The Monday Morning Quote #333 – Poems in August #5


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling


Want to get a handle on Occlusion?

Want to get a handle on occlusion?

The British Society for Occlusal studies has been at the forefront of the teaching of occlusion to dentists in the UK for a quarter of a century. Their three day course to be held in Birmingham is one that I thoroughly recommend.

Details are available from the website



5132-BSOS-Seminar-Selner-v3 2



Are your customers avoiding you?

imagesI like, and sometimes even admire, the advertising industry, at its very top end it is entertaining and memorable. Most of it is not, it’s mundane, repetitive and unimaginative. I thoroughly enjoyed John Hegarty’s book and think that he and a lot of his colleagues are very bright, creative thinkers. I have read about David Ogilvy and how he took the US by storm, but he had great talent and would have been a success in any walk of life except, perhaps, as an Amish farmer which he tried, it didn’t work out. I even know about John Wannamaker who coined the phrase, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

But – here’s the thing. I hate being “advertised at”, I mute the TV commercials if I am watching something live. If I ever take part in surveys asking, for instance, about cars that I might consider buying and I am asked if I have been aware of adverts on radio or TV for the new (insert a brand or “marque” here), I almost always say no, then they run the ad and I’ll think “Oh is that what it was for?”

Facebook advertising drives me mad, the oh so clever algorithms that want to show me dentists, dental whitening, dental implants, dental business coaches (!) and so on. Then came the ads from Amazon showing me the last book that I bought, what’s that if not being really stupid with clever systems? Now I have forgotten that I ever had it and was amazed when I logged on through someone else’s machine recently.

This piece from UK business insider points out that web pages load far slower than they ought because of advertising, as someone who has very low bandwidth in my office and suffers like everyone else when travelling (a recent gold star for Edinburgh trams by the way) I am aware of the return to ‘dial-up’ speeds.

So like 14 million other people I have installed Adblock. I’m a member of that demographic that is defined as a “silver surfer” and I know plenty of people who have been delighted to use the internet as it was intended. So am I not the “target” audience? Well, I was introduced to adblocking by my son who is a 22 year old Physics graduate (incidentally he refuses to be tied to either Mac or Windows and only uses open-source software where possible). I gather most of his contemporaries also use an adblocker.

And the advertising industry is worried and asking themselves questions – Campaign.

I have just added a plug in called Ghostery to my browsers – it’s interesting to see what’s watching you. John Naughton as always writes about this and other technical things far better, here’s his column from the weekend where he poses the question about the future of web ads.

So – if you’re a dentist who is just about to spend an unspecified amount of money for Google adwords in the hope that you will appeal to your more discerning potential patients be aware that whilst Google is doing what it can to keep up with the blockers, a significant number of us just see advertising for what it is. You need to work with someone who understands the market, the people, the process and, of course, the pricing – the very good, experienced people won’t be cheap and you will have to recoup that outlay somehow.


Oh really?


The Monday Morning Quote #332 – Poems in August #4

Happy The Man

Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own:
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.

Be fair or foul, or rain or shine
The joys I have possessed, in spite of fate, are mine.
Not Heaven itself, upon the past has power,
But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.

John Dryden (1631 – 1700)


The Weekend Read – Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith


One of the biggest challenges that we all face is change. Marshall Goldsmith is one of the world’s leading executive coaches and he hasn’t got there by failing to help his clients succeed. To do so he has to be able to walk the talk in his own life and this book reflects how his approach can help each of us to succeed.

Every night, Goldsmith forces himself to do something that most of us would find very difficult. He speaks to a friend on the phone and ask him the same 22 questions. They all start with the phrase, “Did I do my best (today) to…?” The endings can be strategic, philosophical, professional, physical or personal. He has done this for years, revising the questions as his priorities have evolved. Not only does he answer he rates his efforts on a scale from 1 to 10.

Goldsmith’s stated mission is “to help people become the person they want to be, not tell them who that person is.” One of the fundamental tenets of my coach training taught me that the client is naturally creative, resourceful and whole. So I hope that my coaching is never directive and my simple mantra “to improve the condition of my clients” is in line with his.

The author’s first book, “What got you here, won’t get you there” dealt with identifying interpersonal skills that hold you back from being a success, this book takes things further into personal habits.

