Passion and Values in Dentistry – PDP014

I am joined again by one of the most passionate people I know, Dhru Shah!

He also helped me with Episode 3 – Transitioning to Private Dentistry which is one of the most listened to episodes on my podcast.

  • What drives you?
  • How you can be more engaged as a Dentist?
  • What are your values and how it is relevant to your career?
  • Where and how you can develop passion for Dentistry – the best thing is that it answers a burning question I get asked a lot – ‘Jaz you’ve done a lot of courses, which one should I do next?’ – Dhru talks about a system where you need your day list and a highlighter to figure that out yourself
  • How can we get more Dentists in a state of Flow

As promised in the podcast, do check out Scott Jeffrey’s Value Discovery System and be sure to get your family and staff involved!

For the video teaser of the podcast:

Click below for full episode transcript:

Episode Teaser: If your mind has been conditioned by external sources where people have put fear, fear of litigation, the word GDC, all these things into your brain, that challenge, that anxiety becomes worse.

[Jaz] What drives you? How can you be more engaged as a dentist? What are your values and how is it relevant to your career? As you know, by the theme of the things I’m saying, I am joined today by one of the most passionate people I know. He did episode three for me, which was transitioning to private dentistry.

And it was a fantastic episode, very well received. Probably one of the most listened to episodes I have. And I think it’s such a great thing for young dentists to listen to. So, we had grew back. Now we’re talking about your values as a dentist and what motivates you and motivation in general. This isn’t just for those people in a dark place.

In our profession, there’s so much negativity around us. For sure, these people will benefit. But if you’re already passionate, you just have those final missing pieces in the puzzle, then this, I hope, will solve that for you. Because one of the things that we discussed is the importance of your values and how you can go through a values discovery process.

And I’ll share with you how me and Dhru, which we didn’t even know he did it that way. And I did it a certain way and it turns out we did it the same way. So independently, we use the same tool, if you like, which is part of my Protrusive Dental Pearl, which I’ll come on to in a moment. What me and Dhru cover here is how can you develop and sustain your passion for your profession, which is dentistry?

And another great thing that came out of this recording with Dhru is that it answers a burning question that I get asked a lot. Which is, Jaz, you’ve been on a lot of courses, I’ve seen your photos, which course should I do next? And just using a highlighter and your day list, Dhru will discuss a system for you to use, so that you can answer that question in a bespoke way for you, in a customised way, so that it benefits you as a clinician, as a dentist, the most.

One of the themes here is also, how can we get more dentists in a state of flow? And we discussed what that, what we mean by flow as well. I’d stick around until the end of the podcast because it sort of ends with my own values. I share with you my own values after going through the values discovery process, I’ll share with you.

And then my wife actually calls me to tell me that our baby’s crying and I had to sort of attend to that. So we sort of ended this podcast abruptly in a way. I mean, we didn’t really come to a conclusion because of that reason. But to fast it’s, it’s actually good the way it worked out.

Protrusive Dental Pearl
Otherwise, we could have spoken for hours, and no one wants that. Okay, so the Protrusive Dental Pearl for today is to do a values discovery process. This is important not just for you as a dentist, as a professional. But this is important for your life. If you’re not in tune with your values, how do you know that you’re living your life to its best potential?

How do you know that the decisions you make in life are congruent with your values? So, I learned that a while ago and I sort of went on a mission to really learn more about myself discovery. So I came across a chap called Scott Jeffries and I found his seven step method for values discovery. And I found out through a podcast that actually Dhru also spoke about Scott Jeffries.

And I was like, oh my god. So we have that in common as well amongst all things. So I put a link on my website page, which is www.jaz.dental on this episode 14 sort of page, and you can download the PDF or Scott Jeffrey’s values discovery process. Do it. In fact, one thing I did as I did, I’ve done a few days at my clinics.

I work out for team meetings and huddles. I’ve actually given it to all the staff. I’ve tried to persuade the staff to learn their own values. And it’s a great little exercise to do with your team, actually. So I would highly recommend that.

Thanks again for joining me. Your previous episode, Transition to Private, which was the third episode in the podcast, was actually one of the most successful episodes we’ve had, so I’m really, really pleased to have you back on, on the podcast, so thanks so much for joining me again.

[Dhru] Thank you very much, actually, for inviting me again. I think you’re, we were the third people to do it, but your podcast has really captured the minds and hearts of listeners.

[Jaz] That’s partly down to you, Dhru, honestly, so your episode really helped to boost it because that was a very big topic and I still get people on Instagram messaging me and they came onto my page after listening to that, that episode with you because they were interested in career progression, if you like in dentistry.

