Dr. Kourosh Maddahi January 2019


One Step at a Time JANUARY 2019


With the start of the new year, people are thinking about what they want to accomplish in the weeks and months ahead. Whether you set resolutions in January or you’re a goal-oriented person, chances are you know how you want to better yourself this year. As a dentist, the most common resolutions I see have everything to do with the smile. Some people want a brighter, whiter smile. Others have decided to get more extensive work done. Either way, they are very achievable goals. Of course, just about every practical goal is achievable when you put your mind to it. Take myself, for example. As long as I can remember, I have been a goal-oriented person. When I was 13, and right around the same time I arrived in the U.S. from Iran, I knew I was going to be a dentist. That was my goal. I loved working with my hands, and I loved problem-solving. On top of that, I wanted to do something that allowed me to help people. Many people in my own family had entered the medical field in one capacity or another. My brother became a cardiologist. My uncle was a general surgeon. My brother- in-law worked in internal medicine. I made it a priority to become a dentist. I knew what I needed to do. I focused on my education and was able to complete the 11th and 12th grades at the same time. This allowed me graduate from high school at age 16. From there, I went to UCLA, graduated at age 20, and went straight to the school of dentistry at USC. By 24, I was setting up my own practice in Beverly Hills, renting out a space with one of my former USC professors. I had achieved my goal I had set 11 years earlier. It required a lot of hard work, but I knew what I wanted and I was willing to put in that work. When I set goals, whether at age 13 or today, I set goals that are just out of reach — they are hard to attain. I want to be challenged and to push myself. That’s what makes each goal worth it. Then, as I work toward a goal, I make sure I’m going into the right direction and that I’m always working toward that goal, even if it’s just in a small way every day or every week.

And I don’t think about how difficult it may be. There may be a mountain in front of me, but I know I will get to the top of the mountain if I take it one step at a time. That is my whole mindset. Despite the challenge, I make the process fun and engaging. Then, when I get to the end, I’m left with a true sense of accomplishment and pride. No matter what goals you set for yourself this year, don’t let setbacks get you down. Look for creative solutions for every single barrier. Take it one step at a time and push forward. It may take time to get accomplish your goal, but when you do, you will know the challenge was worth it.

-Dr. Maddahi



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