“Encouragement offers more potential than cash. The amount of cash is limited, but you have an unlimited supply of encouragement ... encouragement feeds people’s souls.”

Kenneth Blanchard
Author: The One Minute Manager

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This Week´s Inspiration

The Gift of Encouragement

Everyone needs encouragement at one time or another, from the CEO, mother, father, child, or employee, to the professional athlete or performer.

Encouragement means to inspire, incite, foster, or stimulate courage with hope.

Last week my eight-year-old son Timothy had a music recital. As many of us can recall, as children, we sometimes needed encouragement to complete a task. Even though Timothy is gifted in music, he wanted to borrow some courage from Mom and Dad prior to the recital. He needed to be reassured he could do it and that everything would be okay. What he could not give to himself, he borrowed from us. 

For us as adults, our early situations may have changed but the human condition of needing support has not. At some level, we all need to be encouraged.

Whatever your life purpose is and whether your work is in healthcare, education, business, criminal justice, ministry, families, or thousands of other responsibilities, your overall activity should leave others feeling encouraged. 

If your life or actions do not include the foundation of encouragement toward others, you need to evaluate how encouragement can become part of your purpose.

Start by giving it away. Encouragement is not something to be saved, collected, or withheld; that approach has little redeeming value. Encouragement is a perishable item best enjoyed in the moment. Once the aircraft has left the ground, an empty seat is a lost opportunity. When you hesitate in offering your encouragement, the opportunity is gone.

A funny thing happens when you encourage others — you feel encouraged and better about yourself.

Before I encourage each of you reading this e-zine, I want to acknowledge the many encouragements that you as readers have given me. It is a privilege to let me enter your world every two weeks. I want you to know that your email complimenting Living on Purpose or telling how one of the many CRG resources helped you is very encouraging to me. There are times when my schedule is full and demands are high. Getting the writing done for an issue can be challenging, but one encouraging email makes it all worthwhile. 

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER underestimate the power of your encouraging words toward any other person! For example, many people seem to think that successful individuals need less encouragement. Don’t discount the impact you have or can have with everyone you meet. At any given moment, you can make a difference in someone else’s life by encouraging him or her. We need to remind ourselves that while this creates invaluable results, it costs us nothing. 

I want to take a moment to encourage you, the reader of Living on Purpose. You are to be acknowledged and commended for taking a few minutes each week to improve or refresh yourself. 

You are special — most people won’t or don’t take the time. I commend you for your efforts for making a difference. Your modeling of Living on Purpose is an encouragement to us all. Because of your attitude of openness to new ideas — no matter what challenges you face — you’ll find encouragement from others to help you through. 

It is important to graciously and thankfully accept encouragement from others. In other words, don’t discount your value or their confidence in you. 

Finally, be authentic and intentional in your encouragement. Be real but look for opportunities to encourage others. Make it part of your mindset to encourage someone every single day. Give it away — your act of encouragement can and will affect millions.

The movie Pay It Forward calculated that three acts of kindness given away by one individual, then repeated by each person down the line daily, would, within two weeks, impact 4,787,969 lives. Technically that means Living on Purpose subscribers, including you, can encourage every single person — 6+ billion — on the planet in the next two weeks.

Here is my challenge to you: before the end of today, encourage at least three individuals and ask them to do the same for three people each. I guarantee you will feel more confident and better about yourself as you do so.

This Week´s Action Steps

The Encouragement Challenge

  1. Encouragement inspires courage and hope in others.

  2. No matter who we are, we all need some level of encouragement.

  3. Encouragement is perishable — at every opportunity give it away — saving it up has no redeeming value.

  4. If you are fulfilling and living your purpose, others should feel encouraged by you and your actions.

  5. Be authentic and be real in your encouragement. If you can’t authentically encourage others, then don’t. 

  6. Be intentional. Nothing happens by accident. Make encouraging others a part of your mindset; do it every day.

  7. Never discount the value your encouragement has to others. No matter who we are or what we do, we all need and appreciate it.

  8. Don't discount encouragement that is directed toward you from others. Gracefully and thankfully accept it.

  9. Take the Living on Purpose encouragement challenge. Encourage three individuals every day and ask each of them to do the same to three others. If we all do this, we can encourage 6+ billion people within the next 14 days.

  10. Forward Living on Purpose to at least three people you care about or who could benefit from Living on Purpose.

  11. Pay attention to how giving encouragement makes others feel and how it makes you feel. Notice how your feelings of confidence improve because you encouraged others.

  12. Remember, it costs nothing and it produces invaluable results.

Until next time, keep Living On Purpose!

Ken Keis

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