There is a story in the old classic “How to Win Friends and Influence People” that I like to remember at these times. When I first read it, I thought that it was corny and silly. As I thought on it and tried it out, I found that it did help me leave frustration behind and focus on my patients’ wellbeing.
– Reid Robertson, OD
Dale Carnegie told the story of Howard Thurston, one of the greatest magicians of his time. He was a man that made his profession by deceiving others with sleight-of-hand and other illusions. Thurston realized that it would be easy to start thinking less of his audience. There probably are many illusionists that take great joy in the thought that they are smarter and superior to their spectators since they can manipulate and trick them. Thurston, however, stayed focused on his audience. He would remind himself to stay focused on his audience before each show because they were the people that paid to see him. Because of his focus, Thurston was able to live a comfortable life and see the astonishment on his audience’s faces at each performance. Before each performance, he would stand behind the curtain and repeat the words “I love my audience” over and over to prepare himself.
It is an excellent reminder to us to stay focused on taking care of each patient as they visit our practice. We need to leave frustrations behind and remember that these patients help us pay the bills and give us the privilege of assisting them to see the important things in life.