Originally posted on Facebook HERE

Someday maybe I’ll get back to looking out my back window and seeing something more exciting than the reflection back into the room, but for now I’ve been waking up way early for the last few weeks with everything going on in our lives. Be glad when the home remodel is over and we have more space again. Yesterday I got to thinking about the word “encouragement”. I guess I never really realized that it encompasses the word “courage”. Probably somewhere in the history of the word it stemmed from giving another person the courage to carry on. The ability to sincerely encourage another person, especially when they’re struggling, is a fantastic thing. Good teachers have it as an innate ability. Here’s how the subject came up for me yesterday – one of my goals this year is to become a better singer. So I’m taking vocal lessons. I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone as good at encouragement as my voice teacher is. Whenever you start something new, you have days when you feel pretty good about things, you can see yourself making progress, you actually feel like you can do it. And then – you have the days where you just want to give up. Nothing seems right, the whole idea seems stupid, and you question why you even started in the first place. Yesterday was one of those days for me. In getting ready for our appointment I was working on things and just really not feeling it. I was questioning everything – I’m just so terrible at this, why even bother? I’ll never be any good. I went to the appointment with a less than enthusiastic attitude. And what I got was a huge dose of courage. A major attitude adjustment. I could feel her excitement for how things were going and where she feels I can be with a little effort. After one hour I left totally buying in once again. And I realized how often in my life I’ve been on the other end of the encouragement spectrum. Basically, every day with my job. Not only with clients, but the new employees working their way up the ladder. It’s a tough business, and I’m not sure I’d be where I am today without the encouragement of many others over the years. Now I get to give that back. And the people I help today will pass it along to the next generation. When I have a meeting that I’m running, I try to end that meeting with everyone feeling better even if the news is somewhat dire. “It’s a tough situation, but we can handle this, and here’s how we do it”… sometimes just those words, with the years of expertise behind them and the confidence that comes with it, can give another person the courage to carry on through the toughest situations life throws at them. And sometimes we see the potential in someone before they see it in themselves. Let them piggyback on your enthusiasm if that’s the case. Surround yourself with people who encourage you to be your best. Encourage others whenever possible. How many times have we heard in the lives of a person who has achieved great things there was one person in their life who changed everything for them? Who believed in them when nobody else did? Be that person whenever possible. We’re all so quick to tear each other down. Why?… let’s look at building better relationships. A little encouragement goes a long way.

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