You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘encouragement’ tag.

There’s an old proverb that says, “It takes one tree to make a thousand matchsticks, but it only takes one matchstick to burn down a thousand trees.”

This saying reminds me of the power of our words.

Encouraging and inspiring words can convince and empower people to do remarkable deeds.

And it’s easy to destroy people’s hopes and dreams with some poorly chosen (or in some cases maliciously chosen) words.

I have a couple of questions for you today:

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I’m a coach.

I love coaching, it’s a large part of who I am and I am rarely so alive as when I’m coaching someone.

But there’s a time for it.

I’ve seen a lot of people (and I’m sure I’ve done it myself) who have decided to go into coaching mode when it was unsolicited and unwanted.

Times when people are looking for a friend, not for advice.

Times when people are looking for someone to listen, not give advice.

Times when people just want to talk about life, not start setting goals.

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Sometimes, I think that the best time to encourage someone is when they’ve done something amazing.

Sometimes, I think that it’s when I notice that a friend is looking as though they’ve had a bad day.

Sometimes, I think that it’s when someone has tried really hard, but just fallen short of their goal.

Sometimes, I think that it’s when someone has given up because they didn’t think that they can do anything significant.

Sometimes, I think that it’s when I know that someone’s really busy and perhaps feeling overwhelmed by all of the demands that life has placed upon them.

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Jerry Seinfeld once asked, “What’s happening to me? Can I do this? Am I a shusher? I used to be a shushee!”

I know how he felt.

I used to be the rowdy one until I had kids.  Now I’m the one constantly telling them to be quiet.

I’ve gone from being a shushee to being a shusher!

Then a couple of nights ago I asked my four-year old daughter, Madison, what her favourite bible story was.

She told me that she likes the one when Jesus let the children come to him despite the people who didn’t want them to.  And then He let them make as much noise as they wanted to.

Ouch!

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We all know that men and women are different.

One of the significant differences is what they need to hear to help them feel secure and valued in their relationships.

In his book, “WEIRD: Because Normal isn’t Working,” Craig Groeschel identifies this difference and outlines how husbands and wives can effectively encourage and build up their spouses.

In the interests of being gentlemanly, let’s start with ladies first.

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Can you be too encouraging?

Can you give your wife (or husband) too many compliments?

Can you notice too many things that your kids do right?

Can you catch your employees doing an awesome job too often?

Can you build up the confidence of those around you too much?

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Photo by Mamboman1 via Flickr

A group of frogs were trav­el­ing through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit.

When the other frogs saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead.

The two frogs ignored the com­ments at first and tried to jump up out of the pit with all their might.

The other frogs kept telling them to give up, that they were as good as dead.

Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were say­ing and gave up.

He fell down and died.

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Sometimes people don’t meet the standards that we’ve set for them… be encouraging anyway.

Sometimes we are jealous of the achievements of others and wish that it could be us receiving the applause… be encouraging anyway. 

Sometimes we are surrounded by cynics who don’t believe in positive affirmation… be encouraging anyway. 

Sometimes we feel discouraged ourselves and in need of kind words… be encouraging anyway. 

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I was watching an NBA game on TV the other day and after a great dunk by one of the players, I could see his team-mates in the background stand to their feet and cheer him on.

They didn’t dunk the ball, they didn’t pass it to him, some of them may not even get onto the court for that game, but they knew that they still had a role to play.

They had the responsibility to cheer their team-mates on and to encourage them to even greater heights.

Wherever you are and whatever your situation, you have that same responsibility and opportunity.

There will be times in any organisation when someone else is doing great work.

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As I was writing this post, it was a day of celebration in Chile as the first of the 33 miners who were trapped underground for the past 69 days started their gradual ascent to freedom.

It was a long process for them, as the miners could only be released one by one, so the process took a couple of days.

As I reflected on this event, I was reminded of Viktor Frankl’s words when he said, “The last of one’s true freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”

As sad as it is that these men were trapped underground in such scary circumstances, it’s even sadder when I come across people who are trapped, not by their physical circumstances, but by their mindsets and attitudes.

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