Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Lesson from the Dentist Chair

I always go to the dentist in the morning to try and avoid disrupting my work day. The staff at my particular dentist's office are wonderful. Too wonderful! They are always SO HAPPY to see me. I just play along (as difficult as it is for me pre-coffee). It's like we're old friends. Today, my hygienist was especially friendly. She was asking all about my wife, my parents, current events, etc. On multiple occasions I thought, "Did I miss something? Are we better friends than I thought?" But I just rolled with it - because I really appreciated her genuine care for more than just my teeth.

Even when I approach the receptionist's desk to schedule my next appointment and remind them to bill my insurance - not me - I hear stories about how much they loved seeing me as a child come into their family-owned restaurant. Oh, indeed, my sister used to go back in the kitchen and sample all the pies. Yep, I remember that! (Nope, I sure don't). Smile. Nod. Give an overly friendly goodbye! I mean, it's just so much fun going to the dentist! These people make you feel like a million bucks!!!

And yet, as I lay in the dentist chair this morning, I couldn't stop thinking about how much I HATE laying in that dentist chair. Besides the fact that it was built for someone who is NOT 6 foot 3, the fact that they always ask you questions while their tools and fingers are in your mouth, and that bright light is shining in your face, there's just a natural dislike for the experience. For me it's fear of being told "we need you to come back for another appointment to fix that little spot. It's no big deal - we won't have to numb you or anything - it's just precautionary to avoid any problems later"! YEAH RIGHT!!! Give me the Novocaine!

The fear of such consequence leads me to be more disciplined in my life. See, another thing I hate is flossing. And there are many nights I want to just go crash into bed...without brushing my teeth and without a thought of flossing. But my dread of the consequences inspires me to take care of my teeth appropriately!

As a matter of chat...

Do you take care of your teeth? Why? What's your motivation? Avoidance of consequences? What motivates your actions in general? Fear of consequences? Routines or habits? The expectations of others?

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