2013 Scientific Assembly Opening Session

Know, Live Your Purpose, Says Assembly Keynote Speaker

September 26, 2013 05:15 pm Cindy Borgmeyer San Diego –

Let's be honest. Are you the kind of person who brightens up a room when you come into it or when you leave it? If you answered the latter, motivational speaker and author Glenna Salsbury has a few tips for you on how to build back your energy, connect with those around you and add to your own joy.

2013 AAFP Scientific Assembly keynote speaker Glenna Salsbury draws lots of laughter, a few tears and thunderous applause for her presentation on discovering -- and living -- your purpose.

Speaking to a packed house, Salsbury delivered the keynote speech(static.coreapps.net) during the opening session of the AAFP's 2013 Scientific Assembly here Sept. 25.

Rebuild Your Energy and Connect

Display Your Enthusiasm. Whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, "everyone has a way of displaying enthusiasm," Salsbury told her approximately 4,000 audience members. "We can and do make a difference. It can be a positive difference or a negative difference."

One simple way to ensure you're making a positive difference, said Salsbury, is to interact with those around you in a way that affirms their value. Whether it's your business manager, your front office staff, your nurse or a new employee, "It doesn't take much to come through the door and say 'thank you,'" she said.

And, don't forget that it's not just your words that the people around you are taking in, said Salsbury. "When you connect with the people on your team, it's how you say it."

Story highlights
  • Scientific Assembly keynote speaker Glenna Salsbury urged Assembly-goers to make connections with others to enhance their own lives.
  • Focusing on the positive allows people to expand their horizons and seek adventure, she said.
  • According to Salsbury, it's important to define -- and live -- your purpose.

That goes for your patients, too, she noted. "There is no one like you, and no one but you connects with your patients."

Ask Personal Questions and Listen to the Answers. When you meet with a patient, are you looking beyond the symptoms? Are you taking the time to get to know that person as a unique, irreplaceable individual? "It doesn't take much to tap into a patient's story," Salsbury observed, "because everybody has a story, don't they?"

It's important to discover those stories, she said, because that's how you begin building connections with your patients and others you meet. As Salsbury has learned in her own life, making those connections can start with a single question: "Tell me about you."

Practice Calling People by Name. To solidify the connections you make with those around you, acknowledge each person by name, suggested Salsbury. "You may have the chart in your hand" when you walk into the exam room to see a patient, she said, "but I'm wondering if you call them by name." It's something Salsbury says her own family physician does, and it's important. "Our name is who we are," she noted.

Focus on What Enhances Your Life

"It's important to realize that the people around us are the people we love," said Salsbury. But stress can change how we interact with those people, and it can be all too easy to focus on the small negatives in a relationship rather than the vast majority of positive elements. "What if you woke up in the morning with only the things that you were grateful for yesterday?" Salsbury asked. Find ways to rediscover those positives and focus on them, and you'll bring joy to those around you -- and to yourself.

Taking a page from the late Steve Jobs, a co-founder and former CEO of Apple Inc., Salsbury encouraged audience members to hone their focus by learning to say no. "Say 'no' to things that don't enhance your life," she urged. That can leave you free to expand your horizons, plan an adventure, and know and live your purpose.

"It's important that we know (our purpose) and that we live congruently with our purpose day in and day out," said Salsbury. Give the things that really matter in your life the time and attention they deserve, and make sure those around you know what they mean to you. "Caring, sharing and laughing together make the world go round in a more balanced way," she said.

"I believe we all live on the same page of bringing love to others."

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