And so the reason why you’re here today though, is we want to speak about motivation. We want to speak about morale in dentistry. What else do you want to speak about in this episode?

[Dhru] I think that’s a big key for me actually motivation and understanding is what I want to talk about because from that. Let’s look at this way that what we want to talk about is to answer the common questions people ask which is either through I’ve lost motivation in dentistry.

What are the career can I choose? Or they’ll go to you, Jaz. What courses can I select? I don’t know what course to go on. I’m thinking of going on a year MSc program, which people have done.

[Jaz] I literally had that, like, yesterday. A message from a young lady. And, yeah, I mean, I get that to a small scale. And I know for a fact that you get that to, in your team at Tubules, get that to a monumental scale.

Because you don’t, I know for a fact that you get messages along that vein about what should I do for my next step? People are confused. In terms of career progression, but I know that you get quite, dare I say, dark messages, revealing a lot of, sort of

[Dhru] I think we, people are very trusting, I guess.

[Jaz] Yeah, people trust, and, absolutely. That you obviously create a very trusting persona as tubules. So people can trust you with sensitive information. So the sensitive information that you have and you kept and you keep secret continually is good, but a very special insight.

[Dhru] Which is a very, I mean, that’s where I kind of put it too, because what happened is, I mean, the talk on failure and fear that I did last year got thousands, 10, 15, 000 views across the web.

But more importantly, what that made me think. We’ll say there’s a certain cohort of people coming to Tubules, and some people, so one group of people used to say that, the 250 per year subscription fee is very low, Dhru, you should bump it up, 500, 700. And another group of people saying, why are you eight times more expensive?

Now, that means they were probably valuing it at 30 or whatever it is. It’s the same product, it’s the same price, it’s the same website, it’s the same education community, it’s the same study clubs. But there were two groups of people. One group who were finding this extremely cheap and one group who were thinking it’s very expensive.

Now, this really set me off on a different pathway to understand the entire behavioral aspects of people, understand neuroscience, understand the psychology of passion at work. All these things. Now I’ve been reading about this and that’s why I sort of told you, let’s do this podcast, as a podcast.

[Jaz] I know, I know, and we all know as Tubules directors that you’ve been on a mission in the last, I’d say eight months, nine months? You’ve always on the mission since the last 10 years.

In this specific bit about what we call engagement at work, because essentially that’s a big part of what we’re talking about. How many dentists or how many people are in generally are engaged in their workplace. I know from the Gallup polls and something that you’ve shared at the Congress as well is about 87 percent of people are not engaged at work. Am I right?

[Dhru] Yeah. I’m not engaged or actively disengaged at work. They basically, they hate their work or they’re a bit worried about it.

[Jaz] This applies to dentistry as well. Let’s assume because we don’t know the exact percentage of the study wasn’t carried out with dentists, but if you assume that-

[Dhru] Informal surveys across three or four dental Facebook groups are informal with just, I’m passionate about work. I just do dentistry for a living. I’d quit today. And there was, so there were four tiers and the two bottom tiers, I would quit dentistry today, or I do dentistry just because I do it actually. At least in 50 percent of dentistry was in that category.

[Jaz] That’s significant because if you take into consideration the Hawthorne effect, the fact that people can see who’s voted for what option, and we always default to make our social media profile to look more positive than, to portray a positive life, the fact that 50 percent still chose a negative option and they were very honest, that’s saying something.

[Dhru] That says it completely. I mean, you’re right. They’re saying something and then you’d move to the, I mean, this sounds a bit down, but you move to the BDJ article where nearly 18 to 20 percent of dentists said mental health challenges. Now, ultimately, this is the challenge. Now, at the other end of the spectrum, there’s you and me, and I’m quite happy to say we’re recording this podcast on a Saturday night

And then I think that’s a different passion. You passion is when you do things cause you’d love, love them and you deeply care about these things. And when you love something so much and you deeply care about it, you’re willing to put that time, energy, effort, whether it’s a Saturday night or a Sunday morning or whatever.

And invariably that motivation is coming intrinsically, not extrinsically. There’s a difference. An extrinsic motivation is something like, I want a big house. I want a big car. Listen, those are good rewards. Those are very good rewards. I’m not going to deride them. But when you use those as your motivators.

Rather than what’s inside you intrinsic, they don’t last for long. And you lose that jet fuel very quickly. And you don’t then stand up at 23, 45 or whatever time I see on my blog at night doing this. You don’t do things like I do where I used to sleep two or three hours a night. I say I used to, cause I’m now at four, but you don’t.

[Jaz] Congratulations, Dhru.

