A Matter of Pride
Most of us would agree that watching and following organized sports such as football, baseball, hockey, or soccer is a pleasurable, relaxing, and rewarding experience, depending, of course, on if your team wins or loses. I certainly experience pride from the competitive spirit and success of the teams that I follow and enjoy the comradery that I share with fellow sports fans. With that said, the amount of time and money the average fan devotes to any particular sport never ceases to amaze me—from the number of events attended and articles read, to the hours spent debating memorized statistics. These are but a few examples of the copious amounts of time and energy spent by dedicated fans on their favorite sports team. Did I mention face painting?
I am not suggesting that we discount the benefits that this stress-relieving outlet provides our daily lives. However, I am often perplexed by the rapturous devotion and support expended by devoted fans on any given team. Even in the face of agonizing defeat, hosts of fans possess a level of dedication and loyalty that never wavers.
If we transferred and incorporated some of this same competitive spirit, dedication, and enthusiasm into our own work, would we come away with the same exhilarating and rewarding feelings that we experience when supporting the success of our favorite sports teams? It begs the question: How much pride do we take in what we do? And conversely, are we willing to spend the amount of time it takes to further our success and hence our pride in what we do? Drawing from my own experience, I have found that greater involvement, whether it comes from furthering one’s education or furthering one’s skills, breeds greater interest, better results, and, consequently, greater rewards. The more invested we become in our work, just like anything else, the more interested we become in the outcome and the more apt we are to find pleasure and pride in our success.
By approaching your work with enthusiasm and investing time in your education and skills, you will hopefully turn daunting challenges into thrilling wins for the patients served. Facing these challenges with greater skills and more knowledge can help ensure success and pride in the outcome, which can be as rewarding as a victory on the field. Who knows, we may see people with dental jerseys or even dental face paint one day. As Bear Bryant, a great coach of Texas A&M, once said: “It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”
Peter Pizzi, MDT, CDT