Optimistic pessimism

By 7 June, 2015August 3rd, 2018Members, Newsletters

I’ve been listening to Tony Robbins a lot recently because I’ve been going through some stuff in my head and I needed a positive filter for it.  And there is nothing more positive than Robbins. And if you apply the lessons that he and others teach, it can make a valuable difference to the way your life pans out.

It is in your moment of decision that your destiny is shaped” – Robbins

One of the things he was talking about in the last CD was the impact of belief systems, specifically Global Belief systems.  Now veterans to this newsletter will remember I have spoken about these before.  A Global belief system is along the lines of the following….

“Life is……..”

“People are…….”

“Money is…….”

Global belief systems act as a filter to all your other belief systems, and will impact the way you live your life.  For example can you appreciate that someone who believe “Life is a Dance” will deal with things differently than someone who believes “Life is a struggle”.  You will often filter in the examples that back up your belief system and filter out those examples that contradict.

The problem is that many belief systems are disempowering, even dangerous and it is very easy to get trapped into a cycle of negativity, especially if you read/watch the news. And just look at the world around us, it’s full of pain and hardship and misery, and some people look at the information that their brain is filtering and think “what is the point in all this”.

Your information, combined with your focus creates the reality around you.

Do you see why I don’t watch the news?  So lets get miserable for a moment.  From a dental perspective, let’s look at why dentistry is doomed

  • The GDC are running amok
  • The CQC have changed their inspection criteria…..again
  • The UK is more dentally litigious than ever
  • The NHS dental budget is under threat
  • The corporates are taking over
  • Employment law is getting ever more onerous
  • The cost of materials are going through the roof
  • Associate income is under constant downward pressure
  • Indemnity costs are sky rocketing
  • The economy is about to go into the toilet

Blimey, faced with that, who would want to be a bloody dentist.  In fact, who would want to even get out of bed in the morning?  So let’s take each one of those and find the positive in it:


  • Yes the GDC may be running amok, but they have gone too far to the extent that there are eyes on them.  That means change is afoot, and the system is likely going to become fairer for both dentists and patients
  • The CQC have indeed changed their inspection criteria, but it will mean less overall inspections overall.  And when inspections do occur they will be more dentally focused, often under the supervision of someone who is dentally trained
  • Litigation wise, the UK is out of balance.  And there are things you can do that have been proven to significantly lower your risk of being sued.  Also, the more out of control the situation becomes, the more likely the government will be forced to step in, as occurred in Australia a few years ago
  • Yes the NHS dental budget is under threat, but the time is coming for all dentists to leave the NHS.  I don’t think it’s here yet, but it’s close
  • The corporates are indeed buying up left right and centre, providing an ideal opportunity to those who wish to sell.  And for those who don’t, what better way to remain independent than by distinguishing yourself away from the failings of corporate dentistry.
  • Employment law is there for the protection of the employees and the employer.  Don’t you agree that this is a better way of looking at things?
  • The cost of materials is indeed going up, so it’s time to be more discerning about practice purchases, especially now that many things can be safely bought from China.
  • The Associate model has always needed to undergo a correction.  It was flawed.  Many practice owners found themselves losing money with associates, which can never be right.  There will still be opportunities for excellent associates to distinguish themselves and prove they are worth what they are paid.  I have no objection to linking wages to concept of meritocracy.  And perhaps it will finally see a recognised pathway to partnership as we have with lawyers.
  • Indemnity is going up.  But sooner or later, again an external force will need to come in and it will probably be government.  Because at the end of the day, one way or the other, it’s the patient who pays these fees, not the dentist.

And now for the final one, the economy.  It has to break, there is no other way for this thing to set itself right.  We can’t keep pilling debt on top of debt and expect to carry on as we are.  We can’t keep consuming, buying things we don’t need with money we don’t have.  We can’t keep robbing our children of their future, because that’s where revolutions and riots and wars come from.  So yes, the economy will tank, banks will fail and taxes will rise.  Unemployment will go up and your pensions might even shrink markedly………… but, and it’s a very important but.  Yes it will be painful, yes the stock market will fall, and the high street will be decimated.  But, once the dust has settled, those still standing will be lean and strong.  Those who were ready will be wealthy beyond measure.  Those who saw it coming will help build a new more vibrant, fairer economy.  Look at the innovation and the progress that came after the Great Depression.  Look at the technology and the skills that have flowed out in the last 80 years.  Where will we be 80 years from now?  Once we have taken our medicine, we may even see the dawning of a true meritocracy with an end to the cult of celebrity.  I think we are ready for the next leap in our evolution, but first we just have to shed the skin of the old us.  Perhaps then we can put aside our petty differences, reach out and explore the stars like our destiny demands.

Plan for the worst and hope for the best

That’s the way it looks from here