while visible to the patients, will be protected from traffic. We will have a private operatory for patients requiring extra privacy; sedation and implant patients, for example. The inside entrance will allow people to wait for loved ones in a comfortable setting with a coffee bar to treat themselves.

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