[Dhru] Thank you. And you’ve mentioned this before. You’ve told me this before where you say you’ve used the specific words. When I’m in the flow, I’m doing a filling, I’m doing something in dentistry. I’m in the flow. You’re in the zone.

[Jaz] A hundred percent, Dhru. And this is what we need to talk about as well, that how can we get more dentists to feel like they’re in a state of flow and maybe the name of the person who initially came up with a theory of flow. I once knew it when I did my dental education PG cert. It was like a Mihail something.

[Dhru] His name is Chitsin Mihai and he’s done two excellent books. One of them is called flow. The other one’s called creativity and it is an amazing psychology. Something’s a globally known name. And those are two books I read as well.

And flow happens when your skill set and your knowledge are equivalent to the challenge you’re facing. So if you think about it, if the challenge you’re facing is extremely high and you don’t have the skill set or knowledge to get that challenge, what you get is frustrated or anxious. However, if your skills are higher than the challenge, so the challenge is easy, you get bored very quickly.

[Jaz] So let’s make those examples tangible. So the first one was when the skill set is too difficult. So let’s say you are a dental student, you’re doing your first molar root canal. And you are frustrated as you’re doing it. It’s going to take you five visits, and it’s going to be a stressful event for you, and the time will not go fast.

You’ll keep looking at the clock. Okay, the time maybe will go fast, but it’s basically, you’re not in flow. You’re constantly having to think. You’re constantly in a state of stress. Whereas the other one is, you’re always anxious.

[Dhru] You’re always anxious. Yeah, anxious.

[Jaz] And the other, other extreme is you’re an endodontic specialist and someone’s referred you the most routine, single rooted incisor, sort of a single canal, and maybe you’re sort of just too above this and it’s boring for you. Is that a good example?

[Dhru] It can get boring. Absolutely right. And that’s what it is. And then both of those factors basically are where flow is locked. Now, why do I talk about flow? When your skill, let’s look at the first, when you’re faced with a challenge, when you feel your skills and knowledge, don’t face that challenge.

You think this is too complex. This is when things set in of anxiety. Will I be able to achieve this? Will I not? And as soon as you start thinking on that. If your mind has been conditioned by external sources where people have put fear, fear of litigation, the word GDC, all these things into your brain, that challenge, that anxiety becomes worse, immediately becomes worse. Does that make sense?

[Jaz] Absolutely. It just amplifies all the negative emotions.

[Dhru] It’s not a challenge, there are two things to talk about here and John Demartini says it very well, it’s either you take it as a challenge on the way or a challenge in the way. Now, you want it to be a challenge on the way because you’re on the way to something and this challenge, you have to take it as something that will help you grow, okay, that will help you grow so that you eventually get in the flow.

Now to be able to do that, to be able to get your skills and knowledge to that level, one, you have to be ready to face those challenges without fear. But as soon as, and the second thing here is your mindset has to change. If you keep listening to the fear stories of social media, if you keep listening to people saying, oh, dentistry has big mental health problems, et cetera, what we were talking about as we started this podcast, it’ll embed into your mind.

Don’t focus on those pain points. Focus on the pleasure points. Listen to the people like we have a tubules where people say, I had a challenge, but I’m proud to be a tubules because now I can do this procedure and I can do it confidently because you had number one, you had mentors who could inspire you.

Number two, you had people, high level lecturers or whatever you call it, who showed you what’s possible. So you’re now aiming for what’s possible without thinking of those fear factors. Number three, the third thing I say is your support network. The community you surround yourself with is hugely important.

And I’ll bring in a factor here of neuroscience. It’s called neuroplasticity, right? And I’m not going to go into deep details about it. But as a very surface thing, your brain, structure, function, and chemicals completely change based on the people you hang around with. And the way your body’s neurons fire completely changes based on the people you hang around with.

It’s almost electrical circuits within your body. Now, if you continually hang around those negative fear people what’s going to happen is you’ll keep firing those neurons, which say something goes wrong in a procedure, something becomes a challenge. The neurons you’ll start firing are the fear neurons, but the neurons you want to fire are the neurons that say, it’s okay, this is a phase in my growth, this is a learning cycle.

And you have a community around you that not only inspires you, but supports you. Because your brain structure function, this is neurological scientific stuff that tells you, you will function positively. Does that make sense? So now you’re working on those principles, and you will then say, because you say, I can now take this challenge positively, you will now invest the time, the money, the resource.

Everything needed to educate yourself. And suddenly I realized the people who consider 250 quid cheap at these people who are ready to invest because they realize they have that network around them and they have the knowledge and the skills at their fingertips. because they can get it through either online tribunals or study clubs or whatever.

