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2007: Issue 6

First Times

Imagine….. seeing Kudzu or buffalo or a hickory tree for the first time; experiencing a drive through for the first time; being awakened by the smell of a skunk for the first (and hopefully last) time; visiting America, for the first time  and being recognized as an honored guest by receiving the key to the city. For many of us, these are familiar experiences; in fact, so familiar, that we don’t even see them for the experience they are. For our recent house guests from Giesenburg Germany, these experiences, along with many others, were absolute first times that they were thrilled and awed to have.

For me, as the observer, it was almost as thrilling …seeing their eyes light up in wonder; their curiosity sparked as they asked questions and shared observations; and feeling their sense of courage, adventure and joy as each new day dawned wondering what first times they would have that day.

Through them, I saw and experienced the familiar for the first time, and was subtly reminded that what is so very familiar to me, may not be to others, and vice versa.

The experiences of the week also reminded me that life is chock full of first times: good and bad; funny and sad, and all degrees in between. Some we create, and some just happen, even if we would just assume they didn’t. All of them we experience, and  we have the choice of viewing them as teaching moments. First times have tremendous value: they help us stretch our comfort zone, challenge our brain, and see things from a different perspective.

Seeing the excitement and joy in Hans and Katherina as they experienced so many first times has inspired me to consciously create more of them, and in doing so bring more value into my life.

As children, we relish first times. We experience them on a regular basis and often  celebrate them. Then we move on into adult hood, and adopt the ordinary pattern to let first times happen to us rather than create them. Brain science has something to do with this because doing something new challenges our habits, and thus, is painful and scary for our brain. Our energy efficient and often fatigued brain is just fine living a day of repeat experiences.

Many of my clients hire me because they feel stuck. Often leading busy lives, but not feeling fulfilled, satisfied or happy.  I use the analogy of a car being stuck. As the driver attempting to get it unstuck, if we are not careful, we just get it more stuck as we dig deeper and deeper ruts in our attempt to move it forward. We keep doing the same thing and wondering why we are not getting anywhere. Getting unstuck starts with putting first times into your life. It can be as simple as crossing your legs or arms differently (try it, you will be amazed at how awkward it feels) to going on a trip to a foreign country to changing careers. The first step is simply doing what you ordinarily do, differently.

Extra Ordinary

Reflect on the past month and identify the number of first times you had. How did they change your perspective? Challenge you?

What first times do you want to experience today? This month? This year?

Establish plans for having them, and DO IT!

What will get in your way of having them? Identify them and identify strategies for addressing them.

Founded in 2003 and based in Roanoke, Virginia, Extra Ordinary Living works with individuals, organizations and teams to identify possibilities, create opportunities, remove obstacles and through deliberate action, optimize results.

Usually the first question we are asked, is why Tiberius? Our trivia friends can often 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 while living in the present.” Thus, Extra Ordinary Living.

As Professional Coaches, we are trained to listen, to observe and to customize our approach to our clients needs.  We provide tools, support, structure and accountability to help our clients unleash their full potential and optimize results.  The best thing about coaching is it is all about you – the client, 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 our audiences live  extra ordinary lives.  

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
– Joseph Campbell

Janet Crawford, MHA, MBA
Professional Certified Coach

A publication of Extra Ordinary Living,  Extra Ordinary Living is written for aspiring individuals striving to make a difference, and wanting to explore, experience and excel in all aspects of their life.

"Few people even scratch the surface, much less exhaust the contemplation of their own experience."
– Randolph Bourne

“All progress occurs because people dare to be different."
– Harry Millner


On April 1, Janet will be facilitating a teambuilding adventure for the communications company, Shentel at Berry Hill Plantation.