June 9     

Today's quotation:

The finest gift you can give anyone is encouragement.  Yet, almost no one gets the encouragement they need to grow to their full potential.  If everyone received the encouragement they need to grow, the genius in most everyone would blossom and the world would produce abundance beyond the wildest dreams.  We would have more than one Einstein, Edison, Schweitzer, Mother Theresa, Dr. Salk and other great minds in a century.

Sidney Madwed

Today's Meditation:

I want to be an encourager, not a discourager.  The difference between these two words is immense, and choosing one over the other can be one of the most important decisions of our lifetimes.  In my experience, I've seen a huge number of positive effects of encouraging other human beings, while I can recall hardly any positive effects that have come from discouragement.  When I encourage my students, they learn and grow and develop very well.  The teachers I know who discourage their students-- consciously or unconsciously-- do some pretty severe damage to the psyches of the children in their care.

Encouragement is so easy to give, and it usually costs nothing at all.  It requires that we're mindful of things that deserve our encouragement, and of the vulnerability and need for encouragement of the other people in our lives.  Co-workers, friends, family members-- even bosses or teachers-- can use an encouraging word now and then to help them deal with their daily lives and keep on keeping on.

When I teach, I usually try to make sure that I share some encouragement with all of my students in any given month.  It's very hard to do sometimes because it's hard to keep track of, but it's important, both to me and to them.  Some of them seem not to care whether I encourage them or not, but I don't encourage in order to get a certain reaction-- I can only give what I have to give and let it do its work on its own, without any expectations on my part.  The most important thing is that when I encourage, students feel better in my classes, and thus they're willing and able to learn more.  When I discourage, they don't even want to be there because they never know when I'll discourage them even more.

We all have many opportunities to encourage others, and as long as our encouragement is justified (very important) and sincere (also very important), we can go about spreading positivity and helping people to build their own self-esteem.  When I encourage, people are more willing to share with me in the future, which is a huge benefit for me.  Whether or not to encourage others is a choice that we make every day of our lives, and this choice is one that allows us to contribute to the positive energy in the world, or to cause more negative energy.  Personally, I'd rather go for the positive.

Questions to consider:

Why do so many of us so often pass by chances to encourage others?

Does encouragement have to be "earned"?  What happens if we adopt the attitude that it does?

What are some easy but effective ways to encourage others?  What do you personally find to be encouraging?

For further thought:

Encouraging others can be the catalyst to unleashing their greatness.

Rob Liano

more on encouragement



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