The Why - Know It. Live It.

A few weeks ago I wrote about finding the why. After posting about how blogging helps find the Why, I starting thinking about finding the Why in other areas. Why get to school on time? Why exercise? Why work? While some of these questions may seem like they have obvious answers, I challenge you to think about it. Do you really work out because you find it a positive activity from which you draw energy, fulfillment and clarity? Or do you just do it because it is on the list of things that you know you should do? At age 50, I have found that many of my activities are driven from long ago established routines, not from intentional actions. In other words, much of my day is on auto-pilot.

Does an auto-pilot derived daily routine lead to satisfaction and happiness? In my experience, not really. So I am in the early stages of putting a bit more intentionality into my daily activities. For example, I know exercise is good for me and should be a priority, but following through on an activity “because it is good for me” doesn’t exactly build inspiration or leave me feeling happy and satisfied. Similarly, exercising “because I have the time” isn’t going to do much for happiness or satisfaction either. Rather, what I want to feel is happy and satisfied - that is my why. Instead of exercising on auto-pilot, I’m thinking about what I will be able to do with my new found fitness and what I will enjoy while I am exercising. I’m going for a walk because I want to spend some time at the lake and because I want to get ready to hike next summer with my family.

Finding the why at Ellis Orthodontics has been part of this process too. I’ve been practicing orthodontics for over 20 years and have established many work habits that have made what I do predictable and successful. While the predictable and successful part of orthodontics is important to obtaining great results, it also had lulled me to semi-boredom with my daily tasks. Working on auto-pilot work isn’t nearly as much fun as spending time at work aligning personal goals with business vision, marketing plans and patient contact. After a couple weeks of asking myself “Why exactly IS Ellis Orthodontics unique?”, I’ve come up with an answer - a mission statement of sorts.

Ellis Orthodontics considers it a privilege to serve our patients. Our goal is to ensure that our patients leave each visit feeling both confident in their orthodontic treatment and enriched by their time spent with us.

This is my operating Why at work right now. I’ll let you know how things go in achieving the Why in a few months!