Thanksgiving. Of all of the holidays, this is absolutely one of my favorites. Do you know why?
I believe that showing gratitude at every opportunity is one of THE most important things you can do. I believe it’s important for your relationships with your staff, your friends, your family, and your patients. I think that gratitude is one of the most underrated, and under PRACTICED habits in the world… Particularly in our culture.
Think about how many good things we receive on a daily basis. Water. Food. Warmth. Somewhere to sleep… And those are just the basics! The list goes on and on.
Even MORE importantly, think about the other things that people do that make your life good on a daily basis… Things that we often forget to even notice! Your staff works hard to make your Practice successful, just as my staff works hard to make my company successful— so that we can keep helping doctors like you to become more successful and impactful.
Think about your regular patients, and how they help make your life better. Think about your New Patients. They are the lifeblood of your Practice! I know I say this all the time, but you would be NOTHING without them. Are you remembering to thank them?
Now think about your family. Your parents, that took the time and energy to raise you and hopefully give you a happy, comfortable childhood. Your kids, and the excitement they bring to your life. Your spouse, and the little things they do for you on a daily basis— even something as simple as washing the dishes or picking up your dry cleaning!… It’s crazy how much we have to be thankful for, but then, why don’t we SAY it more often? Why don’t we SHOW it more often?
A few months ago, my daughter and my wife were having a heated argument. I tried to calm them both down and figure out what the heck was going on, but you know how these things go… Neither one of them were making much sense and both were getting louder and louder and more upset! Finally my wife told me that my daughter, Annabelle, was angry because of how much water we were asking her to drink every day.
Very calmly, I went up to Annabelle’s room and asked her to write down a list of all the unfair things we asked of her… All of the chores that she just didn’t think she should have to put up with. I wait downstairs with my wife for about five minutes…
Annabelle comes out of her room laughing, and looking kind of sheepish. “Well?” I asked. “You ask me to do three things…” she said. “You ask me to put my clothes from where the maid folds them on the dresser into a drawer. You ask me to eat healthy foods, and you ask me to drink lots of water.” And then she just busts out laughing. You know why?
Because she realized her life was GOOD. She realized that her complaints were ridiculous. She is so lucky to have a mom and dad that care about her health, and she has very few chores!
Sometimes, adults are the same way. Don’t go around whining like a baby about your “cash flow problems” or your new building, because guess what? You HAVE cash flow. You HAVE a new building. These aren’t real problems!!! You are acting just like a child. You have so much to be thankful for, but instead you are focusing on the tiny things you have to do to get all this good stuff. You don’t want to have to put in the work to get the reward. And let me tell you something— that’s NOT how life works!
So this week, in honor of Thanksgiving, let’s START building a habit. Don’t use Thanksgiving as a once-a-year time to be grateful; let’s start practicing gratitude every single day. Thank your staff for working hard. Thank them with your words, with incentives, with contests or bonuses—whatever it takes! Thank your patients for choosing your office. Thank your family and your friends for loving you, and making you a part of their lives.
We need to remember how lucky we all are, and make gratitude a lifestyle… Not just a holiday.
Until next time,