Is Our World Spinning Faster, or Does It Just Seem Like It?

By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher
People continue to be besieged daily by the growing influx of "mail." Personal letters and bills aside, we have to sift through catalogues and fliers, and a dizzying array of promotional letters telling us we just won a trip for two to Hawaii, or that we've just been cleared for an instant $5,000 loan.

As if that barrage of mail wasn't enough, express mail was born. Now people get those packages and letters from several different carriers that "absolutely have to be there tomorrow."

But the world wanted to spin faster, and overnight just wasn't fast enough. About the time postal officials began considering delivering mail by dump truck, the fax machine began gaining popularity. Now we're are fortunate to receive those "important faxes," and a burgeoning number of junk faxes.

At Dynamic Chiropractic we used to praise the fax machine as a wonderful alternative to express mail. It saved both time and money. But soon the flow became too much for one machine, so we added another. About the time we were considering a third machine, Internet access and e-mail arrived.

With each new leap in technology came the ability to send more information (?) to more people faster. What's next? Perhaps we'll soon have chips surgically implanted in our brains that will fulfill our instant communication needs. Who knows?

The revolution in communication affects everyone. It wasn't that long ago that ANY article about chiropractic in ANY non-chiropractic publication would evoke a great deal of excitement and be a topic of discussion for weeks, if not months. We were beginning to be noticed.

Likewise, the publication of research that showed chiropractic (the adjustment) in a positive light was cause for celebration. We immediately wanted to invite the primary investigators to conventions and dinners to tell them how wonderful their work was, and to encourage further papers.

Tens years ago Dynamic Chiropractic was a MONTHLY publication, containing only one or two feature articles. In today's DC, which became a biweekly in 1990, there are 5-10 feature articles vying for your attention every two weeks.

That is how it should be. Chiropractic is expanding in all directions, as the ripples in a pond do after the water's surface is disturbed. The ripples are our waves of activities. We provide a form of care that is critical to the establishment and maintenance of health.

The problem is how to keep making ripples. The first thing that we each must do is recognize what is primary. Your patients and the care you give them are primary; the well-being of your family and friends are primary.

There are events and opportunities that can impact the professional part of your world: health care reform, marketing programs, managed care, new research results, etc.

We each have to prioritize. That is sometimes a problem. There are so many exciting challenges ahead of us that we frequently run the risk of losing what we have in search of what we want. Perhaps it's time to take a minute to regroup, to sort through what is truly important and what is "nice but not necessary."

As you look back on the beginning of your chiropractic journey, the first ripples on the pond, some things come into better focus. It's important to remind yourself why you wanted to be a DC. Spend a minute or two looking at your professional routine and consider if this is what you planned on when you made the decision to be a chiropractor.

I'll bet it's not.

If you spend another couple of minutes thinking about it, I'll bet you will see your life as less than what you originally envisioned. "That's reality," you may say, but is it the best it can be, or is it just tolerable?

As I come within 20 years of the age my father was when he died, I am reminded again of his often-told admonition: "Life is too short."

Being a chiropractor should be one of the most rewarding careers. Just think of the less than desirable ways that people earn their daily bread.

Is it for you? If not, why not? What do you need to change to make your life closer to what you'd like it to be?

Take another few minutes to think about it and write down your thoughts. Then...


Life IS too short. Don't spend another day with "tolerable." Aspire to better.


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