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2006: Issue 11


Congratulations is a common refrain this time of year as schools hold their graduation ceremonies; recent graduates find new jobs, beginning their career; children receiving their final report cards, hopefully capturing their year’s successes; parents and teachers surviving yet another school year; not to mention it being the peak of the season for weddings, and thus, anniversaries.  We are hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t have a milestone date during the months of May and June at which time we extend congratulations.  

I was intrigued by a recent article titled Finding JOY.  The Art and Science of Savoring by Fred Bryant, Ph.D. proposing that one of the keys to having joy, which does improve our physical health, is savoring the positive moments, regardless of the magnitude.  As you and I know, in the “hectivity” (combination of hectic and activity)  of our lives, we tend to diminish the myriad of positive moments which regularly occur, almost looking over them, or at best, giving them a second or two of thought, and then moving on for who has the time……

In researching the origin of the word congratulations, I was sent to the word grace, Latin word gratia, or Sanskrit, gratus meaning celebrated, pleasing, dear.  Putting “con” to the front adds the meaning thoroughly.  And in Latin, congratulari means “to wish joy.” 

One of the ways to savor the positive is to extend congratulations –to others, yes, and as importantly to yourself.   Sometimes it is “thoroughly celebrating” that you made it through the day or the important meeting or the dinner with your family at which everyone got along; or completed the project that received rave reviews; or maybe you simply had a good night’s sleep—in my book, little has more value than that.     Wishing yourself congratulations makes those experiences that much more rewarding, thus, helps you optimize their value, maximizing the return on your investment of time and effort. 

Observation:  Our society embraces opportunities to extend congratulations at what we have determined to be life milestones.  Yet there are so many more opportunities, at bare minimum, one a day, where extending congratulations is fitting, if we would only take a second or two to step out of the “hectivity” of our daily lives.   

Assessment:    Imagine what your day would be like if there were more joy infused into it.  Take responsibility for doing so by merely extending congratulations to yourself, to your staff, to your spouse or other loved one, while truly savoring the meaning of the word. 


  1. Wish yourself joy by recognizing the opportunities to say congratulations.
  2. Savor the meaning of the word, if only for five seconds.
  3. Express congratulations to others, sincerely of course, but more often than at those typical milestones. 

Janet Crawford, MHA, MBA
Professional Certified Coach

David Scheiderer, MD, MBA
Executive Coach

Tiberius Rx ... written for professionals who defy the law of average and want to explore, experience and excel in all aspects of their life.

"He who does not get fun and enjoyment out of every day... needs to reorganize his life.
- George M. Adams

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues, but the parent of all others."
- Sir Winston Churchill

"The human spirit needs to accomplish, to achieve, to triumph, to be happy."
- Ben Stein


On June 1, Janet will be speaking at the Division of Dental Health’s annual training, “Successful Strategies for Optimizing Your Energy Equation.”