It is interesting sometimes to pause and take a look at what you've actually been doing for the last 5 years. It's now 7:20pm on a sunny Saturday evening and I've just finished reviewing what I've been up to since 2009. I'm currently studying for the Fellowship of the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners, which is part of the Royal College of Surgeons. There is currently no higher award for General Dental Practitioners in this country. I've always kept a log/written record of my postgraduate activity and interests not because I had to but because I always found it interesting to see where my time was going.
As an eternal enthusiast I have never needed any encouragement to attend Dental seminars, lectures or conferences because I absolutely love what I do and I wouldn't do anything else (other than surf or climb my way around the globe).
However, one of the requirements of the Fellowship application process is the submission of a personal development plan covering a minimum of five years. So I printed out the last five year's worth of postgraduate education and have had fun colour coding each activity.
Black - overriding aims or ambitions for the year related to business aspirations or the material fabric of the premises that we operate from.
Yellow - the colour of sunshine to govern my education and my mental stimulus.
Blue - for the development of my team around me and to ensure I see that they are getting sufficient encouragement in a nurturing environment.
Blood red - for bone and soft tissue augmentations.
Orange - to follow my increasing interest in full arch restorations on a reduced number of implants i.e. teeth in a day.
Pink - to represent my interest in teaching and mentoring and the passing on of knowledge to those less experienced than myself.
Each year of the personal development plan is supposed to comment on what you feel your weaknesses are, what you feel your strengths are and what you plan to do about eliminating the weaknesses and using your strengths.
Each year should have aims and objectives and how you hope to achieve these aims and in what timescale and then finally what you've learned by looking back over the year and what you hope to learn going forward.
Standing up to look down on my sheets of A4 I'm enjoying the reflection I'm experiencing of the last five years of my life. Seeing my aims and ambitions unfold in colours and noticing patterns across the years to show how each and every attribute has developed, evolved and has maintained a very satisfying progress.
I also look down with a wry smile at 2014 not yet finished, yet full of the black ink of future plans. The anticipation of when I've finished preparing for and hopefully passing the Fellowship to the FGDP, I will have so much more time with which to press forward with a new vigour for my aspirations, goals and dreams.
Everyone to pause and reflect. It creates a rosy glow to be satisfied by what you see...and if the glow is not there, it’s a stimulus to do something about it.