Last week in Part 1 of this blog post, I told readers about one of the biggest failures I’ve had to endure in my life: getting kicked out of Physical Therapy school in my last doctoral semester. I told the story, offered the approach that got me out of the gutter, and outlined why this apparent failure turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me (despite it sounding cliche).
I then told readers about the two questions that I asked about 15 of my friends or mentors to answer related to conquering their own failures. They were
#1 – “How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?”
#2 – “What piece of advice would you give someone currently experiencing a similar failure, or apparent failure, given what you have been through?”
Today in Part 2 of 4 in this blog series I will start to share the responses from some of the people I respect the most and I get to work with daily. Here are the responses to these two questions from Mike Reinold, Lenny Macrina, and Dan Pope. Tons of great insight from all of them, and I thank them for their input!
Mike Reinold DPT, ATC, SCS, CSCS
Co-Owner of Champion PT and Performance, Owner of MikeReinold.com, former Boston Red Sox Head AT/PT
1. [Favorite Failure] and 2. [Advice]
“I really believe perceived failure is all within your perspective. I fail everyday. Heck, often multiple times per day. I’ll use a clinical example but by all means this all applies to my business and even personal life.
As a physical therapist, I base my programs on my evaluation process and assessment of the client. Sometimes I’m wrong, or at least off a little bit. The key to success in our service based industry to be open minded and ready to pivot. Even if you are convinced that the person’s symptoms are coming from a rotator cuff tear, for example, the worse thing you can do is have tunnel vision and not watch for subtle signs that we may be barking up the wrong tree.
We see this all the time at Champion, patients that come to use after working for months at another physical therapy clinic doing the same thing over and over again with minimal to no improvement. They aren’t realizing they may be missing something. Any time the person does not respond as expected, I take a step back, reflect on what I may have missed, and pivot.
Is that failure? Sure. I think so.
But there is a big difference between failing quickly and adjusting, and entering a downward spiral because of your ego. I think the real failure would be not being open minded and ready to shift gears when your original thought process “failed” at helping.
Failing quickly and pivoting is what I call success, not failure, and I’m pretty sure my patients would agree. That’s what makes an expert clinician in my mind. Not how much they know, but rather how much they are willing to continue learning each day.”
Lenny Macrina MSPT, SCS, CSCS
Co-Owner of Champion PT and Performance, former 10 year Sports Physical Therapist with internationally renowned medical providers Dr. James Andrews and Kevin Wilk
1. [Favorite “Failure”] & 2. [Advice]
“I feel like I’m living a failure right now. My priorities have shifted from my career to my daughter’s growth and well being. She is the priority in my life and everything else has taken a back seat. Is that a failure? Well, maybe not because it’s been amazing to see her grow but I have let me personal growth slip a bit. I try to keep afloat but don’t always do a good job and let projects slide both personally and professionally. I have a busy 2018 up ahead and am trying to reinvigorate myself with a better schedule of my ‘to-do lists’ and plan appropriately. I need time with my family but I also need to keep growing and get better as a PT. It’s been difficult but I feel as if I’m beginning to get better but have a long way to go.”
Dan Pope DPT, OCS, CSCS
CEO/Founder of Fitness Pain-Free, Power Monkey Camp Staff, Physical Therapist at Champion PT and Performance, Former Strong Man National Champion, 2x CrossFit Regionals Competitor
1. [Favorite “Failure”]
“I think one of my biggest most recent failures was workaholism and spreading myself too thin. Before moving to Massachusetts I was working 50+ hours per week as a therapist, part-time as a coach, writing online programming for athletes, traveling and working for power monkey fitness, maintaining a blog and website full time, creating online products, taking many students as a clinical instructor and trying to compete as a Crossfit athlete.
Although it really propelled my career forward it also took a major toll on my health. Even though I love this stuff, the stress of it eventually caught up. It was one of the first times in my life I’ve felt chronically depressed and anxious. I’d get sick easily, feel exhausted throughout the day and had very little in terms of mental resources to deal with other stressors in my life. The wake up call came when I started getting heart arrhythmias (supraventricular tachycardias) while I was training.
It was extremely selfish and I realized I was completely neglecting all other parts of my life which are important. Friends, family and other pleasurable experiences went by the wayside. The other major issue with this behavior was not being able to fully commit to any specific goal in my life. “You can’t ride two horses with 1 ass.” I wasn’t doing the best job with my online business, my patients, my programming or much of anything really.
Since then I’ve done a much better job of prioritizing. I stopped coaching, stopped writing programming and decreased the amount of hours I spend seeing patients. This was really hard for me to do but it has allowed me to be a much better therapist, run my online business better and focus on other parts of my life that needed attention.
My advice would be to regularly reflect on your own goals and current work situation to ensure you’re moving in the right direction without sacrificing the other aspects of life most important to you. Reaching your goals in life will undoubtedly take a ton of work, dedication and discipline but I doubt many people are sitting in their death beds at the end of their life wishing they had worked more total hours.”