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Have you ever thought about how you want to be remembered? What will those who know you best remember most about you? Perhaps you greet everyone with a smile and cheery hello, or maybe you look for the good in any situation. Whatever your gift may be, it is uniquely yours. It is your purpose. Robert F. Kennedy said “The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.”

We all have a purpose that we can and should use to help create a positive difference in the lives of those around us. Some are greater than others, but all equally important. Working in the dental field all of these years, has shown me my purpose. I am a people person. I like to listen and communicate with others in a way that lets them know that they are important. Not everyone likes or wants to do this, and that’s ok. They have other talents or gifts that help them to make a difference. The purpose itself is not what is important, it is that you use it in a positive way that helps others that matters most.

We live in a society that places a high value on things. We define success by what we have, and unfortunately not by what have given back. Therefore, we sometimes think it’s not what we do that is important, but how rather much we make for doing it. “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give,” Winston Churchill. An ideal that has been forgotten by some as we do less and expect more – more money, more stuff, more everything. That is why now, more than ever, it is important to find our purpose and use it to make a difference in everything that we do, especially our careers.

I recently hired a front office coordinator. During the interview process what impressed me the most about her was her desire to really help the patients. She knew what had to be done in a busy practice, but what she focused on was making sure that the patients had a great experience and understood what their treatment was and how the dental team could help them have access to the best dental care possible. She illustrated this to me when she told me about previous experiences in dental practices. Stories that proved she could handle daily tasks and difficult situations. It was those qualities that helped make my decision to hire her so incredibly easy. It is a decision that I have not regretted.

I have heard it said that “Life is short.” Here’s an alternative to this phrase, it’s not the length of time we have that matters it’s what we do with the time we are given.  So once again I ask the question, what will those who know you best remember most about you?  Will they remember all of the stuff, or will they remember what you did and how you made them feel?  I challenge you to focus on your purpose and encourage you to work to make a difference, not a dollar, and see if you aren’t more successful than you ever thought possible.

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