The 22 chapters are divided into 4 sections:

  • “Why don’t we become the person we want to be?”,
  • “Try”,
  • “More structure please” and
  • “No regrets”.

In the first section Marshall examines the truths of behavioural change and the role of “Triggers” he then goes on to look at the role of questions, being one’s own coach and the mantra “AIWATT” (am I willing at this time?).

Part 3 deals with developing the right structure for our individual success and then he wraps up with a short section on the circle of engagement and the need for change.

A trigger he defines as any stimulus that reshapes our thoughts or actions and can be of both beneficial and detrimental.

I first came across the book as an audio download and then followed up with the paperback. In the same way that, “What got you here, won’t get you there” had a profound effect on helping many to change their behaviours so “Triggers” will provide a great refinement and will reinforce and expand our seeking to make lasting, positive change.

If you’re struggling with your day to day progress then give this a read and carry through the actions and exercises that he suggests – it will change you and your results.

A Doctor’s Sword

Susan & I went to the multiplex cinema in Bantry last night to see the documentary film “A Doctor’s Sword”.

The late Pete McCarthy wrote that, “you should never pass a bar with your name on it” and his travelog “McCarthy’s Bar” features a (photoshopped) photograph of MacCarthy’s bar in Castletownbere on the Beara peninsula. This film is the remarkable story of a young man who was born in the bar and where a Japanese sword serves to tell his story.

Aidan MacCarthy was born on March 19th 2013, one of a family of 10 he was educated at Clongowes Wood, Presentation College and University College Cork where he graduated in medicine in 1938. There were few opportunities for new medical graduates in Ireland at the time so he travelled to the UK and found work and gained experience as a locum in England and Wales. After a night drinking in Soho with a couple of other Cork graduates they enrol with the RAF in early 1939.

After the outbreak of war Aidan was sent to France and then came back to England as part of the evacuation of Dunkirk. His next postings were to a number of airfields and at one of these his actions in saving men from a burning aircraft earned him the George Cross.

In 1942 he was sent to help the war effort in the Far East only to arrive after the fall of Singapore and be finally captured in Java. He spent the next 3 and a half years as a prisoner of war in camps in Java where he used his medical skills with the minimal equipment and medication available to ease the condition of his fellow prisoners.

In common with most who served time under the Japanese he rarely spoke of the privations, the arbitrary executions, beatings, starvation and disease that they endured.

As the course of the war changed he was sent to Japan on board a destroyer; torpedoed close to Nagasaki he was amongst 38 of the 980 PoWs who survived and were brought ashore by a whaling vessel. In August 1945 he and his fellow prisoners took shelter when they heard the air raid sirens when they emerged the city had been destroyed by the second atomic bomb.

Giving what help they could to the survivors of the blast, the prisoners took shelter in caves in the hills but were recaptured and transported some 28 miles away and held again until the Japanese surrender a couple of weeks later. Aidan was the senior officer in the camp and ensured discipline. He sheltered and protected the camp commandant from those prisoners who wanted to punish him. The commandant gave MacCarthy his sword, an act of huge significance to a Japanese officer.

On his eventual return to County Cork Aidan weighed 7 stone, half of what he had weighed at the outbreak of war. He continued to serve in the RAF, reaching the post of air commodore, and then worked as a GP in London until he was 80, he died in Northwood on 11th October 1995.

His biography “A Doctor’s War” was first published in 1979.

The film documents the journey that his daughter, Nicola, made to visit the places in Japan where her father had been held and to find the family of the commandant who gave him the sword. His other daughter Adrienne who runs the family bar completes the story. The ink drawings and animation illustrate graphically some of the events through which Aidan lived.

At the end of an RTE documentary about his life he is asked to what he attributes his survival through those days and replies, “my Irish Catholic heritage, my family background and lots and lots of luck.”

A wonderful film, that moves and inspires, about an amazing man – or perhaps an ordinary man who did extraordinary things because the circumstances demanded it of him.

The Monday Morning Quote #331 – Poems in August #3

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

By Robert Frost


The Monday Morning Quote #330 – Poems in August #2

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas


Hard Work….

From the Urban Tap House, Cardiff


What part of your job do you enjoy the most?

I have come to the (sad) conclusion that many people would rather stay as they are and moan about it than change and improve their situation.

Thank goodness my clients want to improve their lives.


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