As physical therapy owners, we have an advantage when it comes to finding happiness: We’re conditioned to serve others. It’s a superpower, really.
What makes PTs different is that we chose a profession that gives back, every day. We built a practice to provide care to our community. We cultivated a culture to look after our staff and their families. We are steered by the APTA’s core values that guide our behaviors to provide the highest quality of care for patients.
It reminds me of an ancient Chinese proverb:
“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”
I believe true happiness comes from making a positive impact on others, and that happiness is most apparent when it’s shared with a community who share the same ideals.
It’s actually rooted in science as well. Research with fMRI technology revealed that the act of giving or helping activates the same parts of our brain that are stimulated by sex or food. It’s a powerful form of pleasure that is hardwired in our systems and the more we trigger it, the happier we get.
So, why does happiness elude us at times? We’re helping – we’re giving – we’re doing our end of the bargain – where is the happiness and productivity, meaning – where’s our reward?
During those times, I challenge you to consider your motivations. It’s important to follow the path you are being pulled toward, but your purpose must serve more than just your own needs. Serve without expectation. Trade ego for altruism and pursue the motivations that keep you in the right mindset so happiness can find you.
Do it like your life depends on it. People need to get motivated to do what needs to be done in order to reach their life goals – so surround yourself with other leaders and helpers.
You may have heard these gut check quotes:
“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
“Your network is your net worth.” – Porter Gale
Know that when you are around happy, motivated people who share your values and mission, you’ll be inspired and find new ways to succeed. They’ll show you the tools, techniques and mindset it takes to grow your level of personal and business development so you can help more people and discover more happiness. And, if you surround yourself with toxic people, you’ll lay waste to your goals.
Honestly, happiness is a management issue for many. If you just take a couple of hours and decide on what makes you happy and brings you joy and then create the systems and clear the obstacles that get in the way, you’ll be operating from a place of greater happiness in no time.
Far too many people live their lives in quiet desperation, but if they can be connected to that one person who helps them believe in themselves and connect with that one big thing they’re really good at, then all they need to do is stay on that path and water that thing. Before you know it, you’ll have created freedom for yourself.
Take action. It is the only way things in your life will change. In my experience, a good start is to take two hours a week each week for personal and professional growth and development. Set it up so there are no distractions – now you are being intentional about the life you want with your hands on the steering wheel of success.
Taking the “safe path” in life often leaves you unhappy about not being true to yourself and living your life to the fullest potential. Leaders and high performers know that your failures are opportunities to do better, so learn from them.
Life is not static, it’s forever progressing. Our time here is temporary so get on with it and get busy experiencing true living – don’t waste a minute.
Our profession has connected us all. Simply by making the decision to care for patients and lead employees with kindness, it has given us the advantage to live a better life. It all starts with the decisions we make. It’s not enough to just know what it takes to feel our best – eating right, exercising, sleeping, meditating, etc. – it requires action to get results. You know what it takes, so put it into practice today.
Reconnect with your purpose in life. Take action to be kind and help others. Do it without expectations. Let the happiness that results fuel your future success and growth. Then, don’t forget to share it with others.
To help fuel your motivation, get started with these four keys to private practice success:
Brian Gallagher, PT is the founder and CEO of MEG Business Management, LLC. He has more than 27 years of experience in the field of rehabilitation and 19 years in business and specializes in Physical Therapy practice management and executive coaching nationwide. As a licensed business management consultant, Brian has helped hundreds of business owners nationwide improve their business operations through proper restructuring to achieve improved systems of efficiency and productivity as well as marketing and sales with effective public relations which have proven results for double-digit growth year-over-year with businesses around the country.