Success Is a Journey
Regardless of our profession, we all strive to achieve our goals and seek to attain the elusive concept we call success. In the cover story for this issue, Janene Mecca, the Managing Editor of IDT, addresses the issue of building and sustaining a strong and successful laboratory. She identifies three main features that such laboratories should exhibit in order to attract and maintain a staff of motivated and talented technicians: education; a sense of purpose for the workers, meaning that the laboratory would provide the opportunity for personal growth and a career there; and finally a comfortable and pleasant workspace. These features are indeed crucial for a successful business. As Joshua Polansky, MDC, BA, points out, few people are seeking only a paycheck at the end of the week. Rather, individuals desire a community in the workplace, hope for a bright career in their chosen field, and, ultimately, a certain level of success.
We all hope for successful careers, but what do we mean when we say that we want to be successful? Do we want a prestigious title, a high salary, authority in our places of business, or something else? The definition of success changes from profession to profession, and even from person to person; this is to be expected, for success is not a universal concept, though many of us seem to treat it as such. In a modern society in which we all want more fame, more money, and greater acknowledgement for the work that we do, it is inevitable that this word success has become seemingly trite. After years of working in the dental profession, I have come to realize that success is as difficult to define as it is to achieve. Success does not simply mean being considered to be at the top of one's field or bringing home the heftiest paycheck. Success is a personal journey. For me, it is about learning something that was previously too difficult to comprehend, seeing a patient smile with joy after their case is complete, and making bonds and friendships with coworkers that extend beyond the business walls. Success is not universal and thus it cannot be the same for every person. The sooner we realize and accept this and stop treating it as such, the more likely we are to be satisfied and proud of our work.
There is no one path to achieving success. Rather, success is the path that we are taking and the journey we are travelling. It is the personal choices, the motivation, the commitment to self-improvement, and the pride in our work that bring us joy in our professions. There will always be trials and tribulations along the way, but the true mark of success is the passion and drive that inspire us to always get back up and continue to strive to be the best versions of our professional selves.
Peter Pizzi, MDT, CDT