So I recently purchased a bracelet in which the company who manufactures the bracelet (MyIntent) challenges the consumer to choose their “word.” This got me thinking, “What is my word? What words do others choose and why?”

It is rather fascinating to hear why others choose their words. Their individual backgrounds and life experiences shape their reasoning for choosing their word, and this gave me an idea:

What word would professionals in our field choose? Would they choose words based on professional development? Their family? Their passion? I reached out to several individuals in the profession to inquire what their “one word” would be.

Sharon Dunn
APTA President

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“Grateful”

My word is “grateful”.  To remind me to always be grateful for the things typically taken for granted, like health, comfort, and convenience.  Also to be grateful for opportunities only made available through the contributions of others, and finally to be grateful for challenges and hardships, for these provide the best life lessons!

Jeff Moore
Owner, Institute of Clinical Excellence

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“Regret”

My word would be ‘regret’.  The day will come for all of us when it’s time to put the breaks on our hustle.  When it really is time to stop and smell the roses.  On that day the option to dream big and chase those dreams down, to make your mark and have it be one that changed the world and those within it for the better, will have passed.  The sun will have set on new adventures, new businesses, and putting revolutionary thought into action.  Ray this can be a beautiful thing man, a time to walk slowly through a field holding the hand of your spouse of 50 years and smiling ear to ear as you reflect on the ‘crazy days’, the days where you pushed yourself farther than you could ever have imagined in the name of wanting to make a difference, pulling energy from the cause of your mission even when you thought you had nothing more in the tank.  Those last couple decades are ultimately driven by reflection more than anything else, and I believe they can be the most profoundly satisfying of our entire lives.  But……What if you didn’t lay it all on the line?  What if you never threw your whole heart and soul into an idea that everyone said was crazy because you believed in it with every fiber of your being?  What if by the time you are ready to swim upstream in the name of what is right you don’t have the ability to do so?    For that reason sir, I would wear “regret” on my wrist so that at every fork in the road I choose the path most in line with my purpose, mission, and self.  Only traveling that way can I look longingly and not with dread towards the last leg of this great journey.

Gene Shirokobrod
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Jedi of UpDoc Media

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“Opportunity”

My word is opportunity. We are living through an incredible period of opportunity to deliver care, information and hope unlike ever before. We have the opportunity to start a business or join a business while reaching thousands of people everyday. We have the opportunity to do what makes us happy in order to live fulfilled lives and leave a legacy without ever uttering “what if?”

Ben Fung
Co-Founder and Chief Operating Jedi of UpDoc Media 

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Intentional

My word is “intentional.” Intent is a powerful thing. It is the focal point of action, purpose, and method. Success comes to those who intentionally practice excellence in all they do, in every aspect of their lives. The practice of physical therapy now stands on the precipice of healthcare disruption. The choice is to fly, or, to fall. Falling is easy. It can happen on accident and it can happen spontaneously. Flying, is hard. Flying requires the intentional choice to leap off an edge; an act which requires risk and change. Still, flying then requires further acts of intention, the repeated capturing of air under the wings and the navigation of turbulence winds ahead. And yet, we know that in order to soar… we must first take flight. I believe that the physical therapy profession is ready to fly. The only question is: Will you spread your wings?

Beth Collier
PTAG Vice President

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“Divergent”

One aspect of divergence pertains to avoiding common limiting assumptions. The world is a blank canvas if we can see outside of the proverbial box. I strive to remind myself to look at problems in many different ways to find innovative or novel solutions as well as to encourage others to play to their own strengths and passions to achieve greatness, though it may involve doing things differently than the status quo.

Ryan Balmes
PTAG President Elect

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“Grateful”

Grateful is my word because of my self-awareness and understanding of my place in life and history.

You see I’m a first generation Filipino-American, meaning that for my family, I’m the first generation to be born and raised entirely here in the United States. That alone has HUGE implications on how I want to live my life.

You see, my Dad came from poverty. He was the only one in my family to make it “out” to America. And he did it all on his own and with years of hard work. Making it here to the US is one thing. Raising successful children in a foreign country? (foreign to my Dad) It’s just another amazing accomplishment to my Dad’s lifework.

My family back in the Philippines are fully aware of how difficult it is to accomplish what my Dad has done. (My Mom already had US citizenship, since she was born in the US, but she was raised in the Philippines. Different backstory, but I’m always grateful for how my Mom worked hard for me and my brothers growing up.)

And for me, being a first generation Fil-Am, I want to get my “legacy” on the right start! I envision future generations being very successful.So I’m very grateful of the opportunity I was born into. I want to make the most of it. Being aware of my history I simply can’t squander all the opportunity and talents I have. I know that my situation could have been much different if it weren’t for my Dad.

I’m also grateful for having the skills of directly helping people’s lives. Compared to other professions where they’re simply a cog in a machine where the consumer is the end product, as a physical therapist I’m in direct contact with helping people, and better yet I have authority on how I can help. I’m grateful for APTA and PTAG making the changes necessary for direct access to happen. I’m grateful for all DPT, residency, and fellowship program for empowering me to be a really good clinician.

So with this gratitude…I work hard – really hard. I do this because doing anything other than working hard for what I’m passionate about is just an absolute waste of life.

I want to give a special thank you to everyone who contributed to this article. Each individual put much time and thought into their responses, and I hope you all appreciated their insight!

Thanks for reading!
Ray Lynch
PTAG SSIG, Vice President

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