Today's Veterinary Business

FEB 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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42 Today's Veterinary Business Community But wait a minute. When you really think about it, our daily lives are frequently filled with unex- pected twists, unplanned changes of direction and circumstances beyond our control that force us to improvise. When the dog that was recovering so well from surgery suddenly takes a turn for the worse or your in-laws arrive unannounced on your doorstep for a "short visit," you're forced, like Brady, to do a little improvisation. The verb "improvise" means "to fabricate out of what is conveniently on hand." This is exactly what we're called to do pretty much every day of our lives. As much as we might like to have a script, improvisation is what life does and we have to get comfortable coping without a plan that we can confidently control. In today's unpredictable world, the simple principles of improv might just be your ticket to a greater abil- ity to rebound from setbacks, cope with stress and disappointment, and thrive in times of disruption. The offer here, as an improviser would say, is to learn to under- stand, trust and develop our ability to improvise. And to become more willing and more adept at flexing, adapting and adjusting to what we have, rather than wishing we had something else. In his book "Do Improvise," author Robert Poynton points out We imagine that many of you, like us, are fans of improvisational comedy. We can't help but be amazed when Wayne Brady, one of the stars of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" fabricates complete song lyrics in real time using a musical genre, melody and theme that's given to him only moments before he goes onstage. Also like us, you are probably quick to say something like, "I could never do that." Community GO WITH THE FLOW By Jeff Thoren, DVM, BCC, PCC When in doubt, improvise With presence of mind, you can notice more, let go and use everything at any moment and in any context. . By Trey Cutler, JD that this approach represents quite a shift in attitude. Instead of trying to bend events and people to your will, you focus on discovering a way to work with whatever you find. This can be liberating and can make you far more creative. You realize that you don't have to know every- thing and you don't always have to be on top of things. This attitude is founded on humility and accep- tance, which helps you become more compassionate, especially to yourself. It is a lighter way of being. This improvisational discipline assumes that events around you, and the people who provoke most of those events, are beyond your control. As a result, it discourages you from wasting time or energy, in vain, to control them. Instead, it fo- cuses on how to use whatever they give you, even if it is a challenge or an objection, and trains you to see these as opportunities. It pays attention to what you can control, which is your own attitude and response to whatever happens. Principles of Improv The three principles of impro- visation are simple and can be summed up in six words: • Notice more. • Let go. • Use everything. With presence of mind, you can apply these ideas at any moment and in any context. Notice More "The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunk- enly, serenely, divinely aware." — Henry Miller We can choose what we pay at- tention to. This is about deepening your capacity to be present in the world and to the people around you. If left to its own devices, our mind habitually wanders away from the present moment. When we're not in the here and now, we dwell in the past, grasping and replaying it, or we project into the future, trying to anticipate the unknown. By getting caught up in this kind of self-referential thinking, we get in our own way.

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