Stop Becoming. Start Being.

Stop Becoming. Start Being.

Edward Kramer tells the story of three brick layers building a wall on a warm summer day. A stranger passes by for a moment to watch. He asks the first brick layer, “What are you doing?” Without looking up, the man replies, “I’m laying brick.” The stranger continued walking by the wall and stopped at the second brick layer. He asked, “What are you doing?” The second man slapped on some mortar and said, “I’m earning twenty dollars a day.” Finally, around the corner the stranger encountered the third brick layer and asks, “What are you doing?” The worker carefully placed a brick with precision. He stepped back, looked at the entire building with pride and replied, “I’m building a cathedral.”

We don’t know the skill level or years of experience for each of the three workers. Arguably, the first brick layer might have had more ability than the others. The second brick layer might have had more years on the job. In this example, the only thing that matters is the attitude of the third brick layer. In his mind, he was doing important, life-changing work that would last for generations. He didn’t wait for someone to promote him to foreman or construction manager. He was being, not becoming, an important person in his daily life.

One of the great honors of working with doctors from all over the globe is the opportunity to see smart and talented healthcare providers and business owners not only talk the talk of growing their practices but also walk the walk.

If you want to be taken seriously and see new patients, authority and wealth flow to you, start being what you wish to be. How you talk, write, dress, manage, motivate and take action should all support how you wish to be, not something you are becoming.

Jimmy Fallon, Emmy-Award winning host of The Tonight Show on NBC recalls night after night as a child, recording Saturday Night Live monologues with a reel-to-reel audio recorder so he could listen to Steve Martin and Richard Pryor. He would play back the audio and rehearse the timing for the best parts where the audience laughed the loudest. By the time he was thirteen, Fallon’s parents and their friends were paying him to entertain at their dinner parties.

Fallon never saw himself as becoming funny. Since he was old enough to remember, he was being funny and entertaining people.

Where in your life or in your practice are you sitting around waiting to “become” something? A better boss, a more serious student of management and marketing, the sought-after provider in your area, the best place to work, the most generous supporter of local charities, etc.

Stop trying to become something and decide right now that you will BE what you want to be.

Worked at Burleson Orthodontics. Attended University of Missouri–Kansas City. Lives in Kansas City, Missouri.