Personal energy is a favorite subject of mine.

I’ve written about it many times, often in this blog. I speak about it in all my seminars. It’s the main topic at Levin Group’s upcoming fifth annual Total Life Success Summit. And I am a high-energy person, traveling more than 160 days every year without a hint of fatigue.

But a couple of Sundays ago, I experienced a level of excitement and energy I never dreamed was possible. I went to the Super Bowl.

The Baltimore Ravens, my home team, were playing. That had me totally fired up, and the spectacle of the event cranked the energy even higher. Here I was cheering my team on to win the biggest game of all, in a thunderous crowd of Raven maniacs, in the heart of the Great American City of New Orleans—where the crowds were electric, jazz pumped out of every bar in the French Quarter, and you could eat $1 oysters all day and night.

The game itself, except for the strange power failure, was pure energy. So much so that even I, someone who prides himself on being inexhaustible, was pleasantly and completely drained by the time I boarded the return flight for Baltimore. I fell asleep before takeoff.

The main point is… being energized is fun, and if you have too much fun, you have sweet dreams, in purple!

I believe that a positive attitude is one of the most powerful attributes of success in any walk of life. Unfortunately, so much negative information comes at us every day—from TV, the internet, and our personal experiences—it’s hard to avoid getting dragged down by it all. Even if you're in an upward spiral, something negative always comes along to send you downward again.

Much of the advice you hear about maintaining a positive attitude is ridiculous, but I have a technique that really works… and it’s simple.

When you encounter something negative or disappointing, ask yourself this question:

                                                         Will this matter a year from now?

Someone tailgates you on the way to work. Will this matter a year from now? Your kids make a lot of noise while you’re on the phone. Will this matter a year from now? The computer freezes while you’re writing an important email. Will this matter a year from now?

Of course, the answer to that question will sometimes be “Yes!” But most often you’ll realize that no, it won’t matter in a year—or even 10 minutes from now.

We can’t prevent negative things from happening but, simply by asking this question, we can keep them from wasting our time, draining our energy and sending us into a downward spiral.

                                                                       ________

For more anti-stress strategies, read an excerpt from Dr. Levin’s book, Get a Life and Keep It, by clicking here.

Here is a quote that I often use in my seminars... "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve." This is a famous line from the landmark motivational book, Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. This famous book has guided many people on their path to success. Over the years, I have reread it numerous times, always picking up new insights.

Hill's quote is about opening the mind to possibilities. So many people have a fixed belief system and will not move beyond it. Some believe that there are things they can never accomplish or that they've been treated unfairly and live too much of their lives as victims. The whole idea that "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve" is lost on them.

Dentists cannot afford to limit themselves. The rough economy has caused some doctors to resort to inaction in the belief that things will change eventually and everything will be alright. Don't be this kind of doctor. When things get better, you'll be left behind.

Be open to possibilities. Expose yourself to opportunities. Take a practice management course, hire a consultant, read a biography, study another field to see how people overcame seemingly impossible obstacles. As Napoleon Hill said, you can achieve it... if you believe it.

Just as I was preparing to leave for a recent management seminar to a large group of doctors, I received a phone call from a key Levin Group staff member who wouldn't be able to attend due to illness. The logistics of presenting our seminars are enormous, and every team member's contributions are vital. We knew that this was one of the most highly attended seminars in the company's history. It was obvious that we had just been handed a serious challenge.

I had two ways to react to this news. One, I could be annoyed and wish the sick person could just grin and bear it for the team and be miserable (which would be absolutely wrong). Or, two, I could recognize that life is a series of roadblocks, and this was just one of them.

Minutes after that phone call, another staff member phoned me to discuss three possible solutions to our dilemma. She had selected what she thought was the best course of action and was ready to act on it, based on my feedback. Her opening words were, "I think I know what the best solution is. Can I just run it by you?"

Music to my ears! This person displayed genuine leadership. She evaluated the situation and presented a viable plan in the span of about 10 minutes. It would have been pointless to sit around being angry or disappointed. The situation demanded a plan—and we had one. A decision was made and we went forward with it. If something went wrong, we'd deal with it calmly and logically. We went into the seminar very confident and, in the end, it went phenomenally well.

Sometimes, your practice will face unforeseeable obstacles. How you deal with them will make all the difference. Don't get angry. Don't complain. Create solutions and move forward!

Get Dr. Roger P. Levin’s latest thoughts on the current state of dentistry and what dentists can do to prosper in the new economy. As one of dentistry’s most influential leaders, Dr. Levin has unique insights on how every dentist can achieve greater practice success.

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