For What Purpose

by Dr. Scott

WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE?
At first, you'd think I was asking some deep metaphysical, why do we exist, consequence-to-the-world kind of question.  Rather than go there, let's simplify it to more about meaning or motivation for an action; but, not as simple as an end result, an aim or a clear vision of a goal. 

The kind of purpose I'm writing about today is what will keep you going when times get tough.  What will you fight for?  The kind of emotion that keeps you moving towards an aim and not away from and aim.  Something to pursue, but not achieve; a perpetual quest, not to be fulfilled.  And if you dig deep enough and ask enough WHYs, you'll discover there are more meaningful reasons for the things you do.

Imagine, accomplishing whatever you set your mind to.  What are you committed to right now?  Let's have some fun with this, I mean you might as well, you're already here reading this post right now, so…

Write down the answer to this question right now: What is one thing in your mind right now, you really desire to accomplish in 2011?

Ok…first things first, you must have a level of belief that you CAN achieve this desire!  Ok, you believe….

5-WHYs TEST
Now, ask yourself the question: WHY do I desire to accomplish this?  Write that down.  What will it do for you to accomplish this goal?  Keep asking WHY or What will it do for you until you can't answer any more WHY's. The answer that you eventually dug deep enough for is your PURPOSE.  It can't be broken down any more, it's fundamental and meaningful to you and you only.

When there is purpose in your commitment, there is no stopping you.  When things get tough, it will be much easier to move through the difficult times.  Strategies, management, marketing, team-building, systems, scripts….the list goes on forever, are all important; but, until you have a meaningful, definitive purpose, it's quite possible you'll stay on the hamster wheel. 

SOME THOUGHTS ON VISION
Vision works hand and hand with purpose.  A vision is what we aspire to become, to achieve and create, it usually requires significant change and progress in order to attain it.  Many times a vision includes a purpose with it; like what we stand for and why we exist. Vision defines the character of a company, and identity if you will.  It transcends products, market life cycles, management philosophies and individual team members.  A great purposeful vision endures as a source of guidance and inspiration. 

CREATE A MEANINGFUL PURPOSE

One way to create a meaningful purpose, if you don't already have one, is to think about some of the patients you've had the most impact on in their life and answer this question: "What would happen to our patients in the practice if we weren't able to take care of them any more?  Or another question: "If we no longer had to make a profit for the business, what would motivate me to continue to give our precious, creative time to the practice?"

In today's economy, and ever-increasing mobile society, educated and resourceful patients, practices more than ever before need to have a clear understanding of their purpose in order to make work meaningful and thereby attract, motivate and retain outstanding team members and patients.
 

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachelle January 25, 2011 at 6:35 pm

I like the reminder of the 5 why's Dr. Scott

Brad January 29, 2011 at 3:58 pm

We all need an important purpose…
A reason to get up in the morning!

Lisa August 8, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Hi Dr. Scott.
Great article. What many doctors don’t understand is that the practice needs to be a reflection of their own vision. They need to take the time to identify their vision and communicate it to the staff. If the doctor doesn’t take the time to identify what his or her vision is, then the practice will “take on” the vision of the staff.
Thanks for sharing your great knowledge and insight!
Lisa Weber, RDH

Connie February 17, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Good article. Do you mind if I excerpt and repost on my blog? Acknowledging your name and site, of course.

Dr. Scott February 17, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Thanks Connie! I’m honored that you would like to repost… repost away! :)

Kathryn Perry June 19, 2012 at 4:15 am

Great article I am reminded of a Japanese saying
“Vision without action is a dream
Action without vision is a nightmare.”
I like your points and especially the last question
“If we no longer had to make a profit for the business, what would motivate me to continue to give our precious, creative time to the practice?” It is the answer to that question that will not only give meaning to your experience, it would actually attract a better quality customer who is loyal and would recommend your services.

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