I receive daily insight from Josh Hinds and had to share his message from yesterday! It’s good stuff!
Perhaps an encouraging word means so much because we’re
surrounded by so much of the opposite. Sadly, negativity
runs amok. We hear it in the news, in the conversations we
overhear, and unfortunately, all too often, in the ones we
are participating in. That being the case it only makes
sense that when we get a glimpse of the opposite — a bit of
positivity — we naturally want more of it.
We want to experience more of the positive things in life.
It is only natural, and the cool thing about it is it tends
to expand in our personal world as we give it away to
Encouragement is unique in that it has far reaching benefits
on both the beneficiary and its giver. I have seen
strategically applied encouragement turn people who were
riddled with self esteem issues, and self doubt transformed,
over time into incredibly competent leaders, and achievers
on par excellence.
People are attracted to those who pass along genuine
encouragement to others. These folks are appreciated and
valued to the point that people want to seek out and
surround themselves with them. It can pay off greatly if you
can become the type of person who is known for encouraging
those around you.
Three steps for powerfully encouraging people …
1. Be intentional in giving encouragement. Being intentional
simply means, to do a thing on purpose, that is to plan it,
rather than allowing it to unfold randomly. It’s that
simple. The difference in how great you’ll feel when you’ve
planned some opportunities to give positive encouragement
can’t be fully explained. Take my word for it, it is just so
much more impactful than just hoping such opportunities
appear by chance.
Notice that I’m not saying the former is ineffective. I’m
just saying that you will feel a greater sense of
fulfillment, and reduce the chances that you’ll
inadvertently neglect the opportunity to share the
encouragement you might otherwise had you simply planned it
out ahead of time.
While I am fully confident the idea above will make a
difference don’t simply take my word for it. Try planning
the day ahead, strategically deciding where you’ll impart
your words of encouragement, and see what a difference it
will have on you, and those who benefit from the empowering
words you will be sewing.
2. Write it down, don’t rely on memory alone. In keeping
with the ideas above, you want to write down the outcome you
hope for. It may not guarantee you the end result you want,
but it will always get you closer to it than if you chose to
slip and slide through your day without one. That being the
case, the little bit of extra time planning takes is more
than worth the effort. Plus, reducing your “plan” to a
checklist makes it as easy as simply following the next
3. Specific things you can do to encourage and show
appreciation in a BIG way. There are an infinite number of
things I could include here. Instead I will share a few
especially impactful things that you can do on an ongoing
basis. If you will make them a regular practice you will be
astounded by the difference it makes not only in the lives
of others, but your own.
A. Send thank you cards and notes of appreciation. Digital
is great, but there’s just something about receiving a note,
written in a person’s handwriting. I’ve got letters and
cards saved that I received years ago. Just recently I ran
across a saved note written on a piece of scratch paper –
the kind hotels give you to take notes on. Written on it was
just one word, “Love.” There’s something incredibly powerful
about receiving written words. And their unique ability to
cause the wonderful memories associated with the person who
wrote them to come flowing back to mind. Written words can
last as long as the ink on the paper they are written.
B. Digital isn’t all bad. While I stressed the long lasting
impact a note or card can have, don’t assume I’m discounting
sending emails, or a well timed Facebook message. Often, the
message is far more important than the particular medium.
The main thing is that you’re coming from a genuine place
with the words you impart on others.
In keeping with the theme of intentionality, make a point to
regularly look through your contact list (I.e. email address
book) and choose people who you’ll drop a quick note to.
Just let them know you were thinking about them and wanted
to reach out and say hi. Pick something kind to share with
them. You don’t have to over do it. Just be genuine. Ask
them what they’re working towards at the moment, and when
they tell you, wish them the best. Wish them well in their
efforts. Be a source of encouragement. It’s as simple as
you’re willing to let it be. Give it a try, and notice how
others are affected in a positive way as a result.
C. Plan in advance. Take about 10 minutes each night, before
heading to bed, while you’re planning the next days actions
to identify a few people in your life who are working
through challenges. Maybe extreme challenges for some, and
for others more mundane, but challenges in their mind just
the same. Write down their name, along with the specific
thing you’ll do to encourage them. When you act on what
you’ve written down you won’t believe how empowered you
feel. It truly is an instance where you get to share in the
gift you’re giving that person.
Use the ideas above and make them a regular part of your
routine. Friend, you can’t imagine how much doing so can
shape your world in a truly positive way. The world is in
need of those who commit to encouraging others to be the
best they can be. Become that person and you will be well on
your way to unlocking your BIG life, and all that goes along
with being an encourager of others.
It’s your life, LIVE BIG,
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It's Your Life, Live BIG by Josh Hinds