Hair, MIT, And Advice From Kobe

What does hair have to do with your dental career?

I worked on Saturday. And I was happy to do it. As the closing speaker at the ZBC Dental Student Seminar here in Columbus, OH, I had the opportunity to listen to all the speakers before me. I know all of them personally. Some I have heard many times. I’ve been married to one since 2015 ;). And I still took notes. At the end of the course, I challenged the students to list out each speaker and identify both the MIT and MNS from each one.

MIT = Most Important Thing You Heard
MNS = My Next Step

You see, we spend a lot of time in our industry attending virtual and in-person courses. We, myself included, can be saturated with information and ideas and then discover, weeks, months, and years later, that we have yet to implement them. MIT and MNS helps change that.

I asked each student to text me their answers. They were insightful; it helped me learn what they learned. And, I was moved by one in particular – from Tom Johnson. His sheet is below, and the following text accompanies it:

“This is Tom Johnson. Just in case you can’t read my atrocious handwriting. My most important thing I learned from your talk is to earn my gift of a great career of dentistry. My next step is to enjoy every step of the way through thick and thin. Thank you so much!”

I can’t cry anymore (thanks to chemotherapy side effects), but my heart welled with emotion as I read his words. If only we could all remember to “earn our gift in the great career of dentistry.” Just over a year ago and nearly bald, I remember how much I wanted to have hair again. And now, a year later, I find myself saying, “I wish my hair were as long as it used to be.” Why can we not be grateful and joyous with what we have as, for many of us, they were things were once wished for?


Can you remember being a D4 dental student? Do you remember your first job in dentistry? What did you wish for? Do you know if that has come to pass? Has more than you ever thought possible occurred since then? Are you focused on gratitude for what you currently have or simply desiring what you have not?

Thank you, Tom, you were the teacher and I was the student. And I vow to enjoy every step of the way.

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” – Epicurus.

The Best 30 Seconds of Advice I Heard This Week

“I’m not negotiating with myself.
The deal was already made. The deal was made when I set out at the beginning of the Summer and said ‘This is the training plan I’m doing.
I signed that contract with myself. I’m doing it. Throughout that process, you’ll start talking to yourself…

Man, I gotta…
I think I need to…
Maybe if we…

Nope. No. This is non-negotiable.”

– Kobe Bryant, in a podcast interview in 2019 with Jay Shetty

Watch one minute of magic:

Tessa and her brother Elias were born in Ethiopia. Tessa was born missing both her legs and her right arm above the elbow, and Elias had a lower limb deformity which later lead to his leg being removed above the knee. But that doesn’t stop either of them!

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