It will come as no surprise that me deciding to study dentistry was not a “burning” childhood desire. Especially since I always hated both the dentist and the smell of a dental office. But spending my time winding transformers in my father’s garage gave me an idea that in dentistry I would be working with my hands on people. Bulletproof logic, no?
So three years into clinical dentistry I found myself crazy lonely and decided I needed to leave. I wondered how is it possible that I was so wrong and how the others were so right. So during my career, I have asked so many people (especially dentists) why the heck they went into the path they went and what they made out of it. And the answers were mindblowing…
From being hit by a truck and fixed by maxillofacial surgeons, to playing for Chelsea youth team and hurting a knee, there were countless stories of people that from one reason or the other, found themselves walking the path of dentistry. One of the best dentist I knew actually wanted to study something else but couldn’t because he was a refugee and that city didn’t have what he wanted. Their stories were different, but one thing was the same – they all were successful at what they were doing.
Now, I don’t know if you know the story of the Acre of Diamonds, but here is the short version of it. The story was told over 6’000 times by Russel Conwell, founder of Temple University.
There was a farmer who owned a large farm and was “wealthy and contended” until he learned that there are diamonds around the world waiting to be discovered. He became so consumed with desire for these gems that he sold all he had and left to search the world for diamonds. In the end, he found none. Penniless and exhausted, he threw himself into the ocean.
But the story has a twist. The man who bought the farm from him soon discovered the earth was filled with diamonds. The diamonds the first man was so eager to find elsewhere were right under his feet. The morale of the story is, sometimes, to find the happiness or wealth we seek is only a matter of exploring what is close at hand.
Almost all of the successful people I ever met weren’t “lucky” to go into the thing they truly desired from the start. What they did, they managed to find the chance by starting to dig right in their backyard. Some of them became great at their craft, some found a way into the new craft. But each one of them started right where they were at.
I told you I left the clinic after three years, but I also didn’t leave without looking at my yard first. I realised dentistry is still interesting, but maybe not the clinical part of it. I went into the dental industry and there I strived. Then I did another move and opened my own business and expanded into coaching and mentoring. Guess who most of my clients are? Dentists, you got that right.
So do yourself a favour. Step back and look at where you currently are. Because I bet that there is an opportunity that you have been longing for that is actually right under your nose right now. Find it. Use it. It will be the best thing you ever did. Because nothing shines brighter than the diamond that came from your own backyard.