[Jaz] Absolutely, and the only thing, two things that I can add on to that is, one is something we touched on in the last episode we recorded was that you as a person or even as a dentist are an average of the five people you spend the most time with. I think we touched on that last time and I still very much believe that.

And what is fear? I mean, your talk last year at the Congress about fear and failure was amazing, but fear, an interesting definition of fear. I once read about was fear is a gap in knowledge that you have that where you are and where you need to be. There’s a gap in knowledge. So how you can reduce fear is either gaining more knowledge, upskilling yourself, or doing, or being more prepared for that difficult situation.

And one way of being more prepared is, asking your mentors. And that’s again, the support network. So everything goes around full circle. It’s not just one thing and it’s independently. Everything is connected in what you’re saying.

[Dhru] Yes, absolutely. All this is connected. Now, we will go one step deeper with this. If I tell you, get the right network of people, invest in the right education, these are processes I’m telling you, okay? Processes to say, go and join this study club or go and join this person or talk to this person. That 5 percent of people that surround you and who you become, like I’ve now given you the neuroscience behind it.

I’ve given you the brain changes, et cetera. But those are processes. Now, to engage in a process, you will either engage in that process because somebody else told you to. So I might tell you to engage in that process because it will make you a better dentist, or you will engage in that process because it internally comes from you, right?

That’s important. Now, I engage in that process because it internally comes from me because I know my values. And this is the second part to do, value determination. Values are what people consider important. Values are things that people will do, not only in private, in public, but values are things people will do when nobody’s watching.

So, if I tell you, you’re walking down the road and you see a 10 pound note on the floor. That’s just, I’m just giving an example. Yeah. You might say, actually, I’ve seen that 10 pound, it doesn’t belong to me and your value say, I’ll give it to charity or I’ll give it to the shop next door to tell them this has fallen down.

Can you let them know you’re kind of more altruistic while somebody else might say, huh, finders keepers, right? Put the 10 pound value in the pot and put a 10 pound note in their pocket. So the value propositions of that same scenario for two different people are different. So when you go to dentistry, the first thing to find out is, what are your values?

What do you stand for? My values are simple. I know them. I like to motivate people. I like to help them because I love seeing the best versions of people. So when I go into practice, I have to motivate my patients. That’s probably why I became a periodontist because it was hard to motivate. Someone needing Composite, but it’s lovely motivating people to look after their health.

And it probably dawned on me in the last year after so many years, but what I mean is I now look forward as a clinical periodontist to going to work and thinking, who am I seeing today? Whose life I’m going to uplift? And that uplift is what I, so my value suddenly becomes intrinsic. And because of that intrinsic value, I can now go and drive things forward.

My value in tubules is I want to put that passion into people. I want to motivate them. So that’s why I study and spend time learning neuroscience. Why else would I do it?

[Jaz] Absolutely.

[Dhru] What I’m trying to tell you is internal values make you understand your purpose. Your purpose makes you drive your passion. Once you’ve got that, you will invest the time, the energy to do what is needed. And to do what is needed are the processes we talked about, invest in education, the right community, all that sort of things.

[Jaz] This is really deep, Dhru. This is really deep.

[Dhru] It’s really deep.

[Jaz] I know, this is so true. With values, I mean, what you’re saying is I believe what you’re saying is one of Stephen Covey’s seven habits of highly successful people as well.

[Dhru] That is right.

[Jaz] Value centered. And something I’m always actually explaining to my wife as well, actually, is that, some people, profession centered. That’s a great example you can use, is that some dentists, their identity, their everything, is that when you say hello to them, when a stranger says hello to them, they say, hi, my name is Jaz.

I’m a dentist. And that is your profession centered. So if something was to happen in your profession was to be taken away, that would be the end of your universe. Okay. So, it’s actually far better. It’s far better to be value centered. So I’m totally in agreement with that.

[Dhru] And as more importantly, your values will form your identity. And that’s something true when you talk about that, that’s a link there, because when you live with your values. You do, you engage in behaviors, you engage in doing things and hanging out the people with similar values and that becomes your identity. So when you say I’m a dentist, you’re actually reflecting your values that as a dentist, I like to care for people, I like to give people smiles, whatever it is.

[Jaz] So how can the listeners go away? To actually discover their values. Now I’ve got one exercise that I’ve done before do like a values discovery exercise. Now, before I come onto that, was there anything you were going to suggest to how the listeners can explore their values?

[Dhru] I think one of the best ways to explore your values, I’ve got a list somewhere from a guy called Scott Carson. There are 300 values on there.

