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February 14, 2022

Footballer Kicks and Slaps His Cat

Kurt Zouma is an English footballer who plays for West Ham United.

Recently, Kurt thought it would be funny to film himself drop-kicking and slapping his cat before uploading it to social media.

Unsurprisingly, people were outraged by what they saw. They asked for Kurt’s head on a stick. They wanted him to be fined, fired and jailed.

What he did was cruel – horrifically cruel – and very hard to forgive.

Yet, Kurt did apologise and express remorse and regret.

He was fined £250,000 (2 weeks wages) by his club.

The cats were taken away for treatment and protection.

Now – should he be forgiven?

I don’t know. I’m not in a position to preach forgiveness.

But I do know that he made a MISTAKE…

… and that we ALL make mistakes.

No, our mistakes aren’t usually as horrid as kicking cats.

But they are mistakes nonetheless.

In fact, mistakes are a normal and important part of the goal attainment process.

In his best-selling book, Psycho-Cybernetics, Dr Maxwell Maltz taught that human beings have a built-in goal seeking mechanism.

Like a homing pigeon, when we give our brain a target, our subconscious mind helps us move toward the destination automatically.

As we begin to move – to take action – we learn by making mistakes.

The mistakes provide negative feedback so we can change direction and continue moving forward.

What this tells us is that mistakes are natural – not something to fear or respond to negatively.

Mistakes are to be embraced as useful information we can use to achieve the results we want in our lives.

So how does this apply to running, growing and enjoying a dental practice?

Well, you begin by deciding what you really want from your practice.

Then clearly determine where you are now in relation to that result.

Once you know the destination and your starting point, you can figure out how to get from A to B (your action steps).

In my experience, the big end result goal can be really overwhelming.

Therefore, it can be helpful to convert it into a DAILY goal.

This is something you decide to do every day (or every work day) that you know will get you from A to B, one step and one day at a time.

Here’s the process in a nutshell:

  1. Decide what you really want
  2. Get a grasp on your current reality
  3. Take action to get from A to B
  4. Make mistakes and correct course
  5. Don’t jam your creative mechanism

The last step means relaxing, breathing and visualising as you go – rather than getting stressed, tense, and worried about failing (hat tip to Matt Furey for teaching me this).

My overall point is this: mistakes are a critical part of human nature.

Don’t fear them; embrace them.

Take action, make mistakes and correct course.

I teach this to members of Practice Builders all the time – and the process is also the framework I use to help my clients get from where they are to where they want to be.

One final point: the hardest part is getting started.

If you have no idea what to work on next to develop your dental practice, my 5 Day New Patient Challenge is a good place to start.

It’s free, it’s easy, and it’s very effective – IF you’ll take the first step:


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