success [ suhk-ses ]


  1. the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like. 

With the recent death of England’s Queen Elizabeth II, I have been watching The Crown on Netflix. I watched with fascination as the queen’s husband, Prince Phillip, suffered a crises of identity.  In one particular scene, he meets with his Pastor and other religious clergy when he begins examining the purpose of his life – and of all of our lives. I found the dialogue to be absolutely profound. Click here to watch now.

What is success?  Am I achieving it?  Are you achieving it?

As a clinician treating physical limitations for 20 years, I have come to the realization that I treat the mind much more than I treat the body (strengthening, stretching, releasing muscle tension).  Most of my patients seem to possess a false sense of what it means to be healthy – often due to influences around them. For example, they say:

  • I need to run 3 miles or walk 6 miles daily
  • I need to be thin, eat minimal carbs, lean meats and get rid of this belly
  • I need to go to the gym so I can “workout” by lifting weights, or running on the treadmill
  • I want to run a 5K or participate in a” tough mudder” 

I can’t do any of these things – yet most people perceive me as very healthy. In reality, I struggle with the same things they do! I spend most of my time with patients; listening to them and asking questions so I can better understand their ambitions. When I lay out a plan for them, I can see relief spread across their faces as they lean forward with eagerness to get started.  

Here are the points that I consistently emphasize with my patients – and all of them have to do with mindset:

  • This is a journey, not a destination
  • We all have pain and physical limitations 
  • It’s about small micro-changes in behavior
  • Be self-aware; pay attention to what your body is telling you, and respond accordingly
  • Develop consistent rhythms of simple movement
  • Be nice to yourself; celebrate small positive changes  

As a busy leader, it is crucial that you routinely take time to assess and evaluate your mindset. What is it that you think will shape your actions – truthfully?

Here are the stories I tell myself when I am distracted, fatigued, and going non-stop:

  • This inflation is killing us
  • These insurance companies are not paying us what we deserve
  • My team is against me, they are a liability, they are are widgets that come and go
  • Managing cash is so difficult, we are just barely making it 
  • All I do is put out fires 
  • Why am I doing this? Maybe I should just sell this business and I will be free 

I have a false, idealistic sense of what success is:

  • Achieving 15-20% profit
  • Perfect organizational chart with job descriptions 
  • Training and compliance program 
  • No debt, with 3-6 months of cash reserves 
  • A clear clinical pathway for team to help them grow 
  • A clear, 3-year vision, with 1 year and quarterly goals in place 
  • Feeling of control, success, and that I am a super business leader  

The reality is that success is not a destination, it is a journey – and so far, it has been a successful journey. Therefore, a healthy mindset for me as a practice owner and team leader includes the following considerations:

  • My family, wife and kids always come first 
  • I don’t miss any of my kids’ sporting or family events 
  • I live my values in my business, without fear or restriction 
  • It’s about relationships; my team is my family and we celebrate together and we cry together
  • Servant leadership: listen, express gratitude, be humble, be generous, it’s not personal 
  • Appreciate differences 
  • Financially, I am making steady, small, 1% improvements daily; I play the long game 
  • My team members are assets, not liabilities 
  • I get help for areas I am weak in
  • I have coach/mentor/peers that I trust
    • Ahead of me
    • Along side of me 
    • Behind me  

As I write, reminding myself that this is success for me – it inspires me to continue on this incredible journey.  This journey is not for me; it is for my family, my team members and their families, and it is for my community!

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