[Jaz] Is it Scott Jeffrey?

[Dhru] Scott Jeffrey. Sorry.

[Jaz] Amazing. So that’s exactly what I was going to mention.

[Dhru] Yes.

[Jaz] Perfect. So I’ll put a link on. So guys, I’ll put a link on Scott Jeffrey’s value discovery exercise is amazing. So I’ve done it’s like seven steps to it. Do it with your dental team. And basically you end up coming up with about five or six values that define you. And you sort of almost make like a mission statement about yourself. And I’ve done this. I’m happy to share my values. Everyone at the end today, maybe Drew, you can as well. I might help people that might give them some ideas on how to do it.

[Dhru] My values are very clear and it’s on the, the interview I did, interview with the CEO, which was the opening day of the second congress. Now, more importantly, values also shouldn’t be just about yourself. Like I talked about the three circles that are your values, the values of a bigger system, which is your community, your profession, and then the global value.

But moving on and not just Scott Jeffreys, but John Demartini also is a very good book called the Values Factor. But if somebody really wants to know something, here’s a theory because we’re going to go back and help dental listeners So I’m not going to go deep in values with everything, but here’s something to do. Everyone walks into dental practice every day and you see anything between 10 to 50 patients depending on the environment You are in.

Each patient walks in has a certain procedure that needs doing. It could be an exam, it could be a composite, it could be perio, it could be root canal, whatever it is, right? And secondly, there’s a certain characteristic of that patient. I think this is what people should do. Each dentist should write, make a list of all the patients they see for a week.

Highlight in green the patients they enjoyed seeing. Highlight all the procedures they enjoyed doing. Highlight in amber the procedures that were like blah. They were neither exciting or inspiring. Neither were they boring or demotivating. Highlight in red the procedures that they found were absolutely killing them because they hated them.

Now when you get, just when you start then defining the procedures in green, you will see a theme arising from that. The theme arising will center around two things. The first thing will be all the things, procedures they enjoyed doing. They’ll be very similar. The second theme that rise is they will note that the patients who came in were all of a similar type.

They could be similar type, meaning they’re very talkative patients. There could be a similar type in that these patients were very smiling. There could be a similar type in that these patients were all very nervous. Now, what you’re beginning to find is procedures and the type of patients you enjoy.

Look at the reds. Those are things that are being challenging for you. They’ll be challenging for two reasons. Reason number one, because you absolutely hate them. Reason number two, what we talked about before, because your skills and knowledge haven’t reached that point. Does that make sense?

[Jaz] Yeah. There’s a gap in the knowledge.

[Dhru] Between that red and green, the things you enjoy are the courses you should build your strengths on. On the red part, forget the things you don’t enjoy, but the red bits where you think, actually I would enjoy this, but my skills and knowledge are short, are the other courses you look at.

[Jaz] Do you mean Amber? You said red, but do you mean Amber, right?

[Dhru] Red. Red, actually. The red ones are the ones you hated. You hated them because, either you hate them because you don’t like that procedure, or you actually enjoy that procedure, but they were challenging. You highlight them as red because they were challenging because you were, your skills were not up to that level. So you hated something because you didn’t achieve the optimal result you would have loved to achieve. Right. Does that make sense?

[Jaz] So you’re suggesting for the green things to go on further courses to improve on your strengths and? For the red parts to go on courses to improve on the weakest element of your system

[Dhru] Yeah. So the red part where you know, red parts are two types. The first one is you hate it and you say, forget it. The second one is actually enjoy this, but I just don’t know why I can’t get better. That means you now need skills and knowledge to improve this area. The embers are blah. The embers are basically neither going to demotivate or demotivate you.

So I wouldn’t worry about the embers. Look at the two green and red. Look at the two extremes because you will strengthen your strengths with the green and with the red. Where you actually want to improve but have a gap, it’ll strengthen your weaknesses.

[Jaz] I think that’s amazing and I think everyone who may be feeling as though they’re disengaged at work and you’re looking to find, to know which courses to do. This is a great way to, to look at your sort of your workflow and the kind of dentistry you’re doing and where you should be heading in the future. Do this exercise, get yourself some green, amber and red highlighters and do it to find out the answers. So that’s a really great way to do it through.

[Dhru] Yeah, I think, and I’ve just actually, I’ve recently helped a few dentists go through this process.

[Jaz] And how did they find it?

[Dhru] It’s very interesting. Absolutely brilliant. I go through a lot of emails, we do a little bit of value determination, a little bit of what they enjoy, daily life, then we go to amber green in practice as well. We do a lot of exercises. One of the most interesting things that comes out of this is dentists who had orthodontic courses.

