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It’s All Good

July 20, 2015

Filed under: Happiness — Tags: , , , — Barry @ 10:28 AM




As I have mentioned in this blog many times, I am a hot yoga enthusiast.  I mostly do it as a form of exercise, a very demanding form of exercise.  Yoga, they say, has many additional benefits, from the medical to the metaphysical.  I really love to sweat.

Occasionally, one might hear something in a Yoga class that can change the way you look at the world.  Just last week my teacher, Leo, said something that made a big difference.

First, let me tell you about Leo.  He’s a professional Bikram teacher, and amateur philosopher.  People flock to his classes for the workout, the philosophy and the humor.  Leo always has a smile on his face…he’s never in a bad mood.

In Philadelphia we have a sports radio broadcaster who when asked how he is doing, always answers, “Never had a bad day in my life.”  Then he goes on complaining, criticizing and condemning just about everyone in town…including his call ins.

But that’s not Leo.  He never complains, condemns or criticizes anything or anyone.  He truly understands Dale Carnegie’s first rule of how to win friends and influence people.

Whenever I meet someone who maintains a genuine positive attitude I am in awe.  I just completed my next book, Short Guide to a Long Career.  I will be distributing it for free at summer’s end.  If you are on my mailing list (See the ADL list on the right >>>), you will get your copy as soon as it’s ready.

In the book I write about what it takes to have a long sustainable career in dentistry.  Most dentists know that is not something to take for granted.  I write about well-being and happiness.  Sustainable happiness.

The positive psychologists tell us that well-being is determined by 5 nutriments:

  1. Positive Emotions
  2. Engaging Work
  3. Positive Relationships
  4. Meaningful Work
  5. Achievement

The first one…positive emotions is a tough one…especially in such an emotional profession like dentistry.  Staying positive has always been my biggest challenge.  I suppose it’s a big challenge for other dentists too…with all of the negative complaining, criticizing and condemning I read online these days.

Let me return to Leo…how does he do it?

During our last class I listened as he taught the students.  He corrected people and as he noticed frustration—he just said, almost as an automatic response – “It’s all good.”

Then it hit me—he created a thought habit—“It’s all good.”

And it is!

So I have been practicing.  I slow down and think.  No matter what happens—I choose my response…and it’s all good.

It has a great calming effect.  Days go by much better…I have more energy.  Negative energy can suck the life right out of you.

Norman Vincent Peale was right—there is power in a positive mental attitude.  The problem is how to maintain it…

Try it…it can’t hurt…It’s all good.






  1. I have practiced the fine art of positive self deception my entire life ~70 years.
    The allows me to convince myself that what I have accomplished or personally own is among the best there is. Intellectually, I recognize that it may not be true but that means very little to how I perceive MY WORLD.

    It is also important never to get down on yourself even when things are not going as you might want them to go. Most recently, I tripped over an electric handpick hose in my office and was propelled into a door frame, fracturing my shoulder. I selected one of the best surgeons for a Reverse Shoulder Replacement and carefully planned my return 34 days later. Staying positive is of the utmost importance for success

    Comment by Gerald Benjamin — July 20, 2015 @ 9:20 PM

  2. Sorry to hear about your bad luck Gerald—now that’s something I would have a difficult time staying positive about. Some of our colleagues can’t hold up over much less than that.

    Comment by Barry — July 20, 2015 @ 9:32 PM

  3. Hi Barry,
    Au contraire…it was not bad luck but rather everyday life.
    39 years ago this week, I was helping a dental school classmate start his car and was pinned between two cars, amputating my leg. Fortunately, one of the best trauma surgeons in the country worked all night to re-attach my leg. Despite the Dean telling me that I could not and would not graduate with my senior class, I did and within 18 months I was out running 5 miles.
    The fine art of positive self deception allows me to accept what has happened and move forward to stay on track to succeed at my goals.

    Comment by Gerald Benjamin — July 20, 2015 @ 10:09 PM

  4. Wow–that’s some story. Whatever doesn’t kill you… That’s real resilience…I commend your courage. Not only did you graduate but you went on to do quite well.

    Comment by Barry — July 21, 2015 @ 7:55 AM

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