I just want to “Plant Smiles” – Keeping your HEART at the forefront of your work!

In Success by Lorie Streeter

More often than not, we just keep doing the same things over and over again. We claim we want to make a difference in the world, but saying that lays way to failure and judgment. Has anyone ever asked you what you would do if you knew you wouldn’t fail? That is the stupidest question EVER! The answer is … wait for it … We would do NOTHING because there would be no primal motivation to succeed and own our success. The risk would be gone, and there would no longer be a reward.

I have been in dentistry for over 27 years now. I used to say, “I just want to help people,” but now I understand that in order to do that, my heart must be engaged with my brain to make really great business and personal decisions. These organs do not operate well independently. By allowing your heart to engage in your business day, you are essentially putting into motion the ability to treat or assist people with an open heart AND mind. This simple connection can produce profound results.

“Where would you be if you stopped letting your mind talk over your heart? Somewhere different, I bet.” – (Author unknown)

In 2014, my son was a freshman and had a girlfriend who we will call Jane. When I met Jane for the first time, I noticed that she would cup her hand over her mouth when she talked. Being in dentistry I figured it was her teeth, and I was right. I took it upon myself to talk to Jane’s mother and found out that in the position they were in financially, they could not afford orthodontics for Jane. With my friendships/connections, etc., I knew that I could help.

My mind and my heart were suddenly in conflict. A left, then a right, then I would duck and SMACK–the heart would rear back and come at my brain again. It was an all-out battle that looked something like this…

My Brain Said:
Don’t butt in!
They will break up then what?
You will get stuck running her to appointments!
She won’t be grateful or follow through.

My Heart Said:
You know you want to help her!
What will she be like when she isn’t ashamed of her smile!
We can do this!
Let’s get started now!
Her smile could be a gift to the world!

As it turns out, my son is no longer in a relationship with Jane. Jane, however, is in her third year of ortho treatment and is looking wonderful. I bought her a sign that said, “Let your smile change the world,” and she Facebook messages me a picture of it every now and then. When I allowed the congruence of my brain and my heart, I also allowed the natural flow of goodness and compassion to elevate this experience mostly for me. Here are a few tips on how you can use your heart and brain together to reach decisions based on a loving and thoughtful process:

  1. Make a list of what your brain/mind wants you to do about a given topic or situation.
  2. Make a list of what your heart wants you to do about a given topic or a situation.
  3. Compare the lists.
  4. Create an outcome that is both ecological for your mind but also incorporates the desires of your heart. You are marrying the logical with the emotional process.
  5. Then, go out and PLANT SMILES!