Suddenly realized actually the best part of the dentistry, they love the special care dentistry and they’ve now enrolled in sedation courses because there’s a complete dichotomy there. And people, it goes back to what we said in the first podcast. There are two things you do in life. Only two things motivate you, running away from pain or moving towards pleasure.

And a lot of people run away from pain. I hate dentistry. I’m scared. I want to quit. Yes, that’s fine. But elastic, you’ll bounce back. Go towards pleasure. What do you want to move towards? You’ll be more driven to go in that direction than because you know where you’re headed. And what the Red Ember Green System does, it helps you define that.

What’s your end goal? And you will head in that direction. And that’s what we want. Now, if you look at passionate people, passionate people share very specific characteristics. Number one, they have goals and values. That’s what we help create. Number two, because they have their goals and values, they know where they’re going and they know their purpose.

They will invest time in it for education and invest time in building the right network of people. That’s what we talked about. Now when you start building that, you’re actually motivated and you invest time in knowledge, in increasing your skills, meeting the right people. Suddenly you build an identity around that.

That’s the third thing passionate people have. The fourth thing then they end up having is that flow, that emotion. Because they get into flow state, and because they’re doing all this, automatically these people find the right environment, i. e. the right practices. So, it’s a process that people follow too, and you don’t look for the right practice, the right practice will find you.

[Jaz] Yeah, very much.

[Dhru] And that is why you suddenly realize some of the dentists only end up in this process. And a perfect example for me coming to my head is Harmeet, Harmeet Kuruval, who now runs the tubules rubber dam courses. And I know I big him up fair, a lot of times, but Harmeet was treadmilling in an NHS practice and really frustrated.

And he kind of went through this process and he met me and he looked at tubules and he found inspirational cases and he said I can achieve this and start building his goals and now he’s ended up in a practice and has a practicing life where he can achieve and do the best industry he can. Without any sort of barriers and fences around him.

[Jaz] That’s amazing. And what a top guy and a great educator as well. So that’s a good success story like many others within a tubules has set up. And I know you’ve helped a lot of dentists in that similar vein.

[Dhru] Yeah, but I think it’s using these systems because you do that, you become so motivated. And you drive yourself forward. In fact, this evening, we’ve had another discussion. Somebody was asking about CPD and what platform should I use? And I said, look, it depends what you want to get out of it. If you want compliance, tick box CPD, there’s a million things that can achieve that for you. What CPD should be is your continuing professional development?

So you’re investing in your education to help yourself because the more you learn, the more you will learn. That’s the way I look at things. You there?

[Jaz] Yeah. Yep. Yep.

[Dhru] That’s a lot of food for thought. I can, I feel some neurons are firing in your brain at this point. So yeah, that’s what I think is important for people to identify their passion and then go on the right courses for that.

And if they do that, I think they will suddenly find everything else starts falling into place. And stop listening to the negative voices. We know there are problems, but the more times you talk about the pink elephant, the more times you can construct that pink elephant in your brain. And that pink elephant then stays in your brain.

Does that make sense? Don’t keep listening and talking about fear, litigation, etc. It’s there. It’s not going to go. Start thinking about the blue elephant, the good things in your brain, because your brain will see the good things and focus on the good things.

[Jaz] So surround yourself with positivity around positive people in our profession with a positive ethos so that you can construct positive neuron signals to sort of have more better thoughts and pursue your passion.

And you can do your, the exercise that you described to help find out what it is that you need to do next. And I once read that passion is the opposite of burnout. So, and then some people disagree with me when I say this and I respect that, but I feel as though. You’re way less likely to burn out and burn out something that we all should be aware about, but you’re way less likely to burn out, if you’re incredibly passionate about something.

If you’re working like I used to be working in three different practices, I drive 50 miles to go to Oxford and 50 miles back and people tell me Jaz, you’re crazy. I mean, that’s a lot of commuting you’re doing. Yes. Fair enough. I cut down on practice. Now we had a baby and stuff like that.

But at the time when I was doing all that, I didn’t feel burnt out because I feel as though pursuing my passion and I was very, I was in flow. Most days I go to work and then finish the day with a, whoa, where’d that day go today? It’s the procedures I enjoy doing with patients. I enjoy treating in an environment that was conducive to excellence. So that for me was perfect. So I did not feel the sort of the presence of burnout because I feel passion is an antidote for that.

