Life Is More About Possibilities than Probabilities

March 18, 2024 Paul Henny DDS

Paul A. Henny, DDS 

Dentistry can be an isolating profession, wherein there are few people around who fully understand the pressure we’re under and the extreme level of responsibility and personal accountability we face on a daily basis. As a result, the isolation and pressure can easily cause us to feel like we’re in a lonely battle against a cold world that simply doesn’t care about what we are trying to accomplish. 

When we get into that mindset, it’s easy to think that competition is outside of us, that ultimately life is a battle of “us” against “them” and zero-sum. But few things in life are truly zero-sum, because very few things in life are that black and white. In truth, life is more about possibilities than probabilities, which means life is largely what we make of it instead of what happens to us. We are only in competition with others and the world at-large when we try to be like others, and we try to play the game by other people’s rules by aping of their behavior and adopting their mindset and values. 

The belief that we are in a constant state of competition is just an illusion because we can never become someone else, nor can we replicate their path to success, much-the-less become a mirror image of how other people think. 

Our true and authentic self has no competition. There is nobody else on this planet who can do exactly what we do, the way we can do it – that is, if we have the courage to try and fail until we master it. Hence, our authentic self has no competition because there’s nobody quite like us, and the sooner we accept who we are with grace, the sooner we can stop fighting our identity by attempting to become something that we cannot become. 

When we are clear about who we are, what we believe in, and what we are willing to fully get behind and make sacrifices to achieve, the more we’ll come to the realization that our feelings of competitiveness are a self-created illusion. Achieving this deeper level of self-understanding allows us to see ourselves from a perspective from which we are no longer envious of what others have accomplished, and we no longer desire what others have created, because we understand that we cannot build a life that’s not our own and we need to proceed forward and do the work necessary to create something for ourselves and others. 

The fastest way up the ladder of success is through the lifting up of our true selves. Sometimes that process can take a while, because in the beginning we don’t fully understand who we are, and we therefore can’t be clear about what we’d like to accomplish with our life. 

We can only rise up when we care enough about ourselves to invest in our future self – today. We can rise up by developing ourselves into the best person we can be today instead of spending our energy chasing after other people’s ideas of what “good,” “optimal,” and “admirable” mean. 

The simple fact is that we’ll never become our best self until we stop trying to be something that we can’t be.  

To quote a line from one of the songs of my childhood, “If you’ve found your place at last, then you need not use the looking glass.“ 

Related Course

Pankey Scholar 14B

DATE: August 15 2024 @ 6:00 pm - August 17 2024 @ 3:00 pm

Location: The Pankey Institute


Dentist Tuition: $ 3905

Single Occupancy with Ensuite Private Bath (per night): $ 290

“A Pankey Scholar is one who has demonstrated a commitment to apply the principles, practices and philosophy they learned through their journey at The Pankey Institute.”   At its core,…

Learn More>

About Author

User Image
Paul Henny DDS

Dr. Paul Henny maintains an esthetically-focused restorative practice in Roanoke, Virginia. Additionally, he has been a national speaker in dentistry, a visiting faculty member of the Pankey Institute, and visiting lecturer at the Jefferson College or Health Sciences. Dr. Henny has been a member of the Roanoke Valley Dental Society, The Academy of General Dentistry, The American College of Oral Implantology, The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantology. He is Past President and co-founder of the Robert F. Barkley Dental Study Club.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.