Chiropractic + Naturopathic Doctor

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Thinking “big” – 2 (more) key components for practice success

Create and maintain a practice that works


April 25, 2022
By Drs. Doug Pooley, dc, and Keith Thomson (DC, ND)

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Photo: © Inti St. Clair / Adobe Stock

For part 1, click here.

Key component #3: How to stop the negative you from sabotaging your success
Have you ever found yourself quietly questioning performance in any area of your life? Do you wonder why some peers seem to be happier and achieve more than you, all the while knowing that your capabilities and talents are equal if not better than theirs? 

What many people fail to realize is that success is a behaviour and not a thing. By far, most successful people are successful because of the belief systems that they have in place about themselves, their circumstances, personal accountabilities and of course capacity for success. Their internal dialogue is directed towards achievement, and they entertain nothing less. 

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We can promise you with certainty that life is a self-fulfilling prophesy, and that who you are today, is an exact reflection of your previous thoughts and beliefs. Now here is the take-away: If you change your thoughts, you change your life. 

If you want to make your life better, you must train yourself to get rid of the intellectual garbage and find a new and more empowering direction. In the last article we gave you a couple of exercises to do to help you find your over-arching purpose and with that spark the flame of enthusiasm to brighten your life and prospects. If you have not done those exercises, we strongly suggest that you do so. If you have completed the tasks, make sure that you post your responses where you will see them every day. If you make your statement of purpose compelling enough, it will be the wind at your back pushing you to new and more empowering horizons.

The following are a few tips when used consistently that can change how you view the world, and in doing so hedge your bets on attracting a more magnificent life for yourself and those around you.

The Lucky Seven: A gameplan for getting rid of the negative:

  1. Adopt an attitude of gratitude. Evaluate your life in perspective to the world around you. 
  2. No more blame. Accepting full accountability for your life is the most liberating thing you can ever do and is the door opener to glorious possibility and potential.
  3. Re-direct your inner dialogue. Become aware of your thoughts and when you find yourself in the middle of a pity party, or being a negative Nelly, instantly cancel those thoughts and replace them with more empowering ones. Only you can control your thoughts.
  4. Surround yourself with positive people. Get rid of the downers in life. Hang with the happy and chances are it will rub off.
  5. Get fit. A healthy body creates a healthy mind. If you like the looks of the person you see in the mirror, chances are you will be more confident and enthusiastic about the rest of your life.
  6. Revisit your statement of purpose every day for a month and take one minute to focus on what you want and how you are going to get there.
  7. Be a beacon. As a practitioner, focus just before you start practice each day to be the very best that you can for each person who comes into your life that day. By doing just these last two things, you will be amazed at how your life will open.

Nothing would give us more happiness than being able to somehow wave a magic wand and make all of you spectacularly successful. Unfortunately, that is an inside game, and you are the only player qualified to participate. Remember always: “You change your thoughts, and you change your life.”

Key component #4: Nothing can limit your growth, only small ideas
We live in a world where mediocre is celebrated as a win. Where everybody who competes gets a trophy and nobody academically fails, they just get pushed on to a higher hurdle even more difficult to get over. For whatever reason we are being trained or conditioned to think small and stick with the herd. Keep your head down, do a good job and whatever you do, never colour outside of the lines. The problem for some of us is that when you are running with the herd, chances are you are going to spend most of your life looking at someone else’s bottom. Our current society and institutions provide little in the form of encouragement to stand out in the crowd or go a different direction. In fact, it almost seems that thinking differently has become a punishable offence.

Innovation or new ideas come with a price, that being a higher possibility of failure or setback and it seems that we have in many ways lost our tolerance for failure making innovative thinking almost dangerous. In an article published in the Harvard Business Review, entitled: The Hard Truth About Innovative Cultures by Gary Pisano, the author notes, “A tolerance for failure requires an intolerance for incompetence. A willingness to experiment requires rigorous discipline. Psychological safety requires comfort with brutal candor.” 

Throughout history great things have happened when well-meaning people have conceived a new idea or novel approach to a problem or threatening situation and fought tooth and nail to protect and foster the righteousness of it. As chiropractors and naturopaths, we are considered among many in traditional western healthcare, as outliers or fringe dwellers. To a degree, we are acknowledged and tolerated, but rarely embraced and welcomed to the party. This from a system that in a 2019 statistical survey by Statista showed that only 46% of Canadians and 30% of Americans were satisfied with the national health system.  

Just as life as we know it is changing, so has healthcare’s ability to deal with the needs of its consumers. People are rightfully losing faith and more importantly respect for the ability of western medicine to effectively deal with current challenges much less the future demands of an aging population. This is not conjecture, this is fact, and the sad thing is that nobody seems to be grabbing a mitt and getting into the game. We all see this every day in practice as patients constantly voice their displeasure with the current health care delivery system’s inability to satisfy their needs. With this, there is a groundswell of people actively looking for new ways to stay healthy. 

In many respects we have lost the battle of fighting disease, and the only way the human race is likely to survive this century will be found in rediscovering what it means to be healthy. We have forgotten that health has always been the intended expression of life. For the most part, we get sick not by chance, but because something systemically has gone wrong with the organism creating a predisposition to illness. Health has in some way been compromised.

This is not rocket science; it is just logic and common sense. The only way to ever fight disease effectively is to create a healthier species. To build upon the thousands of generations of evolutionary trial and error and capitalize on or discover strategies to effectively facilitate health. This is where the need to think big comes in.

We believe that chiropractic and naturopathy are perfectly positioned to lead the new health discovery movement. We all know that efficiency of movement is pivotal to health and longevity, as is the maintaining of efficient biological and physiological systemics. The body inherently possesses everything that is required to maintain health. What we don’t have is a proactive enhancement strategy to take the human body and make it stronger and more resilient.

Lasting health improvements can only occur through the identification of core components of what it means to be alive and then the creation of programs to systematically nurture their improvement. Better food, better fluids, better movement, better breathing, better detoxification and better sleep. He/she who finds the solutions here will have automatically created a better machine, with improved capabilities in all facets of performance. 

If you truly wish to create a hero’s legacy in health care, creatively find ways to better service the foundational components of what it means to be healthy, for your patients. The information and tools to support this is out there. Let’s find ways to bring science and pragmatics together to build better human beings. 

Think large colleagues. 


Dr. Keith Thomson is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College and the Ontario College of Naturopathic Medicine. He ran a busy, rewarding and successful multi-disciplinary facility for over four decades in Peterborough, Ontario. Dr. Thomson has also served his professions in both provincial & national organizations.

Dr. Doug Pooley is a graduate of both Wilfred Laurier University and the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. He has enjoyed over 42 years of active practice and has served his profession in various capacities.