[Dhru] I think I’m going to put something small there. I mean, first of all, don’t tell those people about commute about me because I used to commute to Belfast and back fly there. But that beside the point, passion can go to burnout. If you become obsessed, Robert Valerand is the the psychologist who’s done a lot of work on this. There are two types of passion. There’s obsessive passion. There’s a harmonious passion.

[Jaz] I don’t know anything about this. So yeah, go on. Tell me about these two types of passion.

[Dhru] Obsessive passion and harmonious. And the best way to explain it is that harmonious passion are people who are passionate because intrinsically motivated, but they also know where to put the brakes on, and the obsessive passionate, which I was probably was for a big part of my last 10 years. You don’t know where to put the brakes on.

You go, you just keep going intensely. You keep flowing. Now that happens because you’re kind of driven by different motivational factors and everything like that. So passion doesn’t lead to burnout when it’s good, harmonious passion. And that harmonious passion comes when it’s in harmony with your values, with your intrinsic drive, with what you enjoy, because then you’re in flow.

And when you’re not doing it, you’re fine because your brain is saying, I’m not doing this simply because I’m taking a small break. It’s almost like the example is runners, right? You run a marathon and then you take a rest. You don’t keep running and running and running because those muscles will get destroyed.

When you take a rest, those muscles are not just recovering, they’re rebuilding and those muscles are building stronger than they were before. And that is the harmonious passion route. So you go at an intense drive because you know you’re called, but in between there, you take these little breaks and self awareness and harmonious passion can only be achieved if it’s intrinsically driven from within you, which can only be done if you understand your values, the green stuff that you enjoy, and exactly what your focus is.

And you will suddenly be so motivated. You will achieve working three days a week, I earn more money than I used to working six days a week because of this process.

[Jaz] That’s so good. And I love that you gave me another dimension there in terms of the distinction. So I, I felt as though my statement was passion and burnout opposite is that I actually got that from a guy called Grant Cardone, who’s a business guy. And that’s right. He wrote a book about this, be obsessed or be average. But I like-

[Dhru] Obsessed to be average.

[Jaz] That’s it. Be a BOBA. Uncle grand, very American, but I like that. You’ve actually look further into science and come up with some more, dare I say, educational viewpoint. And so that’s a great thing to chase harmonious passion through it being intrinsic with your and coherent with your values. So that’s amazing to do Dhru. Thanks so much.

Before we wrap this up, any other key points? I want to mention one thing about how young dentists and dentists in general view social media, but before I do that, is there anything else that you want to cover?

[Dhru] I think we’ve gone deep into this realistically and a lot of people may find these very challenging thoughts or very complex thoughts. Actually, these are the things dentists need to learn because all we learn is dentistry. You can teach me very good composites. This is the kind of stuff we need to get our head around to get a successful work life balance and a brilliantly passionate career.

[Jaz] So then the only thing I’m going to say then is, dentists, and particularly young dentists on social media, be it on Instagram or Facebook, be very careful not to compare yourself to the person on the other side who’s posting all these amazing cases. It’s so, so easy and I do it myself as well. And I start comparing myself to the work of others.

And I think, oh my gosh, that’s such a beautiful rehab that’s happened. Or that’s such a beautiful level of composite. Why is this person so amazing, so good? Why am I so crap? Why is it that this person’s life seems so amazing and there’s so many issues with mine? So you have to, everyone, please remember not to compare yourself to others in life, in profession, or anything.

Best measure there is, is to compare yourself to how you were two or three years ago. And look at how much you have developed professionally and personally in your relationships, in your career, in every sort of facet, but do not compare yourself to the people you see in social media.. Yes, you can use them to as inspiration to lift and you can, you can sort of analyze and figure out how they got there and use mentors to, it’s a great, it’s a beautiful thing when people can inspire you to do better work.

But when you start looking at others, work on social media and start feeling crap about yourself, that is not a good place to be. Because when you, when I open up my Instagram nowadays. It’s a bit too dental. It’s like, oh my gosh, it’s like stunning work everywhere. But you have to realize that everyone usually puts up their best work and actually you don’t know the journey that each individual has taken to get where they are. And you really have to just focus on yourself and how far you’ve come.

[Dhru] Yes, I think that’s important. And here it goes back to what we were saying, your green and red areas, because I sometimes see amazing full mouth rehab cases and I go, that’s brilliant. But actually, that’s not what I focus on. So if you know what your goals are, what your focus is and what exactly you want to achieve, then you’ll also filter out a lot of these cases out of your zone.

[Jaz] Or rather you appreciate them for their beauty, but you won’t necessarily affect how you feel about yourself as a clinician and how it fits into your career.

