Sometimes what did not happen, is what matters most

We often find ourselves feeling upset when things don’t work out as we had hoped. We believe that certain events or circumstances are right for us at a particular time, and when they fail to materialize, it can be disheartening. It’s only natural to react with frustration, disappointment, and even depression. However, we must pick ourselves up, brush off the disappointment, and begin searching for the next opportunity.

As we reach certain points in our lives and reflect on the past, we come to realize that what didn’t happen was actually for the best. Those missed opportunities paved the way for us to be where we are now. If we are currently happy and content (or at least on the path to happiness or success), it is because of the things we deeply desired in the past but did not receive.

When I completed my studies, I approached a dentist in my hometown whom I greatly admired, hoping to work for him and eventually become a partner. They were initially excited about my joining their practice, and it seemed like a perfect fit. However, the 2008-2009 recession hit hard, and they informed me that they were no longer able to take me on. It was a major setback. Subsequently, I started managing a practice for a dentist who had emigrated to Australia, with the possibility of acquiring the practice since he showed no signs of returning. Unfortunately, he rejected my proposal, and another plan went up in smoke. I then took a position at a busy corporate dental practice in the Northern Suburbs, hoping to eventually buy into the business. However, after working long hours, feeling like a factory worker solely focused on drilling, filling, and billing, I decided to quit. Once again, my plan had failed.

But then I took a leap of faith and started my own private practice on my own terms. I surrounded myself with like-minded individuals and focused on serving patients who shared our values. Now, 12 years later, I am incredibly grateful that those other opportunities I had desired at the time did not work out!

The same principle applies to the type of dentistry we practice. Quality dentistry prevents certain things from happening, such as frequent return visits for fallen out fillings, excessive bleeding after dental surgery, or not achieving the desired straight teeth. It may go unnoticed, as it is what our patients expect. However, at times, it’s about the things that did not happen that truly matter.

Warm regards,

Johan