Don't Overestimate What You Can Achieve
In this episode I want to tackle a quote by Bill Gates that’s made a big impact on how I look at different things in life. The quote goes something like this – “People overestimate what can be done in one year and underestimate what can be done in a decade.”
To me this means that a lot of us are impatient, myself included. We are very impatient with our goals and with what we want to achieve. We’re always hungry to get things done quickly. Unfortunately, this can lead to burnout, dissatisfaction and loss of motivation. It can also lead to failures that some of us may not be able to bounce back from and a lack of desire to get better at things.
Looking at this from a dentist’s perspective, the message here is that you need to be patient with learning new things or adding procedures to your clinical tool set. It takes time to get mastery. So if you are a fresh graduate and you’re interested in mastering certain procedures, whether it’s surgical dentistry, cosmetic dentistry or orthodontics, be patient with it. You’re not going to become an expert on every topic in a single year. When you fast forward and look at the potentially incremental growth you can have over a decade, you’ll realize that you can be a much better clinician if you have a long-term outlook on growth and learning.
Does this apply only to dentistry?
These principles can, similarly, be applied to other things. For example, if you’re new to investing or new to running, you can’t just go to the gym once and expect to see results, or triple your money with one investment. It takes time. Investments take time, getting fit takes time, learning a skill takes time. And I think that this quote is really important in today’s day and age where most of us millennials are used to instant gratification in whatever we do. If we’re going to play the long game, we need to be patient and focus on incremental growth year after year. I think we are seriously underestimating what we can accomplish in ten years.
To leave you with a thought today, look back to where you are today compared where you were ten years ago. Most of you were in high school or undergrad, and dreaming of getting into dental school or clearing dental school. Look at everything you have accomplished over the last ten years. And if you’re able to apply the same growth trajectory to the next ten years too, then think of all the things you can accomplish moving ahead!
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That’s it for today and I’ll see you next week!