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  05.05.05 Issue #165

A Person with Dreams Can Achieve Great Things

By Nancy Haller, Ph.D.

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During a recent inquiry call, a prospective client described his practice. Having spent a substantial amount of money and time in training, software systems and technology, he was mystified why his office productivity and revenue were below average. He was plagued with employee turnover. Although he enjoyed the dentistry part of his work, he felt stressed most days. His goal was to create a culture where people ‘want to work' but despite all his efforts, the results were not coming to fruition. Day after day he was driven by patients, scheduling conflicts, and staffing problems. Frustrated by a lack of forward progress, he called to find out what to do.

When I asked this dentist what he wanted for himself, the phone was dead with silence. Finally he spoke. “I don't know”, he said.

I suspect that many of you reading this might be in the same position. If I asked you, ‘what do you want for your practice', what would you say?

Although I am a coach not a therapist, my background is in clinical psychology. Now I have only two things in common with Freud – I have a couch in my office and I ask people to tell me about their dreams.

Freud believed that dreams were the windows to the unconscious. There in the basement of the mind were childhood traumas, parental errors and unrestrained impulses.

But those are NOT the dreams I am interested in hearing. The dreams I ask people to share are the ones of passion and perseverance. They are more than goals. The dreams I want to discover with coaching clients are filled with emotional fuel... the energy that helps them take control of their lives and be what they want to be. Without dreams, a person has consigned him or herself to a life of mediocrity and frustration.

Successful people in business, sports, and life have clarity about their dreams. And they make a long-term commitment to chase those dreams with tenacity. Unfortunately most people use only a small percentage of their true potential because they have no dreams.

Do you go through the day with no expectations? Do you simply battle out whatever life hands you? If so, it's time to stop being a victim of life and map out a vision of what you want.

Set aside a couple of hours for quiet reflection. Think about a time when you felt most alive, most fulfilled, or most excited about your work.

What made it exciting?
Who else was involved?
Describe how you felt about it.

Think about what you really love. Avoid being practical – there's plenty of time for that later. For now, let your imagination soar.

Think about some of the things you value deeply ... specifically the things you value about yourself, about the nature of your work, and about your practice.

And when you are dreaming, pay attention to the feelings that surface within you. Maybe these are emotions you haven't felt in a while. Exhilaration, happiness, enthusiasm.

Over the years, I have been called a ‘shrink'. Though the label makes me smile, it really is quite inaccurate. I am not a shrink - I am an ‘enlarger'. I help people to open doors to lives they sometimes haven't even considered.

Stop justifying a so-so existence. Get into the driver's seat of your practice, of your life! Call me... I want you to wake up each morning excited, to see each day as an opportunity to chase your dreams.

Dr. Haller is available to coach you to higher levels of performance in your practice. Contact her at

Interested in having Dr. Haller speak to your dental group? Email us at or call 1-877-777-6151


For more information, email
or call 1-877-777-6151

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