Problems Are Good?! - Master Your Practice

Problems Are Good?!

I am continually amazed at the call by some doctors to “just get rid of my problems.”

Problems have a great deal of emotional baggage indicating the pain that has gone along with them. You can probably think of some your unwanted problems right now or certainly, ones you have had in the past.

What is true about those problems is that these were or are still un-wanted problems.

Aren’t all problems unwanted you say? No. Generally, problems can be good!

How come?

You are a problem-solving machine so without them you would be pretty darn unhappy.

You face the problems your patients bring to you everyday. Those problems are the reason you get paid to diagnose and treat them. Wouldn’t you agree that problems here are good?

True, not for your patient, but you are solving these for them.

And if you weren’t there, what would happen to your patient ultimately? Pain and suffering to start, progressing to full on disease, tooth loss and effects on total health.

So, you are a problem solver for your patients.

So what is your problem with problems?

You end up with problems you don’t want to have.

You don’t know how to solve them and they persist.

Losing to a problem is no fun.

You know what else is no fun? Not having enough of them!

Counter-intuitive, I know. Just look at the idle rich. They are generally miserable. They have no problems that they can’t simply use money to fix.

The game of life and your practice require problems to face because without any challenge where is the victory? No game equals no fun.

So how do you turn problems into a springboard forward?

A Football Game and Your Practice Problems

On November 19th, 2017 I attended a college football game at my school where I played and was co-captain of the team (allow me my brief brag moment…thanks. Moment over. )

This game was particularly exciting because my team, Virginia Tech, has a defensive back run down a Pittsburgh receiver who was about to score on a 75 yard catch and run with a minute left in the game.

Had they scored there it would have most certainly meant defeat. The Virginia Tech player caught him on the one and a half-yard line because he never gave up.

First and goal at the one and a half yard line with a minute left for Pittsburgh.

The statistics tell us there is better than 98% chance that the other team will score under these circumstances.

My team had a hell’uva problem.

How they viewed their problem determined whether or not they could win the game.

The Virginia Tech fans broke into a deafening yell for each of the four snaps of the ball by Pittsburgh.

It was almost as if we were playing too, doing our part as fans to disrupt the opponent. Have you ever been to a game like that?

Virginia Tech held them out of the end zone and won the game as time ran out.


The team went into mega-celebration. Jumping. Hugging. Running over to the fans’ outstretched hands. Some fell to their knees.

The bands played – Virginia Tech has two bands, one civilian and one military. The fans hugged each other and stood there in the stands. Not leaving. Standing there. Passing high fives and hugs all around.

Virginia Tech football team had had a problem – an unwanted problem for sure. But it was how they viewed the game – not as a problem of unsolvable magnitude – but as a solvable one when they played their guts out.

Too many doctors create these unwanted problems as problems of unsolvable magnitude.

They know they can’t be solved because they have tried or they haven’t tried because it all seems so overwhelming. What’s the use of that mindset?

The key is your mental frame for thinking about your problems. You need to believe you can win. You need to have “plays to run” just like Virginia Tech’s defense had to overcome adversity.

How you think and how you play matters.

Having the winning plays matters.

Having a coach matters.

Do you have winning plays to ensure your victory? That’s what longtime defensive coordinator Coach Bud Foster gave his team – winning plays.

Do you have a coach that can give you your winning plays?

Want the winning plays?

Go here to attend our free Master Class to get winning plays [link]

And then, if you haven’t already done so get my book, How to Master Your Practice, for free [link]