I want to start the last segment of this series by saying thank you to those of you who have taken the time to call and e-mail me this year about the impact this series has had on the way you look at your practice, life, and professional responsibility.
Many of you are now members of our Learning Curves family and have advanced your practices and commitment to the next level. You have expressed a renewed spirit of contribution and have developed more courage to tell the truth more often, with more certainty, to more people. You have told me about the training you are now doing with your teams to integrate a state of conscious gratitude into your practice as it pertains to the respect and honor you extend to your patients each and every day as you serve them. I have heard stories of doctors at all levels of practice that have taken the ideas of fairness or justice from these articles and built them into their community outreach programs with the intention of creating more value for chiropractic and more trust in their message.
The response from readers of this series has been overwhelming, and I have had many calls and emails thanking me for helping to clarify the importance of putting integrity and discipline in the forefront of their professional consciousness.
I knew that, as a profession, chiropractic was being weighed down by apathy, but that, once that apathy was broken through, a lot of passion, purpose, excitement, enthusiasm, and action would be uncovered. Well, it appears that, for some of you, this is exactly what has happened—your passion has been rekindled.
The responses I have received have truly reinforced my resolve to continue to serve at the highest level possible. I am convinced that, if I can continue to share my vision and my love for chiropractic with more of my colleagues through the pages of our journals, then more of you will develop a commitment and see it as an absolute professional and ethical requirement to share your vision and your love for chiropractic with more people in your community. Through this commitment, you will reach more people, more often, with more certainty, more passion, more purpose, and more clarity. So, again, I thank you for the encouraging words.
I pray that you will continue to make responsibility, courage, respect, compassion, justice, integrity and discipline an integral part of your practice and become the leader that will help move chiropractic in a new and compelling direction of civic, social, and health care leadership. Please keep writing and calling; you make me proud to call myself a colleague.
Now, where do we go from here?
We’ll go forward. I will be writing a quarterly series in The American Chiropractor in 2008, and will continue to focus on the journey of professional growth and enlightenment. One of my favorite quotes is the following from Henry Ford: "Think you can, think you can’t, either way, you’ll be right."
Ford knew that the possibility of success in achieving his dream of an automobile for every person was limited only by his thinking, that building in his mind a vivid and compelling dream was the key to realizing his goal.
Having a compelling dream and a clear vision is the key ingredient to success. Without a compelling dream and a clear vision for a better future, you would more likely become engaged in the process instead of being empowered in your purpose.
Having a compelling dream and a clear vision is the base or key ingredient that makes everything else work; it is the something that, if missing, would take away from the quality of the finished product. I absolutely know that, if you don’t currently have your ideal practice, but are willing to invest a small amount of time setting goals, creating your vision of the ideal practice, planning appropriate strategies for its creation, and committing to see it through to the end, you will be rewarded exponentially and so will your community and our profession.
I think that we, as individuals, must be wary of the fallacy that our "leadership" (meaning someone other than you and I) is responsible for our success or our failure. If we engage in the belief that the insurance companies are unfair, or that people just don’t "get it," we are always going to be placing blame on someone else for the circumstances that dictate our successes or failures. By default, this strips us of our ability to create our own future.
Some of you really love this type of dialog; others are now really upset that I would try to put you in the pilot seat of the plane called responsibility. Either way, I am here for you, and will do anything I can to help anyone who wants more, and is willing to do the simple work that it takes to sit squarely in the pilot seat and take over the controls of his or her personal and professional destiny. Just remember that simple does not mean easy.
I feel blessed to be given the opportunity to write this column, and I thank you for everything you do to make our profession excellent, and applaud you if you are in a constant state of growth as a leader. As a good friend of mine always says, "I am not preaching from the mountain top; I am preaching from the mountain side."
I wish for you the mindset of responsibility, the courage to speak clearly, the compassion to serve at a higher level, and the discipline to act with respect and integrity. I am with you on this journey, and if there is anything I can do for you, don’t hesitate to contact me.
I leave you with a very powerful thought you have no doubt heard before from chiropractic pioneer Dr. B. J. Palmer: "You never know how far reaching something you think, say, or do today will affect the lives of millions tomorrow."
Dr. Slocum is a 1993 graduate of Logan College in St. Louis, Missouri. He is a fourth generation chiropractor, the eleventh member of his family to practice chiropractic.
Dr. Slocum and his partner, Rok A. Morin, D.C., are co-creators of Learning Curves™, a three-tier community education and marketing program for the chiropractic profession. Drs. Slocum and Morin lecture on a national basis to chiropractors encouraging them to spread awareness of chiropractic in their communities. Go to www.learningcurves.us, e-mail
or call 1-800- 613-2528 for more information.