TO NEW BEGINNINGS

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View everything you do with curiosity because even if it’s something you’ve done before there is always something new to learn.

It’s a new year, with new goals, new opportunities and new beginnings. Well, in my case with my return as editor to Optometric Office, it’s more of a boomerang than a beginning. But there is always room for novelty and innovation. As a reader of this magazine, you’re familiar with the content and the topics covered but you expect to learn something new after reading an issue. As editor of this magazine, I resolve to present this information in new and exciting ways.

As John Sailer mentioned in his Welcome (Back) column, I am a yogi in addition to being a writer and editor. One of the lessons from my 20-plus year practice that has stayed with me over the years is to cultivate a beginner’s mind. Beginner’s mind is a Zen principle that is often taught in yoga and meditation and one I find to be invaluable in my 20-plus year publishing career. Simply put, it’s an ability to look at things with fresh eyes so you can find new opportunities and better ways to do the things you are already doing.

To take that approach from yoga practice to an eyecare practice is not, well, a stretch. Just look at new technology as a new opportunity to treat patients. We’ve seen many developments—some would call them disruptors—over the past few years that are changing the industry and how you deliver eyecare. On the consumer side, patients are trying on frames virtually, ordering eyewear online and subscribing to contact lens services. Optometrists in private practice are utilizing telemedicine to help diagnosis conditions, iPhones to take refractions and cloud-based software to streamline appointment scheduling, coding and billing. Even the predecessors to these patient management systems were game-changers for a busy optometric office.

Speaking of cloud-based platforms, you may have been curious as to why Marc Beinoff, the chief executive of Salesforce, bought Time magazine a few months back. And you weren’t alone. The business world wondered why the tech CEO was interested in a media company. After all, his career has been firmly rooted in tech—starting with an internship at Apple and landing at software giant Oracle before starting his own company.

In an interview with The New York Times (via text) Beinoff said, “I live with a beginner’s mind. I didn’t realize two weeks ago I was going to buy Time.” He followed that statement by sending a screenshot of a quote from Zen master Shunryu Suzuki: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”
In his experience, he said, “My power was that I didn’t really want to do anything but I was open to all possibilities.” In other words, while he didn’t know much about publishing he was interested in its potential.

The takeaway here is to view everything you do from your day-to-day routine to a brand-new experience with curiosity. Even if it’s something you’ve done before there is always something new to learn. Here’s to new beginnings.

Joanne Marchitelli | Editor | JMarchitelli@FVMG.com

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