[Dhru] Correct. And I think most of us in all honesty are aiming to be good, competent dentists. Not all of us want to be that exceptional level where we can go on a big stage on a massive screen and put up amazing pictures of a single tooth with the best composite, with the best translucency, with the best lighting, etc.

We want to be good, competent dentists who want to give our patients the kind of care they’re comfortable with, they can live a good life. And that’s the point. 95 percent of that, as Govinda Perth said, is achievable with the basics. 5 percent is that excellence we will always be chasing. Remember he said that in his lecture at the Tubules Congress.

I think I take Govinda words very nicely that most of us want to be happy, competent dentists. So just focus on yourself and if you’re doing that, just continue to improve it. When you stop growing, you will get bored. So always find the next challenge on your way. But make sure that challenge is one step up from where you are, not 10 steps up.

[Jaz] Because it’s important that it is one step away from where you are because growth only happens when you’re outside your comfort zone.

[Dhru] Absolutely. And that’s where you need mentors to tell you what’s my next comfort zone. And that’s where you need your community to start shaping your brain in a different way.

So your point about social media is pertinent, it’s important, and it’s really key. And again, another fact to add to that is don’t just end up on any Facebook group and any Instagram feed. Otherwise, you’ll get too much information. So social media select the right Facebook group or Instagram feed and people you follow.

Select the people who are actually going to take you to the next step up. Otherwise, there is far too much information that will hit your brain and confuse the life out of your brain. You know the direction you want to go to. Just select the people to follow who will help you get to the next stage, the next pit stop to your destination.

And when you reach that pit stop, then select the next people and the next people. This obviously means you’ll have to unfollow people. You may have to leave some groups. Don’t worry about that. You can join them in the future, but it means you’re always just striving to move to the next step. That’s another key to what you just said about social media.

[Jaz] Ladies and gents, you have been tubalized.

[Dhru] You have been tubalized. Well said.

[Jaz] And it was full of a lot of gems in there. I like how everything turned full circle into the values. And I think that was the underpinning theme of this podcast was having your values. to set the right direction and the trajectory of your career.

[Dhru] Yeah. I think people have forgotten that they look at other people and they follow their values, unfortunately, in dentistry. And I was actually very, very positively surprised you’ve done Scott Jeffries work because it’s really good. And if you enjoyed Scott Jeffries, you’re an audible, aren’t you?

[Jaz] Oh I spend far too much money on Audible, even though I have this subscription. This is what I do in my 50 mile drive. You see, I’m always, it’s like driving university.

[Dhru] I’m always learning and it’s brilliant. So John de Martini is the values factor. That’s the one to get values factor writing, that kind of, I think the first one or two chapters you’ll think, what the hell is he on about?

He’s a little bit out there like secret, but he really, and then you read chapter four onwards and you think, bloody hell. This book’s blowing my mind. Then you’ll go back to chapter one, two, three, and say, I’ll need to listen to them again.

[Jaz] I will totally check that out, but I’ve got my values written here on my phone. So I put the link everyone for Scott Jeffreys, the values discovery exercise. I think everyone should do it because I think it will really help you in your life, not just in your career, in your life to know what your values are. And sometimes it sounds stupid, I know, but who actually sits down to think about what their values are.

No one does that. And it’s something that we should do. So here are my values. Number one, productivity to use my focus and determination to achieve fulfillment. Two, health, to live with strength and energy. Three, growth and mastery, to continuously upskill in the relentless pursuit of quality. Number four is sincerity, to always be kind, honest and act with integrity.

And the last one is leadership, to inspire others and push boundaries. So you can use that seven step exercise to come up with your own set of values and then any time I’m ever in life come up at a Crossroads nowadays and I need to make a decision I literally just consult my values and I think about what my values are and I choose the option that will be most coherent my values.

[Dhru] I think spot on absolutely spot on. Yeah, brilliant. Thank you so much, Jaz.

[Jaz] Thank you Dhru. Cheers. Thank you. Well, I hope that passion was infectious for you. All those wondering about which course to do, you can now look at your intrinsic motivations and use a system to see what is it that will benefit you the most. So I hope you enjoy that.

I’ve got some good episodes coming up. I’ve got some recording planned with Tiff Qureshi. So we’re talking about DAL technique. I’ve also got a great title with Kush Agadi. I don’t want to ruin the surprise for you restorative consultant. So I’ve got some great guests lined up as well as a few solo things coming up.

So thanks so much for listening. As always, give me some feedback, leave me some reviews, share it with your friends if you enjoyed listening to this. If you think you know someone who maybe needs to find their passion, their values, and they really benefit from this episode, share it with them. Thanks so much and catch you soon.

Hosted by
Jaz Gulati

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