Energized or Burned Out


For some people, being in practice for 20, 30, or 40 years burns them out. Actually I have found that it is usually less than 20 years, but they stay in practice until they can find something else to do (like be a practice management consultant or go on the speaking circuit.) Others can be in practice that long or longer and still be energized, still want to keep going like the famous bunny. So what’s the difference? I think one reason is that for some chiropractic is a job, a profession, a livelihood. For others it’s something else entirely. Telling people about chiropractic is not a chore, it’s a thrilling assignment. Are you excited every day about the possibility that someone will walk into your office and want to know what chiropractic is and what it can do for them? They may eagerly desire to learn about chiropractic or they may have a passing interest in what they see as an alternative approach. Actually, it really does not matter which desire they have or how strong it is. The important thing is what you desire and that depends upon how you view sharing chiropractic and your relationship to it.

Do you see yourself as a servant, a person with the responsibility of serving humanity by offering a unique service that they cannot get anywhere else? There are a lot of service professions. Even those in the public sector are referred to as “public servants.” Very few view them as that. In fact most of them are seen as self-serving and very few are held in high esteem by those they are supposed to serve.

Do you see yourself as someone sent out on a mission? One of the problems with most chiropractic educational institutions is that they no longer see their graduates as people sent out to impact the world. They are first taught to “do no harm” and that’s the message that seems to stay with them. We have appropriated the CYA of defensive medicine. Some chiropractors actually dread seeing new practice members. They consider them as possible litigants. They will see them because they know the alternative is to starve in practice, but they do not see them with the enthusiasm necessary to convey the excitement of chiropractic. Do you see yourself as someone set apart? Or do you see yourself as part of the mainstream of health care, another member of the “team?” I would suggest if that is all you see in what you do, you will never reach the levels that you were meant to. That brings us to another important point.

Do you see your role as a chiropractor as a solemn obligation? To whom much is given, much is expected. Now for those of you who have never learned about chiropractic, never heard or grasped the big idea of opening up the channels of communication between the innate intelligence of the body and the tissues in which it resides, you probably have not been given much, so very little is expected. But for those of you who realize the impact of what you do as a chiropractor, much is expected. You have an obligation to communicate the importance of your service to as many people as you come in contact with, especially those who come to you for care. While this is an obligation, it is far from a burden. After all, how could it be a burden to pass on something really good, to communicate information to people that can only leave them better off than they were.

Being a chiropractor is a privilege, one that every day I feel more honored to possess. I feel very sorry for you if it is not that for you. This life is relatively short and to do something other than that which is special and adds to the lives of human beings is a waste of talent and the waste of a gift. If you truly understand what it is you do then you, like me, can rejoice in the life that you lead and the task, the obligation and the privilege that you possess. Congratulations! V25n1

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