While shopping one day with my wife, she noticed a little dish with a great saying on it: "Talent will get you to the top, but only character will keep you there." She immediately purchased it as a birthday gift for one of our children.Tonight, when I reluctantly sat down to write this column after a very busy week (but respectful of my deadlines), I remembered another quote from a successful colleague and friend of mine. Decades ago, he told me, "Successful people do what unsuccessful people refuse to do." Every time I start to complain about a task or obligation, this remark pops into my brain - a tip I've drawn on for the past 40 years.
I was reading an article in the local newspaper recently and was shocked to learn that high-school students who were asked to report to class 30 minutes earlier to save a half million dollars in school transportation costs increased their unexcused absences by 29 percent and tardiness by 38 percent. And in talking with the president of a chiropractic college, he shared that students had started a petition to start classes later in the day on the basis that it was too difficult to wake early in the morning. This college had offered the same class schedule for the past 75 years! I wish all of these students could have been given the advice I was given years ago, and had the same little dish on their desks that my wife bought. Maybe it would make a difference.
Having mentored new doctors during my entire career, I know that these statistics and actions by today's students do not reflect the whole. Though this is clearly a challenging time to identify great talent with strong character and an equally powerful work ethic, my confidence that the "gems" are still out there hasn't waned. You just have to search a little harder to find the ones who have that critical combination of skill, character and desire to succeed.
In today's competitive marketplace, where more and more people are training to become chiropractors, new doctors (and even the established ones) have to set themselves apart from the rest. They have to work a little harder, be more patient, and expect that success will come with the investment of time and effort, not in an instant. Hundreds of skilled doctors are entering practice each year, but they have to earn their clinical experience and continually work to achieve great things. Talent may get them through school and into practice, but only hard work and character will keep them firmly planted at the top. Good advice for any DC, whether a new graduate or a seasoned member of the profession.
Click here for previous articles by Arlan Fuhr, DC.