Surround yourself with your future self

Surround yourself with your future self. What does this mean? Well, let’s talk about some studies I glanced at offhand. These studies showed that people are HEAVILY influenced in spending habits, communication mannerisms, and general behavior by the people they hang out with. Seems pretty obvious right?

Personally, there have been certain summers of my life where I have hung out frequently with gym rats and nutrition nuts. Guess what happened to me during those summers? You guessed it, I worked out 3x more than I normally did and ate leaner. It was effortless. Everyone around me was doing it so it was infinitely easier to summon the willpower to go out and exercise. When my friends and I were hanging out, we talked about working out and nutrition. So it shifted my mindset towards those topics.

So if I want to make a change for the better. If I want my future self to be the person I can be proud of. I can grind away and work endless hours waging a psychological battle against my weak willpower. OR.  I can cheat. I can surround myself with people who my future self strives to be. My external environment can stimulate an internal change in mindset.

I want to become a better speaker. So I need to surround myself with polished speakers, join a club like toastmasters, and make it happen! I want to get better at fitting orthokeratology, so I am attending the orthokeratology academy meeting in Chicago next year. Seems like an obvious thing to do but sometimes common sense isn’t commonly thought of.

Goooooaaaaaaaaalllll!!!!! (like the soccer announcers say after a scoring goal) and Optometric Residency

Real conversation the other day at SCCO.

“What are you doing after graduation Sarah*?” (not real name) -me

“I’m doing a residency in pediatrics/vision therapy in order to fulfill my goal of introducing this specialty as an associate or even in my own private practice when the opportunity arises.” – Sarah

“YES!!!! GREAT ANSWER!!!” – me

I loved it! Because she mentioned something that I personally love doing in order to figure out where I’m going and why I am going there. She set goals and decided to pursue an optometry residency because it would help her fulfill her goals. 

Another friend of mine Scott (not real name) gave me this answer to the same question.

“I’m going to do a residency in primary care and then figure out what I am going to do later during my residency.”  – Scott. “I’m just applying to the residencies in Los Angeles. The VA staff doc really liked me and so I figured I’d give it a shot.”

When I hear the latter I just shake my head. Scott doesn’t have a plan. Or maybe he does, but he hasn’t adequately linked his decision to do a residency to a more longterm goal. Right now, his focus is myopic. His goal is to get a residency, nothing more. If that doesn’t pan out, he’ll start his job search.

Before you do anything, it should fit in a longterm plan. Otherwise you are just performing random acts in order to achieve success. All success requires clear planning followed by defined actions.

Which is why every optometric practice, or any business for that matter, should have a mission statement. The statement should define the longterm goals of a practice and henceforth drive all decision making. Let me give you some examples:

We create happiness by providing the finest in entertainment for people of all ages, everywhere.” -Disney
To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. – Nike
Optometry related ones:
Our mission is excellence in patient care, clinical education, and research in orange county.   – SCCO Eye Care Center
To provide the highest quality of compassionate, timely primary and secondary eye care services to veterans in a hospital-based environment and to educate optometric interns and residents for national practice, as well as other members of the Medical Staff and associated health care trainees. – VA West LA eye clinic
All of the above are GREAT examples of ones for businesses. You should have a clear idea of what your values are that drive your business model. All staff meetings from there are out must address your mission statement in one form or another.

The Value of an Optometry Degree according to my readers

I decided to make this it’s own post from the comments section. This is a comment from a reader concerning career success (slightly edited).

From Joe M. – An engineer and father of an optometrist

I would like to state that I am not a Doctor of any kind and the father of a Optometry student and a son that is a DC. I have a engineering EE /ME back gound and more importantly business owner and CEO for over 35 years. First let me say that success is not simple to achieve and or maintain. And most believe that a degree entitles you to instant success and or big $$$ , well you are dead wrong. Trust me when i say I’ll take Lucky over Smart any and every day but we have to help your own luck by working longer, harder and smarter. If anyone expects the make 150- 200K plus to start working 40hrs a week on your first job you better have come from a very wealthy family and buy into a business or joining a family business or rethink your plan and get real. The system has provided you access to the tools of your craft , that is optometry, now it is up to you to use them to achieve a successful life.

I will tell you most times that success takes longer and is harder then planed and will not be in the same form as envisioned at the beginning.. . Get a second job to generate your play money or saving for the future. And some day you will not need the second income. BTW did you ever study about the 80 -20 rule? if not google it , if so then you know that 20% of the OD make 80% of the MONEY. What do you want to be… a 20 % guy or a 80% guy? I also will tell you yourself will be the only source of your failure in any thing you do. Keep working at your goal, always stay positive, and GOOD LUCK along the way.


Failing NBEO Part I

I received this email yesterday from a distraught optometry student (I left out the name):

” I came across your blog for optometry residencies. I have matched a program for next year already. They accepted me even though I had not passed Part 1 boards. I re-took them in March and failed again. Can they take my residency spot away? Please let me know if you have any advice.”

You need to pass all parts of NBEO to practice optometry. If his/her residency programs begins in July, and the soonest one can retake boards is in August (with scores released a couple of months afterwards), I told him/her to contact the residency program, to keep a head up, and best wishes.