A Better Way
Last updated: September 3, 2020
“A Better Way” is a page-turner for anyone who loves a good story with a lot of twists and turns.
It is about the never dull, sometimes hilarious, sometimes sad and often unexpected experiences in the long life of an over-achiever. In a chronology of seemingly unrelated events and coincidences, a sequential thread is slowly formed that takes a kid from a pristine Florida vacation town in the 1930s through a lifetime of adventures that profoundly affected a profession and led to exceptional personal success. But there were unexpected lessons to learn along the way.
It is a story of how success in one endeavor can harbor the “curse of the entrepreneur”, a mind-set that can gradually expand one’s commitments to a variety of exciting projects that eventually reach a point of overload. When too many projects with “success” as the priority in life consume time that should be reserved for what matters most, it is time for an awakening. It is a story about how to find a better way to live a joyful life by concentrating on real priorities through an “either/or” process of choices. It is a story of learning when enough is enough.
When Peter Dawson as a young dentist started asking if there was a better way to treat a variety of dental problems than the standard textbook versions, he found so many ways to improve patient care, he started sharing his ideas with other dentists. How he proceeded to win over the profession in the face of organized academic resistance and even vitriol, is a story of persistence. The search for “better ways” expanded through all phases of dental practice including both clinical and management concepts.
Through implementation of the concepts he developed, his tiny one chair dental office grew into an international practice and a teaching center for post-graduate dentistry that attracted thousands of dentists to learn about the advances he developed in diagnosis, treatment and practice management. Today, the Dawson Academy for Advanced Dental Study has franchised centers in several states and many foreign countries. Five textbooks bear his name as author, including three of the all-time best selling dental textbooks published in sixteen languages.
But that is just part of the story…
Some “laugh-out-loud” chapters chronicle the author’s teen-age shenanigans and some hilarious experiences working his way through multiple jobs to pay for his education. His search for the perfect mate had enough mis-steps for a separate book, but finally finding Jodie, the love of his life, made waiting for the right one pay off in true love story fashion. And it is this love story that is at the center of raising a family while trying to find a balance between “activity addiction”, work, too many extracurricular commitments and quality time for the family as first priority.
As the thread of events continue through a long life, poignant chapters tell the heart breaking story of Jodie’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. But the tender, loving years that follow explain a sense of shared joy that could be a help to others who experience the challenge of living with Alzheimer’s.
“A Better Way” contains many stories. But the real story is an insight into a better way to live life to the fullest.
Great read about a Great Man
What a great account of a life well-lived. I have been a dentist for 40 years. My entire career I have looked to Dr. Dawson as the beacon of truth for dentistry. From this book, I so enjoyed learning much more about this amazing person. The book is well written with lots of good stories of his life. Dr. Dawson is a very gifted, giving man. This book conveyed his life experiences so well. I will recommend it to my dental colleagues.
Amazing life, wonderful book, great read!
Wonderful book, amazing story of a life well lived! A great read, a real page turner! The stories are incredible! I met Dr. Pete and Jodie 9 years ago through Church. This is a lovely story of their life, their family, their love and his career. Makes a great gift!
An Amazing story of an Amazing Man
This is an incredible book! Loved reading the first hand account of this amazing man’s story. He has given so much to so many and yet maintains a humility that is often unique among those who have accomplished so much. It is funny and interesting, heartwarming and meaningful. I highly recommend it!
Pete's honesty in revealing what has been most important to him.
Great autobiography book about a successful life well lived in service to others.
LOVE THIS BOOK
I just got this book and I can’t put it down. It is such a beautiful story… and I’m not a dentist. I would give it 100 stars!!!!
What an engrossing and inspiring story!
I just finished reading A Better Way, an autobiography of Pete Dawson, written with Gregg Lewis. Dr. Dawson has led an extraordinary life, and has made the effort in his last years to pass along some of the wisdom he’s gained along the way. Gregg is a talented interviewer and a word-master, so the enriching story is exceptionally well-told. I especially appreciated the last (sorta summary) chapter. I cannot express it any better or more concisely than they did, and I’m having trouble curating the essence for a “sound bite” here, but he discusses: too much stuff, too little time, too many projects, the either/or rule, too much media, too little Bible, too much pride, too little to exercise, too many clothes, too many of etc., too much worry, too much wasted time, too little love, too many unwise choices, and the ultimate choice. The only negative I would suggest is that the book is long- but then there’s a lot of story to tell and life lessons to be shared.
A Better Way to a life well lived
Just finished this well written and inspirational story. In the book Dr Dawson always seems to be at the right place at the right time with the insight and intelligence to take advantage of those times and places….a brilliant and talented Forrest Gump.
In life there is a better way so challenge yourself.
This is a fantastic read. Dr. Dawson’s life has certainly been well lived. He is an extraordinary man of faith, husband, father, friend and entrepreneurial dentist. This story of his life, challenges, successes, failures and vision of applying a “better way” to all aspects of his work and life is incredible. I laughed, cried and and felt blessed as I read this wonderful story. He challenged himself to always try to find a better way. He has done that in his life.