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2005: Issue 22

Simply Courage

Courage – the quality of mind that enables one to face danger with confidence, resolution and firm control of oneself. (American Heritage Dictionary 1983) 

America lost one of our bravest heroines last week with the death of Rosa Parks who on December 1, 1955 refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger.  This one brave act is now referred to as the beginning of the Civil Rights movement, and is the reason we were all introduced to Dr. Martin Luther King.  We will be eternally grateful for the courage Rosa demonstrated that fateful day. 

My hunch is that Ms. Parks demonstrated courage everyday leading up to that fateful day for to take the stance she took required a strong courage muscle.  Was she thinking about the consequences of her actions and their impact on her?  Probably not or she would have relinquished her seat.  Or was she demonstrating how to live true to your values, having identified a life purpose, and willing to own the consequences that result?  Holding ourselves 100% accountable for our choices is one of the basic behaviors of courage. 

While the anatomy teacher may disagree, I contend that we all have a courage muscle, and just like any muscle, we must exercise it in order to strengthen it.  Courage takes truly knowing ourselves and our comfort zone, and consciously choosing everyday to step outside of it – at least once. It takes connecting our heart and our mind, and trusting our gut.  It takes identifying all of our fears and facing them, head on.  It takes challenging the average, and working toward excellence.  It takes goals.  And it takes humility to say, “I’m wrong” or “it didn’t work.”  It takes action.

Christopher Reeve also showed us how to live a life with courage, giving credence to the philosopher Seneca, “sometimes even to live is an act of courage.”  Many of you see this everyday in your patients.  In an essay he was writing at the time of his death, he shares his profound story of living a fearless life, and reminds us, when we do, we make the world a better place for those who come behind us – perhaps that is the ultimate reason for having a high CQ.  (Ode issue 22)

Every day we have opportunities to demonstrate courage…..from the relative mundane to the heroic.  It is the repetition through the mundane that builds our muscle, and allows us to increase our CQ (courage quotient) so that when called upon for the heroic, we rise to the occasion.     

A derivative of the medieval Old French word “corage” meaning heart and spirit, courage is as Aristotle claimed in 350 BC, “the first of human virtues because it makes all the other virtues possible.”    At its strongest, it has the power to transform, and at its weakest, the power to destroy.

1. Do something everyday that causes you to step outside of your comfort zone….even if it is as simple as driving a. new way to work or tasting something you believe you won’t like. 
2. Evoke the power of asking “what’s the worst that could happen?”
3. Encourage others!
4. Know what makes your heart sing and have the courage to let it. 

ABOUT Extra Ordinary Living

Taking their learning from 20+ years in corporate healthcare, Janet Crawford and David Scheiderer, MD formed Extra Ordinary Living, Inc. in 2003 with an intention of helping physicians, other healthcare professionals and their organizations identify possibilities and opportunities, remove obstacles, and ultimately, optimize results.

Usually the first question we are asked, is why Tiberius? Our trivia friends usually can identify the references……yes, Tiberius was the 2nd Roman emperor, and yes, Tiberius is the middle name of James T. Kirk from Star Trek. One of our life mottos and business principles is “to learn from the past, look to the future but live in the present;” thus, Extra Ordinary Living.

As Executive and Professional Coaches, we are trained to listen, to observe and to customize our approach to our client's needs. We provide tools, support, structure and accountability to help our clients unleash their full potential and optimize results. There are so many reasons for physicians in particular to feel disenchanted with their chosen profession, their calling. Having a coach helps them get back in touch with their passion for being a healer.

The best thing about coaching is that it is all about you and what you want. We may share our opinions and give you advice, but it is up to you to pick and choose what you want to accept. We suspend judgment and will support you in your decisions.

As Professional Speakers, our messages are inspirational while imparting useful, practical and memorable information in a fun and dynamic way to help you in your pursuit of authentic happiness, and the enjoyment of deep life experiences.  

David Scheiderer, MD, MBA
Executive Coach

Janet Crawford, MHA, MBA
Executive Coach

Tiberius Rx ... written for physicians and those who love them, work with them, or befriend them, and want to explore, experience and excel in all aspects of their life.

"A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage. Every day sends to their graves obscure men whose timidity prevented them from making a first effort."
– Sydney Smith
"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage."
– Lao-Tzu


Nov. 3rd & 4th
On November 3rd & 4th, Janet will be the guest speaker at the Virginia Association of Medical Staff Professionals annual meeting providing the keynote address Afterall, It is ALL about Me, and a workshop, Leading with HEART

Nov. 15th
On November 15th, Janet will present a workshop at the Virginia Association of Free Clinics, Managing Yourself in Time & Space.

Janet’s essay, Cheer on the team, not just your child is published in the local sports journal, Play By Play, Vol. 2, No.1 October 31, 2005 available free at several locations in the area.