Volume 2 | #25 | April 17, 2020

COURAGE…our Inner Strength! 

As the COVID Calamity swirls around us and we are bombarded in mid-April by continuing bad news couldn’t help but think about the “will”, the intestinal fortitude”, the outright “Courage” it must take for our front line health professionals to go to work each day….for many they probably don’t think about it at all. In fact, they probably don’t have the time to dwell on the personal risk. It is part of their expected performance duty…. they accept it and forge onward. They exemplify Courage!! 

As Winston Churchill said in another time of war…” success is not final… failure is not fatal…. it is the Courage to continue that counts.” Our health care practitioners and those supporting our infrastructure are our real everyday heroes that are showing us the Courage to continue each and every day. I thought Rex Murphy had a wonderful idea to support these front-line workers…. give them all an income tax holiday for 2020!!! A grand gesture of thank you…if you agree, send a note to your Federal MP. 

How do we find the Courage to face and stare down Life’s many challenges? I have been reading about Theodore Roosevelt who at age 43, unexpectedly became President of the United States in 1901 following the assassination of President McKinley…” Teddy “of Rough Rider fame was an accomplished orator and writer…publishing 40 books during his career. He had led a rather privileged childhood but he had been sickly and weak, bullied and abused. How did he rise above his weaknesses to become one of the most revered Presidents in history ?…. in President Roosevelt’s own words...“a soft easy life is not worth living if it impairs the brain, the heart, the muscles...we must dare to be great and realize that greatness is the fruit of our toil and sacrifice and High Courage …for us is a life of action, of strenuous performance…let us strive mightily. Let’s us run the risk of wearing out…not rusting out !!” 

With “Courage to continue “as his platform he created a lifelong practice to improve his productivity called “Deep Work”. He got started in College planning a schedule each day allocating time to three essentials in his day from 8:30 to 4:30…. the three essentials were his required classes at Harvard or later meetings in the White House, Lunch, and Exercise. The fragments of time left over between these essentials were defined as his Deep Work periods. An issue needed resolution, a subject needed learning, were designated in these time fragments…the time period was defined, a subject allocated and then he totally designated his focus to the subject. The key was absolutely no interruptions. He would purposely set a deadline to complete the task well ahead of the allotted “deep work “fragment of time. His objective was to take the full extent of his attention and intellectual capacity and concentrate it into a fragment of time. Free of any distraction….imagine the challenge of Deep Work today to you and I and especially our leaders ..TV, email, iphone, workplace demands, etc. The potential interruptions today are enormous…and our focus has tended to disintegrate...even celebrated with expressions liked multi-tasking…effectively doing many things at once…all rather poorly!!! 

Roosevelt got more done in an hour of focus than many people do in an entire day. His cornerstone motivation was to have the Courage to try, no matter the severity of the obstacle. He then became blessed with the greatest reward of all…TIME…. Time to do the things he loved to do… he was a boxer, a wrestler, took dance lessons, wrote poetry, and had an obsession with nature and its protection. 

Vincent Van Gough said...” what would life be if we had no Courage to attempt anything.” Discipline, Focus and Determination will conquer this COVID Calamity. Remember to have the “Courage to Continue” no matter the challenge….just like our everyday hero’s on the front line of this battle !! 

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Live Positive!