March 1, 2009
The woman felt tired as she was slowly swept along toward the airport security arches.

by Biran Beirl, DDS

For more on this topic, go to www.dentaleconomics.com and search using the following key words: perception, Emotionomics, change, state of mind, viewpoint, Dr. Brian Beirl.

In this column, we are asking members of the Pankey Learning Community to reflect on finding both fulfillment and success in dentistry. Throughout the year, we will present reflections as diverse as the many individuals who write them.

The woman felt tired as she was slowly swept along toward the airport security arches. This presentation could change her world if the client would just say yes. But everywhere she looked — newspapers, television, radio — the talk was that the economy was bad and getting worse. She was confident that it was the best program for her client and would be a great investment, but why would they accept her proposal when everywhere proclaimed it was not the time for financial commitments.

The noisy group ahead of her obviously did not read the papers. They were off to the islands, if their tropical attire was any indication. Did they know something she was missing? Probably somebody's uncle died and they were off for one last fling before reality set in.

It was getting tougher for her at home; they were feeling the pressure more each day. Her husband was supportive but she had seen losing lottery tickets showing up in his closet wastepaper basket. It seemed things got worse financially very slowly, then all of a sudden.

Boarding the plane, she hoped there would be an overhead bin for her presentation materials. It was another packed flight. She settled in her seat and began to review her presentation in her mind. Her team had been helping her prepare this presentation for weeks. She did not look forward to returning that evening with another “almost said yes” story to tell her dedicated co-workers and family.

In the background, she was half listening to the flight attendant give the final boarding instructions. “Please turn off all electronic devices …” Suddenly she felt her phone buzzing in her suit pocket. A quick glance at the screen told her it was her husband. Why would he call? Had something happened? She could barely understand him. He was laughing and crying at the same time, “Honey! We won, WE WON THE LOTTERY! I don't know exactly how much right now but we're set for LIFE!” She wanted to run off the plane and start her new life, but the attendant had just closed the door and the plane was beginning to taxi. The attendant was now quickly heading her way with her eye on her phone. She did not want to create a spectacle so she quickly gave her love to her new hero and turned it off.

What a difference a moment makes in people's lives. Just a few minutes ago, the future looked bleak. Now, she had some serious planning to do. She decided to make the presentation. She owed it to her team. She would not practice her proposal anymore. She was confident that it was the best program for them and if they didn't want to do it right now, she would help them implement it later. The pressure was off. They didn't have to say yes, and now she was no longer tied to their decision.

She decided to spend the time planning her future. She wasn't the type of person to just retire. She would certainly spend more time with her family, and would volunteer at the local literacy center that had always been one of her interests.

She decided to stay in her business but run it differently. She would work only with clients who really appreciated what she could create for them. She would change her workday to accommodate her children's schedule so she would no longer miss any more moments in the precious time left with them. She came to the realization that winning the lottery had allowed her to retire. But she was not thinking specifically of the beach or the golf course. Rather her new life allowed her to do what she had always wanted to do in all areas of life. With her world in order and having control of her future, she drifted off into a peaceful sleep.

It was the best presentation she ever made. The executives nodded enthusiastically as she presented what was best for their company's present circumstances. They actually were planning how to implement her plan before she concluded. At the conclusion of her presentation, she found herself in a whirlwind of activity. Her clients wanted her to run the project and had plans for future work. Her head was spinning with the possibilities. It was a large contract that would have made her future secure even without the life-changing lottery windfall. Her newfound business partners drove her to the airport in their stretch limo and took care of all the flight arrangements. She had a lot to think about on the plane ride home. She was already living a different life. This was going to be fun!

On the flight out, the plane was crowded and most of the passengers kept to themselves. On the flight back, people were smiling and in open conversation. Her travel companions were talkative, quite interesting, and remarkably in businesses that were interested in how her company could help them. Where were they yesterday when she really needed them?

As the plane touched down, she was on the edge of her seat imagining running into her husband's arms and celebrating their new life together. It was just as she imagined; they were laughing and crying as they hugged each other. She pulled back to arms' length and before he could speak, she told him that her day wasn't so bad either. She excitedly explained that she had just sold the largest contract in the history of her business. With this news, she was surprised that his smile grew even larger. He looked deeply into her eyes and with a loving joy told her that they had not won the lottery. It had all been a ploy to put her in the proper state of mind. He had only wanted to remind her what prosperity and abundance felt like. He knew that she would be at her best when she was assured of their future.

What happens when we change our minds?

Our perception of the world improves when we expect the best of others. If we spend our energy in negative areas, we will soon run out of emotional capital. When we see abundance all around us, there is a sense of being centered. This creates a state of mind where we can literally make ourselves the center of attraction (abundance). We can see a world of lack or abundance according to our viewpoint. The reader may question whether this woman was fooled by her husband. Reread the story from the emotion of abundance and you will see that she was always surrounded by prosperity. It was only in the changing of her emotions that her world changed.

The real world is how we perceive it. Don't wait for the “lottery” — change your world today.

Brian Beirl, DDS, graduated from Marquette dental school in 1975, and served in the Air Force until 1978. He is now enjoying his 29th year of private practice in Seminole, Fla., focusing on restorative dentistry and achieving naturally esthetic results based on evidence-based occlusal principles. Dr. Beirl has been an active visiting faculty member at the Pankey Institute for 21 years and a clinical instructor for the University of Florida graduate program. He is currently president of the Academy of Pankey Scholars, a member of the American Equilibration Society, and a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry. He is also a member of the American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, and West Coast Dental Association. In addition to being published in national and state dental journals, Dr. Beirl coaches and consults with numerous dental practices throughout the country. You may visit his consulting Web site at www.brianbeirl.com.

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