Editor's note: The power of small wins

Oct. 23, 2017
Edie Gibson, RDH, notes how the focus on career goals is a series of small wins.

Every day, do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow. —Doug Firebaugh

Editor Edie Gibson, RDH, MS

Do you ever feel like that little red squirrel, scurrying from one branch to the next, eyes frantically darting, seemingly totally distracted? Sometimes I do! If we stop and think about that squirrel, is he really distracted or unclear on what he is doing? Not. His sole purpose is to gather food and stay alive. Nothing comes between his mission. He does what Greg McKeown discusses in his book called “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.” He pursues less for better.

When I was in high school, I ran with the “wrong crowd” for a few years (fun but way wrong) until my junior year. I woke up and remembered that I was going to be a dental hygienist and I had better get my act together. I removed all obstacles that stood in my way of that goal. I pursued my school work, secured a position in a dental practice, and was accepted into to Ferris State University. Years later, a friend from “that crowd” reached out to me and complimented me on shifting my life and accomplishing my goal.

What is your goal for your dental hygiene career? I encourage you to think deeply about this and set a course to get there. Do you want to be in clinical for your entire career? I suggest considering technologies that will help keep your body healthy, such as loupes, headlamp, saddle stool, and good instruments. Do you want to move into public health? Start volunteering and pursue a degree in public health. Do you want to be a speaker? Find a mentor that is already on the podium. You will hit bumps along the way and maybe even land in Dr. Seuss’s “Hakken-Kraks Howl” for a short period of time, like I did in high school. Don’t fret! Keep the pace and stay focused.

Progress lies in the power of small wins. Pursue your path with reckless abandon. Remove the obstacles that prevent you from that pursuit and don’t be afraid to step back and reevaluate if you start feeling overwhelmed. Check in with your mentor or accountability partner for a “gut check” to get you back on track. Remember, less is better.

Cherish that thought and…

Go out and MAKE it a great day!
Edie Gibson, RDH, MS
[email protected]