By Michael Schuster, DDS
Problem solving is NOT creating. Creating is NO problem.
Problem solving is taking action to eliminate something. Creating is taking action to cause something to come into existence.
Dentists have been classically trained to solve problems. When you develop a primary life orientation to problem solve, you may work hard but never achieve what you really want. At best, problem solving brings temporary relief from a specific situation, but it seldom, if ever, leads to success.
You can only get what you really want through a creative process.
A major problem
Medical and dental science is not a method of creating health. Rather it is a discipline dedicated to eradicating disease. Newer trends in the field may consider health as a goal of dental science, but so far dentists and doctors do not make the profound distinction between alleviating disease and creating health.
Problem solving doesn't enable you to create what you want, and often perpetuates more of what you don't want. Most dentists who have tried to adopt a problem-solving approach eventually give up. They stop trying to improve, even if they had the energy to improve before.
In a great small book called "The Dip," by Seth Godin, the author states that there are few at the top because the majority quit. I suggest that the reason so many do not reach their potential is because they are in a "problem-solving orientation."
Those in a "creative orientation" are busy expending their energy and resources to create what matters most to them. The creative process is a predictable and reliable process.
Imagine the negative energy associated with expending energy, time, and money to make a problem go away. Imagine the positive energy associated with expending energy, time, and money to bring something into existence that you deeply care about.
No matter what your problems are, for the most part problem solving won't solve them. You will always have a new problem if you don't know how to create what you really want. And creating is no problem.
Problem solving wears you out. Creating gives you new energy every day. The major problem is that most people know what they don't want, but they don't know what they really, really want.
The single major difference between what we do at the Schuster Center and what everyone else does is that every one of our clients moves from a problem-solving orientation to a creative orientation. When this occurs, a more positive and energized world opens up.
• You have to believe you are worth a better life.
• You have to want to be better, to improve.
• You have to want to become a more fully complete, alive, whole human being.
You begin to see that as you treat parts of people and problem solve with your patients every day, you become distressed and fragmented yourself. If you look in the mirror and are really honest with yourself, you will see, as I saw in myself 40 years ago, that I allowed my patients to lead me into a problem-solving, reactive approach to dentistry, and I ended up sick myself.
Creating is not only practice enhancing, it is life enhancing. Creating transforms lives. Creating enhances lives. Creating brings people to life.
Imagine practicing for 30 years without the satisfaction of creating what you really, really want in life. Imagine the needless frustration that so many have. Could this be the reason that the majority of dentists don't have a business plan, a financial plan, or a life plan? Could this be because they are reactors, not creators?
Could this be the reason that 95% of dentists will never be able to truly retire? Based on nearly 40 years of working one-on-one with dentists, I believe this is the reason that in spite of grossing $30M plus in their lifetime, only 5% of dentists can afford to retire on $200,000 or more per year.
Could this be the reason why there is so much piecework dentistry? Could it be because dentists are problem solvers and reactors, not creators? If you answer this question for yourself and you choose to become the dominant creative force in your life, your life and practice will change for the better.
Imagine a life of positive, affirming energy and activities. Imagine the difference this will make in the quality of your life.
A practicing dentist, Michael Schuster, DDS, founded the Schuster Center in 1978. Guiding thousands of graduates to achieve wealth and freedom, the Schuster Center is the first business school created exclusively for dentists. Dr. Schuster is a cadre and former director at the Pankey Institute, and adjunct faculty at the Dawson Center, OBI, and LSU Cosmetic Continuum. He can be reached at (800) 288-9393, www.SchusterCenter.com, or [email protected].