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No pressure, no diamonds


Dr. Rich Mounce offers some gems on reaching goals

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

—Theodore Roosevelt, 1910

Over the years, more than a few times, clinicians and non-clinicians alike have told me how much they would like do something (personally or professionally), and subsequently, then have given me all the reasons why they can’t. A commonality in these conversations is that the individual cannot connect every dot between starting the endeavor and finishing with dazzling success.  Because they won’t take the first step or alternatively only take safe baby steps, little of substance is achieved. In essence, these people know what they want, but the doing is stalled by doubt, fear, apathy, and a lack of inertia.

Pressure makes diamonds. Nothing worth having comes easily. No pressure means no diamonds.

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we would individually and collectively assess our strengths, weaknesses, passions, opportunities, and formulate a plan, moving forward as though no force on heaven and earth could stop us? I believe so. Aside from the gains of achieving our goals, we avoid the pain of inaction.

I was once an avid cave diver. When first diving, I had no idea that technical (cave) diving existed. One thing led to another, and what began as a quest to dive competently on shipwrecks led me into cave diving.

Training was difficult, but quitting was never an option. I knew if I quit, it could easily become an excuse for quitting in other realms of my life. Perseverance paid off, as the most beautiful things I have seen in my life are in the caves I explored with my dive guide Brian Kakuk in the Bahamas (BahamasUnderground.com). Ultimately, pushing through the barriers was more than worth it.

Forming MounceEndo.com, my endo-dontic supply company, had much the same origin. We set out initially to have four individual products; we are now dealers for seven vendors and sell thousands of endodontic products, some globally. One initial phone call has led to a successful business that is growing exponentially and become an abundant blessing.

If you could do anything in your practice and personal life, without limits, what would they be? What is stopping you? Can people achieve what they set their minds to?  Perhaps naively and optimistically, I believe, the answer is almost universally, “yes.”

God gave us great gifts, often only waiting to be used. Failure is guaranteed if we don’t try. And should we fail, I agree with Teddy Roosevelt, at least we have the satisfaction of knowing we did our best, unlike the critics.

How is this done? Reflection, a blank piece of paper, dreaming without limits and writing down all the steps needed to move forward, and taking the first one — never easy, but immeasurably better than the alternatives.

The journey is never straight, and abundant opportunities will present themselves disguised in the form of problems and challenges along the way. Once challenges are met, confidence, capability, and strength grow. How easy was your first root canal? Where are you now? Could you not use this same approach to achieve your purpose?

I challenge you to find your bliss one step at a time — take the first one with resolve, confidence, and expectancy. You have greatness in you. Be an example to those around you, especially your children, so show them what gifts and dreams you have in you by taking the first step.

I welcome your feedback.

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