I lost something. You’ve likely lost it too. We had a lot of it as kids. But something happens on our journey to adulthood that allows it to slip away seemingly undetected. We lose our innate curiosity and stop asking questions.
It happens to all of us—some more than others. We’d rather stick to what we know. But what we know won’t be enough. In fact, what we know today won’t even be enough to sustain the present let alone allow us to make meaningful contributions in the future.
They’ve got it! It’s noticeable and drips of something you dream of spilling over to you. You can’t put your finger on precisely what it is. But they’ve got it! It’s compelling, captivating and amazingly genuine. Swagger comes to mind, but it’s different. It’s a cool quiet confidence.
Our first thought may be they possess something that is a secret to be discovered. As a result, we might believe it is untouchable and unattainable because it is a byproduct of elite talent or status. But elite talent does not guarantee it and status only borrows it.
Do you want the good news or the bad news? The truth in the question is we don’t like to deliver bad news so we try to soften its impact. Especially if we anticipate the news is not going to be well received.
Not all feedback is created equal. I had a boss once who spoke frequently of the need to have “courageous conversations” with people. It takes courage to coach people towards improvement.
Less then 20% of Americans receive the necessary level of encouragement necessary to raise their performance.
Why do so many leaders, teachers, coaches and parents fail to use a tool that is readily available to them every day? Equally important is wondering why so called “soft skills” like encouragement are so undervalued and appreciated.
If you could be granted one natural gift what would you choose? What if the choice was between intelligence and wisdom? Being smart is commonly identified as being a key to success. But is smart overrated?
As a kid were you frequently if ever praised for being wise? I am pretty sure if my parents would have said, “Oh, you are so wise,” I was being called out and being discouraged from whatever “not so smart” remark I had just made.
I loved listening to him. Zig Ziglar offered up powerful encouragement dressed up in a charming southern accent. He was a master of motivation. Zig loved to say, “You don’t pay the price, you enjoy the benefits.”
Do you like to struggle? You might be thinking, “Does anyone like to struggle?” Surprisingly the answer is a resounding “Yes,” because the greatest achievements, discoveries and breakthroughs in history were uncovered in the face of struggle.
Why would you make a change when things are going well? Who would think it good advice to abandon something in the midst of success?
A good thing is a good thing—right? It would be foolish to jump ship or change course when the view and the forecast looks perfect. But is it?
Take a close look at the post photo. What do you see? If you were asked to write a description of what you see, what would you write?
Every year a teacher took a white sheet of paper with a black circle on it and passed it out to his students. Then he would ask them to think about what they were looking at and write down their answer to a singular question— “What do you see?”
As I walked up, I could see she was fighting back tears. A well of emotion rising up after hearing a message of encouragement. “I can’t remember the last time I felt truly encouraged—thank you,” she said. She wasn’t alone—not today or any day.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Our chief want in life is to find someone who will make us do what we can.” Life is breathed into the “can” we can do by the right person, with the right word, at the right moment, delivering an essential truth in a loving and gracious way.
Who will cross your path today? Some will be the people you know the best and love the most—you’ll create some of these intersections, other will seem random. Every personal interaction presents you with an opportunity for impact. Knowing why praise is not encouragement is the key.
Does it surprise you to learn that that you will meet between 80,000 and 100,000 people over the course of your lifetime? You’ll be in the presence of millions more. Let’s create a quick visual of the size of this opportunity. Picture yourself sitting in the The Rose Bowl filled to capacity. Now wrap your head around the knowledge that you are going to have a face-to-face interaction with everyone sitting in that stadium over the course of your life—amazing opportunities for impact.